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Bracket Ramblings: Snowpocageddon Edition

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Brackets are starting to pile up. Time to sort through them.

London wants to go to Houston. So do I. Let's do this.
London wants to go to Houston. So do I. Let's do this.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ah, it's that time of year again. A time when all the pundits start predicting who is going to be in the running for the big prize.

No, not the 2016 presidential election.

March Madness. Way more important.

It's a mere 51 days until the talking heads reveal which round Virginia will have to face the Fighting Izzos of Michigan State in, so the bracket predictions have started to accumulate like snow predictions for the impending Washington, DC Snowpocageddon of 2016 (or as I like to call it, the Washington Blizzards, led by John Squall). So, to help sift through the madness, I'm going to look at the most recent brackets from SBNation.com, The Washington Post, CBS Sports, and the one and only Joe Lunardi from ESPN and give some of my opinions on Virginia's draw. For the full bracket, click on the links.

SBNation

Region: Midwest (Chicago)

#1 Seed: Kansas

Virginia Seed: #3

Observations: Eh, I'm not nuts about the Midwest. This bracket has the Hoos facing a plucky Stony Brook in the first round in Providence, RI. Out of the America East Conference, they shoot 38% from three and are currently 53rd on KenPom (KP). After that, a matchup of the winner of Kentucky vs. the Cal/Syracuse winner awaits. You follow all that? Kentucky (30 KP) this season isn't the Kentucky of last year, but Calipari has voodoo magic and their length and athleticism would be tough. The other option would be Cal (42 KP) or Syracuse (39 KP), both teams that UVA faced/faces in the regular season. Yawn. A Sweet Sixteen matchup with #2 seed Iowa (4 KP) isn't particularly appealing as Iowa has routed Michigan State twice already this season. Elite Eight against Kansas (10 KP) would be a fun game. I don't hate that.

Duke's Ease of Final Four Path: A #5 seed in the West, Duke would have to go through William and Mary, Oregon, Xavier, and Maryland to get to the Final Four. I'd love to see the Maryland talk of renewing their "rivalry" and the idea of Sulaimon facing Duke again. I give it three (out of five) Angry Coach Ks.

star3

Washington Post

Region: East (Philadelphia)

#1 Seed: Villanova

Virginia Seed: #2

Observations: Maybe it's because this bracket is put together by the amazing Patrick Stevens, but this is one of my favorites. An opening round game against the Atlantic Sun's North Florida (110 KP) isn't too bad, even though they shoot over 42% from beyond the arc. Indiana (23 KP) and West Virginia would (most likely) wait for the Hoos in the Round of 32 and the Sweet Sixteen, then Villanova in the Elite Eight. I'm still not overly stoked about the possibility of WVU/Nova repeats, but the later in the tournament, the better.

Duke's Ease of Final Four Path: UConn or St. Joseph's, Kansas, Xavier, and Iowa as a #6 seed in the Midwest. I'll give it four Angry Coach Ks.

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CBS Sports

Region: South (Louisville)

#1 Seed: Oklahoma

Virginia Seed: #2

Observations: I like the Hoos playing in Brooklyn here. That's fun. First round game would be with UNC-Asheville (129 KP), who shouldn't be too much of a matchup problem for the Hoos, but the Bulldogs did beat Georgetown at the Verizon Center earlier this season. From there, Michigan (33 KP) (or a rematch with George Washington!) would await Virginia, as well as Providence (46 KP) for the Sweet Sixteen. Oklahoma in the Elite Eight is a scary proposition.

Duke's Ease of Final Four Path: #7 seed in the West. Would have to beat Cal in the first round, but if they got past them, they'd face Texas A&M, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Yes please. That's a tough run. Cal is young, but athletic. Texas A&M is currently 7th on KenPom, and WVU and UNC are no joke. I'll give it five Angry Coach Ks.

star5

ESPN (Joe Lunardi)

Region: South (Louisville)

#1 Seed: Oklahoma

Virginia Seed: #3

Observations: Oklahoma as the #1 seed is just flat-out intimidating  This bracket features an opening round matchup with North Florida again, which seems to be the popular choice along with Stony Brook for the Hoos. This bracket has Virginia's first round games in Providence as well (side note, have you been to Rhode Island? It's delightful). Wins over Baylor (22 KP), and Iowa would get the Hoos to an Elite Eight game against Buddy Hield and the Sooners (3 KP). Both Baylor and Iowa would be tough matchups, but interesting games.

Duke's Ease of Final Four Path: Duke is a #4 seed in the West, their highest in any of the four brackets. A slate of Stony Brook, Iowa State, Villanova, and West Virginia is daunting. No hate there. Four out of five Angry Coach Ks.

star4