Expert Bracket 2022: Picks, Upsets, Filled Out, ESPN

Expert Bracket 2022: The first round of the NCAA Tournament is still ongoing, so as of now, any perfect bracket is only through the first round.

The longest bracket ever to stay perfect came from Columbus, Ohio, native Gregg Nigl, who correctly predicted the first 49 games in the 2019 tournament.

Expert Bracket 2022: Picks, Upsets, Filled Out, ESPN

Picks:

The college basketball marathon isn’t over, and has already jumped into the weekend’s action.

First-round festivities kick off Friday night and second-round play in the 2022 NCAA Tournament will begin on Saturday, with a field halfway larger than the one before the first round.

Over the next few days, the bracket will again eliminate half the field as it goes from 32 to a Sweet 16, setting up the second weekend of this year’s tournament.

Upsets:

If this tournament has taught us anything so far, it is that Saturday’s slate will provide us with drama.

We’ve already had several overtime games, a few Cinderella candidates revealed, and a lot of upsets so far.

Six of the eight games in Round 2 action are single-digit spreads, so as the bracket unfolds, the oddsmakers expect more close contests to continue.

Filled Out:

Expert Bracket 2022: Picks, Upsets, Filled Out, ESPN

Baylor may be the most vulnerable of all the No. 1 1 seeds in this year’s tourney — it remains without leading scorer LJ Cryer and glue guy Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua because of injury — but I’m still laying the points here with the Bears. 

With a strong group of challengers and after losing in the finals of the SEC tournament, South Carolina—the top seed in the Greensboro regional, which has a 29% chance of winning it all according to the BPI—knows the way of the program.

The second NCAA championship is not going to be easy. Still, the Gamecocks are inspired by last season’s close miss to eventual champion Stanford in the national semifinals, and they have a superstar post player in Aliyah Boston.

The two deepest teams in the field appear to be South Carolina and Stanford, and if both play to their capability, they will meet in the NCAA final. At that point, I give a slight edge to the Cardinal, despite their Dec. 21 loss in Columbia, South Carolina.

ESPN:

Turnovers plagued Stanford in that game, and they can still be problematic for the Cardinal. But Stanford has been the most consistent team coming into the tournament.

If they meet in the national championship game, Stanford’s 3-point shooting could be the difference. The Cardinal have made 224 treys, while the Gamecocks have made 148.

If South Carolina can make that title match a defensive battle, the Gamecocks are a little better on that end of the court. But offensively, Stanford can really spread teams out and exhaust defenses.

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