2023 March Madness bracket: Picking all 63 games in the NCAA Tournament with 63 sentences explaining why



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There are so some ways to break down the NCAA Tournament bracket.

You can take a glance at all of the resumes. You study the NET rankings. You can weigh the nice wins with the dangerous losses to see if one means more than the other. You can attempt to determine whether playing well lately means groups are peaking at the right time or if it does not actually matter as a end result of the NCAA Tournament is a chaotic collection of one-game seasons, and nothing else previous to it matters so lengthy as you are in the field.

You can parse via the superior stats from KenPom.com or BartTorvik.com to attempt to analyze which group matches up nicely with their opponents and which teams have key weaknesses that might be on full display. You can try rankings, try the picks from our specialists right here at CBS Sports and attempt to slim things down using historic tendencies for upsets and for champions.

The only factor you’ll be able to’t do, it seems, is definitely put pen to paper (or click on the group to the subsequent round) and truly fill out your bracket. You now have so many numbers and random thoughts swirling in your head that you could discuss yourself into and out of any group.

Don’t worry, you are not alone. Sometimes, it is best just to make the picks and be done with it. So that’s what I’m doing right here: 63 picks in 63 sentences, one every for every game remaining within the NCAA Tournament. I did this back in 2019 and obtained the champion right, so there’s no much less than some precedent for this serving to.

Let’s go.

First Round




  • No. 1 Kansas over No. 16 Howard — The Jayhawks’ quest for a second straight title will get off to a great begin.
  • No. 8 Arkansas over No. 9 Illinois — Both of those teams are maddeningly inconsistent, but Eric Musselman has a habit of getting the very best out of his groups come event time.
  • No. 5 Saint Mary’s over No. 12 VCU — Sorry to shut down another Cinderella favorite, however Saint Mary’s is basically, really good, even if the Gaels did not look it within the WCC title sport towards Gonzaga.
  • No. 4 UConn over No. 13 Iona — The Huskies will go as Jordan Hawkins go, and anticipate a good start here for the gifted wing.
  • No. 11 Arizona State over No. 6 TCU — This is the 13th Tournament to feature a First Four, and in 11 of the previous 12, a First Four team made it to the second round at least; Arizona State will be part of that group. 
  • No. 3 Gonzaga over No. 14 Grand Canyon — The finest offense within the nation (yes, I said it) cruises.
  • No. 10 Boise State over No. 7 Northwestern — The Broncos’ length on the wing will give the Wildcats bother, however regulate the purpose guard battle between Marcus Shaver Jr. and Boo Buie.
  • No. 2 UCLA over No. 15 UNC Asheville — Mick Cronin’s bunch is lengthy on experience and will not slip up early.


  • No. 1 Purdue over No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson — FDU is the shortest group within the country, and Zach Edey is likely considered one of the tallest — and top-of-the-line — gamers in the country.
  • No. 9 FAU over No. 8 Memphis — The Owls are disciplined and experienced, they defend well, and so they make pictures.
  • No. 5 Duke over No. 12 Oral Roberts — The Blue Devils’ freshmen usually get the headlines, however it’s Jeremy Roach who will come up big to stop Max Abmas and co.
  • No. 4 Tennessee over No. 13 Louisiana — Santiago Vescovi is one of the most creative scorers within the game, and there’s just sufficient round him.
  • No. 11 Providence over No. 6 Kentucky — It’s a big game for Bryce Hopkins against his former staff, nevertheless it’s the experience of Providence that can ultimately push Providence over John Calipari’s up-and-down bunch 
  • No. 3 Kansas State over No. 14 Montana State — The Wildcats struggled a bit on the finish, however not a lot that they lose to a Montana State program making its second straight NCAA Tournament look.
  • No. 7 Michigan State over No. 10 USC — Tyson Walker has had the clutch gene all through his profession, and it’ll be no different this time.
  • No. 2 Marquette over No. 15 Vermont — The Golden Eagles swept the Big East regular-season and event titles, which seems good to me.

Second round


  • No. 1 Alabama over No. 8 Maryland — The Crimson Tide have a lot length, athleticism and a very good, skilled and under-appreciated level guard in Jahvon Quinerly.
  • No. 5 San Diego State over No. 4 Virginia — This might be a gradual, grind-it-out contest, however the Aztecs have extra shot creators down the stretch, when factors will be at a premium.
  • No. 3 Baylor over No. 6 Creighton — The Bears defense actually struggles, but their offense is excellent, and Adam Flagler won’t be quite able to go house.
  • No. 2 Arizona over No. 10 Utah State — Tubelis and Ballo will bury the perimeter-oriented Aggies.
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  • No. 1 Houston over No. 9 Auburn — Houston’s steady veterans will maintain them on track towards an Auburn staff that goes through plenty of ups and downs.
  • No. 5 Miami over No. 13 Kent State — If Omier is not healthy for the first spherical, maybe another two days will help?
  • No. 3 Xavier over No. 6 Iowa State — Like I mentioned before: Souley Boum.
  • No. 2 Texas over No. 7 Texas A&M — The Longhorns merely have more scoring options, extra lineup options and, by the final buzzer, extra points.


