SiriusXM’s Guide to Brackets, or: How to win your NCAA tourney bracket

Having trouble filling out your NCAA Tournament bracket? SiriusXM has got you covered with our breakdown of the tourney favorites and potential sleepers in each region. Looking for more analysis? Check out our College Sports Nation channel for all the … Continued

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SiriusXM Editor
March 14, 2016

SiriusXM College Sports Nation.

Having trouble filling out your NCAA Tournament bracket? SiriusXM has got you covered with our breakdown of the tourney favorites and potential sleepers in each region. Looking for more analysis? Check out our College Sports Nation channel for all the insights and analysis from our stable of college hoops experts and the full on-air schedule of the Tourney.



No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks (30-4) – The Jayhawks are coming off their 12th straight Big 12 title and are the overall number-one seed in the tournament. Senior Perry Ellis has been there for what seems like eight years and is the steady force in the engine that powers Kansas. Guards Frank Mason III, Devonte’ Graham and Wayne Selden, Jr. make for a versatile backcourt trio and provide excellent depth for the Jayhawks.

No. 3 Miami Hurricanes (25-7) – The Hurricanes have a veteran-laiden roster with five seniors leading the way. Sheldon McClellan is a marksman from beyond the arc, shooting 39 percent from deep and averaging 15.8 points. The Miami offense is well-balanced with Angel Rodriguez, Davon Reed and Ja’Quan Newton all averaging at least 11 points.

No. 2 Villanova Wildcats (29-5) – Nova is still probable getting over last year’s early exit from the tournament, and that can add either motivation or pressure. Assuming the Wildcats are motivated to make a run and not afraid of wilting under the pressure, Villanova can make a run to the Sweet 16 and beyond. Josh Hart (15.5 points) and Kris Jenkins (13.3) provide a solid 1-2 punch.


No. 5 Maryland Terrapins (25-8) – The Terrapins have an incredibly talented lineup, but they failed to live up to expectations this year. If Melo Trimble can reduce the turnovers and be efficient from the floor, Maryland is a dangerous team. The Terps will go as far as Trimble is able to take them.

No. 9 UConn Huskies (24-10) – There’s just something about UConn in the month of March. The Huskies already experienced some of that March Magic in the AAC tournament (Jalen Adams’ 80-footer) and will look to carry that momentum into the Big Dance.

No. 10 Temple Owls (21-11) – The Owls bounced back from a disappointing start to the season to win the regular-season AAC title. If Temple is able to pull off a first-round upset it will set up a showdown with Villanova, and we all know about Nova’s March perils.




No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners (25-7) – Oklahoma has arguably the best player in college basketball in Buddy Hield. The senior averages 25 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 49 percent from the field and 46 percent from beyond the arc. The sharpshooting Sooners feature five different players who shoot 37 percent or better from three-point range.

No. 1 Oregon Ducks (28-6) – Outside of the Pac-12 and the West coast, Oregon is a relative unknown to most of us. But the Ducks earned a number-one seed after winning the conference’s regular-season and tournament championships. Sophomore forward Dillon Brooks posts 16.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists and senior Chris Boucher protects the rim with 3.1 blocks to go along with 12.1 points and 7.6 rebounds.

No. 4 Duke Blue Devils (23-10) – Like UConn, it’s just hard to count out the defending National Champs in March. But this team is not close to the Duke teams of the past and lacks depth, employing a six-man rotation. However, as long as Coach K is steering the ship, Duke has a chance to make a run. How far they can go is the question; that lack of depth is likely to catch up with them.


No. 3 Texas A&M Aggies (26-8) – A three-seed as a sleeper? Yes, the Aggies are flying under-the-radar due to the lack of a big-name star. But Texas A&M is balanced on offense, with Jalen Jones and Danuel House both averaging 15.5 points, and stingy on defense, leading the SEC in points-per-possession.

No. 8 St. Joseph’s Hawks (27-7) – The Hawks have a unique blend of youth and experience. The Atlantic 10 tournament champs are sound on both ends of the floor, playing efficient offense and smart defense.

No. 11 Northern Iowa Panthers (22-12) – The Panthers beat North Carolina at the beginning of the season and are peaking at the right time, going 12-1 in their last 13 games including two wins over Wichita State.




No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels (28-6) – UNC stands tall against the rest in the East pool. The Tarheels, when they’re on point, have the skills and shooting, in addition to frontcourt length some NBA execs drool about, and that should serve them well. Toss in the fact that they cured their shooting woes at the end of the season and at times dominated the ACC tounrey and Carolina looks like the team to beat.

No. 3 West Virginia Mountaineers (26-8) – Sleep on a Bob Huggins team at your own risk, friend. Huggy Bear always has his teams ready in an almost “Izzo-nian” sense and the Mountaineers are battle-tested after a season of banging around in the woolly and wild Big 12.

No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats (26-8) – Facing an intriguing matchup against Stony Brook that they should win on talent, the Wildcats then could potentially face their longstanding rival, Indiana, in the second round which would basically be a college hoops fan’s wildest dream. Yes, whoever wins between the Wildcats and Hoosiers would then likely face UNC. It’s insane (and slightly unfair) that all three teams are in the same half of the same bracket.


No. 2 Xavier Musketeers (27-5) – Can a two-seed ever be a dark horse? Xavier’s basically been the sneaky smart pick since Thad Matta was still there and with a stinging loss at the hands of Seton Hall in the Big East Championship game, the Musketeers have all the ammunition they need to make a deep run.

No. 12 Chattanooga Mocs (29-5) – The Mocs are everyone’s darling this season and their bandwagon will be filled to the brim if they knock off Indiana in the opening round. If the Southern champs get past Indiana all bets are off.

No. 10 Pittsburgh Panthers (21-11) – The Panthers lucked into playing a Wisconsin team that has many scratching their heads after that befuddling loss to Nebraska. Additionally, power forward Michael Young has the muscle and knack for getting to the ball that should keep the Panthers ahead of the Badgers and, if Jamel Artis and James Robinson play up to their potential, the Panthers will be making a lot of teams very nervous. Think of them as the team nobody wants to face.




No. 2 Michigan State Spartans (29-5) – A very ANGRY Michigan State team, I might add. Snubbed by the selection committee for the final #1 seed in spite of winning the Big Ten regular season and the Big Ten tournament, the Spartans are prepared (and fully capable) of kicking every team in the pit before going all 300 on the field.









So, good luck with a very angry Michigan State team, everyone.


EVERYONE ELSE. Michigan State is gonna make Sherman’s March to the Sea seem quaint. But we know you want options while filling out your bracket so…

No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers (26-7) – Along with Kansas, Virginia is the only other team to rank in the top-10 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. The Cavaliers play a stifling defense that would stop any high-octane offense in its tracks.

No. 3 Utah Utes (26-8) – Jakob Poeltl is an absolute stud, averaging 17.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 66 percent from the field. The sophomore center will strap the Utes onto his back and they’ll ride him all the way to a Sweet 16 showdown with Michigan State.

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