- Associated Press - Monday, March 12, 2012

The good news is the NCAA tournament starts Tuesday. The great news is the word bracketology now will disappear for 11 months.

This is the way one man looks at the field, and the track record isn’t too shabby. Last season Connecticut was the pick to win it all; thanks to Kemba Walker it was the right call.

Here’s the breakdown of the bracket (winners in all caps):


MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE vs. Western Kentucky _ The Delta Devils will be helped by their brutal early schedule.

IONA vs. Brigham Young University _ The Gaels were the surprise at-large pick. When people get a look at Scott Machado, one of the best point guards in the country, this won’t be a shock.

VERMONT vs. Lamar _ The Catamounts are a strong defensive team that can take advantage of all the attention Cardinals coach Pat Knight and his derogatory comments about his seniors will draw.

SOUTH FLORIDA vs. California _ The Bulls are very physical, and it just isn’t the Pac-12’s year.



(1) KENTUCKY vs. (16) Mississippi Valley State _ It will be sentimental before the blowout as Delta Devils coach Sean Woods goes against the school he led to the regional finals 20 years ago.

(9) CONNECTICUT vs. (8) Iowa State _ The Huskies are a different team with Jim Calhoun back on the bench, and they are the only team with a chance to repeat as champion.

(5) WICHITA STATE vs. Virginia Commonwealth _ The Shockers have a good big man in Garrett Stutz, and the Rams can’t sneak up on anybody after reaching the Final Four last year.

(13) NEW MEXICO STATE vs. (4) Indiana _ The Aggies are a very athletic team; the Hoosiers are a team with no NCAA experience.

(6) UNLV vs. (11) Colorado _ The Runnin’ Rebels are going to be happy to get away from Mountain West teams.

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