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Trust me, I get it - 99.99% of you guys reading this probably have already filled you bracket. But that other 0.01% is me. And I haven’t filled out my bracket yet for a reason - I'm waiting on any possible last-minute COVID-19 or "undisclosed injury" type of news, and I will wait to submit my bracket until that very last possible minute because of this. Depending on your pool, the scoring, and how many brackets you can enter, the 4 vs 13 matchup (along with other non-number one schools) offer the most value, especially if you play the Fibonacci type scoring. In layman's terms, a lot you probably refer to this as exponential scoring, with a team advancing each round and the number of points doubling each round. If you go to Round of 32 you get one point, two points for the Sweet 16, four for the Elite 8 and so on and so forth.
It's safe to assume that most of you also have Gonzaga going far - and personally, I think you are all nuts. I am looking to fade Gonzaga simply because everyone else has Gonzaga winning it all. If you have Gonzaga winning it all (assuming you don’t have more than one bracket), then you back yourself into a corner for winning and your bracket suddenly requires too much perfection in other regions to win. If you can do two brackets or more, then definitely make sure to have other teams winning other than Gonzaga.
With that being said, that leads to me the #4 seeds. Odds Shark has the history of each seed, click here for the 4 vs 13 history, and you can scroll around to find other seeding matchups. The short answer is that we don’t have many upsets at all here, and you're probably better off trying not to predict them. We only have had eight #13 seeds winning going back to 2010 in a total of 40 matchups (just a 20% win rate).
The Matchup: #4 Purdue vs #13 North Texas
Where to Watch: Friday, 7:25 p.m. EST on TNT (@ Lucas Oil Stadium)
The Odds: Purdue -7 (-295 ML), North Texas +7 (+240 ML), 126 O/U
We start with Purdue facing North Texas in the South Region. The Boilermakers are top 25 in both offensive and defensive efficiency via Ken Pom, and Purdue is in a prime position to make a Sweet 16 run here. Potential second round foe Villanova is missing one of their players in Collin Gillespie, and I'm not sure if Villanova even wins their first game. Everyone is in love with Winthrop and picking them to win in that 5 vs 12 matchup, even though they have played the 309th most difficult schedule this year. Purdue will most likely be facing Baylor in the Sweet 16, and this is where I believe they end up losing despite the Baylor COVID/defense issues. If Baylor isn’t over those issues yet, don’t be surprised if Purdue wins.
The Matchup: #4 Oklahoma St vs #13 Liberty
Where to Watch: Friday, 6:25 p.m. EST on TBS (@ Indiana Farmers Coliseum)
The Odds: Oklahoma St -7 (-315 ML), Liberty +7 (+255 ML), 139.5 O/U
Oklahoma State is another #4 who can make a Sweet 16 run, largely due to the fact that they're top 30 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Liberty, on the other hand, is Liberty. The Flames just played bad competition (313th strength of schedule), and I expect Oklahoma State to take care of business. Next up, the Cowboys will face Tennessee (most likely), and I am not sure if Tennessee will be able to hang here because they have been up and down for most of the year. Oklahoma State will most likely be in the Sweet 16 facing Illinois, and while I don't believe the Cowboys pull the upset here, I wouldn't be surprised if they hung tight and gave themselves a chance at the upset. If they get a couple lucky shots, you never know.
The Matchup: #4 Florida St vs #13 UNC Greensboro
Where to Watch: Saturday 12:45 p.m. EST on truTV (@ Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
The Odds: Florida St -10.5 (-625 ML), UNC Greensboro +10.5 (+460 ML), 145.5 O/U
I expect the 'Noles to handle UNC Greensboro in the first round, so I'm going to skip all the fluff and go straight to the Sweet 16. We all know Michigan has the Livers injury and that is obviously a big blow to that team. If you're looking to fade a #1 team - and you should be - this is a prime spot to do it. Florida St hasn’t been good away from home, going 4-5 on neutral/away courts while posting a stellar 12-1 mark at home. I'm still a little high on Florida St despite the debacle in the ACC championship game, and they're in prime position to force the first #1 seed to go down. I definitely encourage anyone to fade Michigan in this potential matchup. If Florida St makes it to the Elite 8, then the 'Noles will most likely face Alabama or Texas, and that is when I would want to fade them. I believe that Leonard Hamilton's squad offers some real value to get some points when a lot of people will be playing Michigan. That's my focus for now.
The Matchup: #4 Virginia vs #13 Ohio
Where to Watch: Saturday, 7:15 p.m. EST on truTV (@ Assembly Hall)
The Odds: Virginia -7 (-315 ML), Ohio +7 (+255 ML), 131 O/U
Virginia is the weakest of the #4 seeds here, and they're not arriving in Indianapolis until sometime on Friday afternoon because of ongoing COVID-19 issues that originated during the ACC Tournament. If I was forced to pick one of these #4 seeds to go down early, it would actually be the defending 2019 national champs. The Cavaliers aren’t practicing right now, and while it's a trendy pick to fade Virginia, I totally get why and actually support it. I just can’t take this team to the Sweet 16, especially when you consider that UC Santa Barbara looks like a team who can get past both Creighton in the first round and either Ohio or Virginia in the Round of 32 (if you are looking to get a double-digit team to the second weekend).