  • No. 1 Kansas over No. 8 Arkansas — I’m always going to offer the edge to expertise over youth, and in Jalen Wilson and Dajuan Harris Jr., the Jayhawks have plenty.
  • No. 4 UConn over No. 5 Saint Mary’s — In Adama Sanogo and Donovan Clingan, the Gaels will face (literally) a tall task, they usually just barely won’t have enough.
  • No. 3 Gonzaga over No. 11 Nevada — The Wolf Pack defense isn’t close to enough to decelerate Drew Timme and co.
  • No. 2 UCLA over No. 10 Boise State — People have not properly appreciated Jaime Jaquez’s spectacular season, however they might begin after this one.


  • No. 1 Purdue over No. 9 Florida Atlantic — It won’t be simple, but the Boilermakers will maintain rolling behind Edey and fellow veteran Mason Gillis.
  • No. 4 Tennessee over No. 5 Duke — It’s maybe my boldest choose so far as everybody appears to like Duke’s late-season cost and hate Tennessee’s late-season droop, however the Volunteers have the size, depth and defensive prowess to topple the Blue Devils.
  • No. 11 Providence over No. 3 Kansas State — In a battle of two of the nation’s finest forwards — Hopkins and Keyontae Johnson — the Friars prove to be more durable and, crucially, more careful with the ball.
  • No. 2 Marquette over No. 7 Michigan State — Get to know the title Tyler Kolek.

Sweet 16


  • No. 1 Alabama over No. 5 San Diego State — The Crimson Tide are just too good offensively and too disciplined defensively for the Aztecs.
  • No. 3 Baylor over No. 2 Arizona — The Bears’ backcourt advantage is adequate to bridge the gap over the Wildcats’ inside superiority.


  • No. 5 Miami over No. 1 Houston — Omier’s ankle might be closer to 100%, and the first No. 1 seed falls as Miami’s shotmaking reigns.
  • No. 2 Texas over No. 3 Xavier — The Musketeers’ lack of depth lastly catches up with them, and that’s actually no problem for Texas, arguably the nation’s deepest staff.


  • No. 1 Kansas over No. 4 UConn — In a game with a ton of actually good, high-level and skilled players, Wilson will be the finest player on the court, as he is in virtually any sport.
  • No. 2 UCLA over No. 3 Gonzaga — The Bruins avenge one of many best video games in NCAA Tournament historical past from back in 2020.
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  • No. 4 Tennessee over No. 1 Purdue — The Volunteers have sufficient dimension and athleticism to make things onerous on Edey, however it’s the perimeter defense that may give them the most important benefit over the Boilermakers and their young guards.
  • No. 2 Marquette over No. 11 Providence — The Golden Eagles have the size and athleticism to hang with the hard-driving Friars, and Kolek will continue his run as the most effective guard on the floor.

Elite Eight


  • No. 1 Alabama over No. 3 Baylor — The Bears’ relative overachievement lastly ends right here, because the Crimson Tide defend the 3-point line in addition to anyone and take benefit of defensive breakdowns.


  • No. 2 Texas over No. 5 Miami — The depth, the expertise, the versatility, the great guard play — all key components of a team that’s already overcome lots and can proceed to take action.


  • No. 2 UCLA over No. 1 Kansas — The Bruins protection is arguably the nation’s greatest even with out Jaylen Clark, and the Jayhawks won’t have enough scoring options after Wilson and Gradey Dick.


  • No. 2 Marquette over No. 4 Tennessee — A dozen years after taking VCU to the Final Four, Shaka Smart is again, due to a well-rounded group on both ends.

Final Four

  • No. 1 Alabama over No. 2 Marquette — The Crimson Tide are glorious at defending the paint and the 3-point line, which will assist reduce Kolek’s drives and his teammates’ catch-and-shoot skills.
  • No. 2 Texas over No. 2 UCLA — Marcus Carr is the leading scorer and Timmy Allen is the best particular person scorer, however it’s Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year Sir’Jabari Rice who will push the Longhorns into their first national championship game.

National championship game

  • No. 2 Texas over No. 1 Alabama — The Longhorns have many choices to placed on Quinerly and Brandon Miller, the size to defend around the rim and, finally, the kind of group that can win the program’s first NCAA Tournament title.

Get each decide, each play, every upset and fill out your bracket with our help! Visit SportsLine now to see which groups will make and break your bracket and who will cut down the nets, all from the mannequin that beat over 92% of all CBS Sports brackets in two of the last four tournaments.


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