Every year when filling out a bracket, no matter how hard you study there are some games that you just can’t figure out.
Reading up on that 8-9 matchup in the first round for two hours won’t do you any good if the teams go back-and-forth the entire game and the other team buries a trey from mid-court at the buzzer even though your team was “statistically superior” and “on a hot streak” and double-teaming the guy shooting.
That being said, each year there are some teams that are total duds who get clobbered from the opening tip to the final horn and make you look really dumb if you were riding them to the Sweet 16 only for them to lose by 27 in their first game. Some teams aren’t quite who you might think they are based on their seed and record. Here are three teams to avoid in your bracket this year:
4 seed Providence
The Friars won the Big East regular season title for the first time ever but played in a ton of close games, and look quite vulnerable heading into the NCAAs. Ed Cooley’s squads have never done particularly great in March, and they drew the red-hot South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the first round that won all 21 of their Summit League games and is 30-4 overall. If any top-4 seed gets bounced on Thursday, it’s Providence.
7 seed Ohio State
The Buckeyes are only in this tournament because they beat Duke in November and they treaded water in a loaded and cut-throat Big Ten. They haven’t played an impressive game in several weeks and come into the tourney having lost back-to-back games against Michigan and Penn State, and also lost to Nebraska at home a little before then. This might not be that much trouble if they drew a bad 10-seed. Well, they get to play Sister Jean and the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers. The Buckeyes are toast. Stay away.
1 seed Baylor
Now I know Baylor isn’t going to lose in the first round to Norfolk State, duh, but these Bears are not the same team that started 15-0 and was ranked #1. Injuries are hampering this team, and they happen to be in the roughest and toughest region in the entire bracket for the 1-seeds. If you were thinking about taking Baylor to the Final Four, think twice—they might run into North Carolina, UCLA, and Kentucky all along the way. Plus, how could you not pick Kentucky to the Final Four?
So to sum up, Providence and Ohio State will struggle mightily to get out of the first round, and Baylor might not even make it to the second weekend. Keep this advice in your back pocket as you make your picks today and tomorrow. Happy bracketing, and also don’t pick any 16-seeds!