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March Madness predictions 2021: Instant picks after NCAA bracket unveiling

We give our instant picks for the 2021 NCAA tournament as matchups are announced on Selection Sunday.

Galen Robinson Jr. #25 of the Houston Cougars defends the ball against Immanuel Quickley #5 of the Kentucky Wildcats in the third round of the 2019 NCAA Photos via Getty Images Men’s Basketball Tournament held at Sprint Center on March 29, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Evert Nelson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Ever heard “think long, think wrong?” Well here’s what we think as we filled out our bracket instantly following the NCAA Selection Show on CBS.

Here’s our entire bracket: Three No. 1 seeds and a No. 2 in the Final Four. We’re so sorry to be this boring. We’ll follow that with some quick rapid reaction to each region and the final four. We’ll have plenty more analysis this week, but we’re starting with the first gut reaction that of course never fails.

East region

Michigan gets a one seed despite possibly not having the services of senior Isaiah Livers due to a stress fracture in his foot. Their third battle with Illinois could be in the Elite Eight. Loyola-Chicago vs. Georgia Tech pits two phenomenal defensive teams, and the first one to 40 might be the winner.

Syracuse might not deserve to be in the field depending on how you view their resume away from home, could not have asked for a better draw for their 2-3 zone than San Diego State. They can get through here.

South region

Seeing North Carolina vs. Wisconsin in the bracket makes sense, but not usually in the first round. Villanova plays the slowest tempo of any top-tier team in college basketball that’s not Virginia, but the Winthrop Eagles will want to go with speed and shooting; the Big South Champions get up and down the floor as much as anyone.

Utah State will be looking to show they belong in the field against a Texas Tech team that had some huge wins in the Big 12 this season

Midwest region

Neither LSU nor St. Bonaventure was thrilled to see the other on the opposite line, much less getting red-hot Illinois in the second round. UConn vs. Maryland is a matchup of two teams heading in opposite directions. Alabama vs. Texas in the Sweet 16 would pit two of the more athletic teams in America against each other.

And good luck Colorado: You’re catching America’s Team in the Big East champs and Patrick Ewing at the exact wrong time.

West region

Evan Mobley vs. David McCormack in Round 2 looks pretty fun to us! Gonzaga hangs over all the other teams in this quadrant like an 800 lb. gorilla, but a potential Elite Eight game against Iowa would be about as entertaining as college basketball can be: They are the two best offenses in college basketball by the advanced statistics.

Final Four

Gonzaga is the best team, and they should win this thing. It’s the NCAA Tournament so it won’t be a cakewalk, but if they play even their A- game, Mark Few will be cutting down the nets in Indianapolis in three weeks.