Initial Bracket Impressions…

Well, it’s about time for me to publicly embarrass myself and unveil my bracket.

When it comes to winning your office pool, going with your gut is usually the best approach. Worrying about other people’s brackets and maniacally switching your picks until the last possible minute is usually the worst.

This year, I went with the latter strategy.

Some impressions below:

*Kansas has a brutal road to the Final Four. A potential second round matchup against North Carolina is probably the most difficult draw for any No. 1 seed (although some would argue Gonzaga/Pittsburgh). The Jayhawks may have to go through UNC, Michigan/VCU and then Florida/Georgetown to get to Atlanta. It doesn’t get much tougher than that, which is precisely why I picked the Jayhawks to win the national championship.

*The Big East received eight bids. I believe four will be eliminated in the first round.

*Top Five potential second round matchups

1. Kansas vs. North Carolina

2. Michigan vs. VCU

3. Indiana vs. N.C. State

4. Michigan State vs. Memphis

5. Gonzaga vs. Pittsburgh OR Louisville vs. Missouri

*Top 10 teams most likely to win it all

1. Louisville

2. Indiana

3. Kansas

4. Miami (Fla.)

5. Duke

6. Florida

7. Gonzaga

8. Ohio State

9. Georgetown

10. Wisconsin

*Everyone expects upsets, which is why I went with mostly chalk. But all chalk never happens, so I had to throw in a few surprises. But then again, everyone usually does better than me, so I should have scratched the upsets and played it safe.

The takeway: If I win any money this year, that will be the greatest upset of all…except, of course, N.C. State over Indiana. My picks are below.