Miami, Ohio State
Form held in the East, and each of the top seeds had its crawl-over-broken-glass win. So there's no one primed for a fall. That should make Indiana the most dangerous team, but Syracuse's length could nudge the Hoosiers out of their comfort zone.
We'll stick with the original pick: Jim Larranaga working Final Four magic with a defensive-oriented Miami team that can control tempo and take down Marquette and the Hoosiers.
In the wild, wild West, our incredibly prescient championship pick of Gonzaga didn't even reach Los Angeles. Arizona hasn't been tested yet, but Ohio State has, and the Buckeyes are riding a 10-game winning streak. Make it 12, as Aaron Craft and Co. dominate the Wildcats and then boot Wichita State.
Miami, Ohio State
Talk about contrasting regions. The East is pure chalk with seeds 1-4 — Indiana, Miami, Marquette and Syracuse — remaining.
The West is sheer chaos, and had Ohio State not survived Iowa State, seeds 1-5 would have been dismissed. But Aaron Craft rescued the No. 2 Buckeyes against the Cyclones, and now Ohio State should reach its second consecutive Final Four.
Syracuse was the least challenged of the East survivors last weekend, but the Orange's offense remains suspect. The most complete teams are Indiana and Miami, and a regional final showcasing guards Victor Oladipo and Shane Larkin would be must-see TV. Given their ACC regular-season and tournament championships, I'll take the Hurricanes.
Los Angeles Times
The West should be renamed the "John Deere bracket" because it has been bulldozed with No. 2 Ohio State and No. 6 Arizona the only seeds left among the top eight.
The obvious answer here is to simply advance Ohio State straight to the Final Four, but I'm now picking Arizona (over Wichita State in the final) because of the way the Wildcats dominated their first two games.
Indiana and Syracuse is a dandy East Region semifinal, but my original bracket had Miami going to the title game so I'm sticking with the Hurricanes getting there by blowing through Marquette. My original bracket had an Indiana-Miami East final with Miami pushing through mostly on the back of point guard Shane Larkin.
It's Big Ten's year
As much it may pain my fellow Sunshine State dwellers to read this, I must admit: This is the Big Ten's year.
The conference is home to three of college basketball's hottest players in Indiana's Victor Oladipo, Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. and Ohio State's Aaron Craft.
The special Miami story has had Florida at the center of the basketball universe, but it's about to end. Indiana, still fuming about nearly letting Temple to pull off an upset last weekend, will have something to prove. After getting past Marquette, the Hurricanes will catch the Hoosiers at the wrong time. Indiana wins the East.
An easy path to Atlanta has Ohio State breezing through the West bracket.