It's time once again for the annual routine of pretending to know what you are doing when it comes to filling out your NCAA Tournament bracket. Do you go chalk? Do you try and predict the Cinderella team that will inevitably crash the Elite Eight? Do you trust your eyes, your gut, your head or your heart?
Stop stressing. You're not going to get it right. Your bracket is already trash, because March Madness -- more so than any other sporting event known to man -- is a petri dish of outrageousness.
Outrageous Predictions for March Madness
Half of the Elite Eight will be made up of Big 12 teams
Kansas and Oklahoma are both projected to be there anyway via their seeds. Baylor and Iowa State are bracketed as 5 and 4-seeds respectively with the two weakest No. 1 seeds. Additionally, West Virginia is a 3-seed bracketed with Xavier, the tournament's weakest 2-seed. Two of those three will join Kansas and Oklahoma in the Elite 8.
The Pac-12 won't lose a game in the frst round
The Pac-12 got seven teams into the Tournament. All seven are the higher seed in their respective matchups. And following Wichita State's victory over Vanderbilt in the First Four on Tuesday, none of the Pac-12 teams are matched up against another Power 5 team for the first round. While Arizona certainly can't overlook the Tournament-tested Shockers, don't be shocked if the Pac-12 comes out of the Thursday/Friday action with a 7-0 record. Not bad for a conference that by and large has been an afterthought much of this season.
Iowa will make it to the second weekend
The Hawkeyes were a top-five team at one point this year before turning into a dumpster fire down the stretch, losing six of their last eight games to end the season. If you can draw a positive from Iowa’s struggles it would be that seven of its 10 losses came to teams who are in the NCAA Tournament. March Madness is a new season and you should expect the Hawkeyes to be focused on the task at hand. Their opening game is on Friday against a Temple team that just does not match up from a size and experience standpoint. Win that, and the Hawkeyes likely get No. 2 seed Villanova. Once again, Iowa’s size, especially on the perimeter, will be a factor in that matchup. Look for the Hawkeyes to lean on their upperclassmen-heavy lineup to make it to the Sweet 16 and slightly redeem themselves.
Two No. 14 seeds will get first round wins
Green Bay plays Texas A&M, Fresno State takes on Utah and Buffalo faces Miami. West Virginia will take care of business against Stephen F. Austin, but expect two of the other three No. 14 seeds to come away victorious against their No. 3-seeded opponents.
The Final Four will not feature a single No. 1 seed
In a crazy college basketball season where parity reigned supreme, do not be shocked when Kansas, North Carolina, Oregon and Virginia are absent in Houston. Going off the eye test, at least a half dozen teams that did not get a No. 1 seed are just as talented as the four teams that did. Look for teams like Maryland, Kentucky, Duke and Iowa State to present significant challenges for the top seeds before they even think about taking on the best of the bottom half of the brackets.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Scott is the owner of KnowItAllFootball.com and host of "Raising the Bar" on RadiOmaha.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.