The Circuit’s 2022 March Madness Brackets!!!

Updated: 3 days ago

It’s time. It’s MARCH MADNESS TIME BABY!!!!! I’m going to break down every aspect of March Madness, make picks for EVERY tournament game, and give you some rules for filling out your bracket.

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Some people think Christmas is the best day of the year, others Thanksgiving. Some think Halloween is (but you should probably keep an eye out on those psychopaths). But unequivocally, the best day of the year is Selection Sunday; and that day is today.


I will be picking every game in the tournament in an attempt to help you fill out your bracket and maybe make a little cheddar along the way. But before we dive into the who of filling out your bracket, let’s start with the how.


I’ve been working on writing a book about March Madness for a few years now (that’s right, I’m writing a literal book), so I’m going to share some of the juicy tidbits with you here for free right now. The title of the book is still under construction, with titles like “How to Lose a Check in 10 Days”, “Driving Me Crazy”, “Krzyzewski vs. Krzyzewski”, and “The March Madness Bible” (bonus points if you understand those first three movie references).


The book is basically going to be a whole lot of rules for filling out your bracket. For the sake of time, and not literally giving my entire book away, here are the five rules that I think most accurately apply to the 2022 NCAA tournament:


1. The VCU Vortex: Play-In Teams Advancing

Many people look at those play-in games like afterthoughts, but you shouldn’t.

  • 2011 VCU: Final Four

  • 2012 South Florida: Round of 32

  • 2013 LaSalle: Sweet 16

  • 2014 Tennessee: Sweet 16

  • 2015 Dayton: Round of 32

  • 2016 Wichita State: Round of 32

  • 2017 USC: Round of 32

  • 2018 Syracuse: Sweet 16

  • 2019 None

  • 2021 UCLA: Final Four

In 10 tournaments with play-in games, only once has a team from the play-in not made the round of 32, with some making it all the way to the Final Four. So if you don’t have one of those play-in teams advancing, you probably should fix that. (Look for Wyoming this year)


2. The Point Guard Germination: Championship Teams Have Experienced Guards

Everyone gets enamored with the freshmen phenoms, and the big guys who can dominate in the low post, but those qualities rarely show up in championship teams. When the calendar turns to March, you need a point guard who has played in big games.


  • 2010 Duke- Senior PG Jon Scheyer

  • 2011 UCONN- Junior PG Kemba Walker

  • 2012 Kentucky- Sophomore PG Doron Lamb

  • 2013 Louisville- Senior PG Peyton Siva

  • 2014 UCONN- Senior PG Shabazz Napier

  • 2015 Duke- Senior SG Quinn Cook

  • 2016 Villanova- Senior PG Ryan Arcidiacono

  • 2017 North Carolina- Junior PG Joel Berry

  • 2018 Villanova- Junior PG Jalen Brunson

  • 2019 Virginia- Junior SG Kyle Guy

  • 2021 Baylor- Junior SG Davion Mitchell


Since 2010, only one national champion had a lead guard that wasn’t at least a junior, and that team had Anthony Freaking Davis. Another great example of this rule for a team that didn’t win it all occurred in 2019. The Duke Blue Devils had maybe the best team I have ever seen with Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, but they lost in the Elite 8 to Michigan State with a senior PG Cassius Winston. Always pick the team with the experienced guards. (Look for Villanova this year)


3. The Shocker Spectrum: #1 Seeds Falling in the First Weekend

Nobody wants to pick straight chalk when filling out their brackets, but it’s hard to pick against those top seeds. However, since 2010 there is good reason to believe at least one of those four #1 seeds will not make it to the second weekend.


  • 2010 1 Kansas: Lost to 9 Northern Iowa in Round of 32

  • 2011 1 Pittsburgh lost to 8 Butler in Round of 32

  • 2013 1 Gonzaga lost to 9 Wichita State in Round of 32

  • 2014 1 Wichita State lost to 8 Kentucky in Round of 32

  • 2015 1 Villanova lost to 8 NC State in Round of 32

  • 2017 1 Villanova lost to 8 Wisconsin in Round of 32

  • 2018 1 Virginia lost to 16 UMBC in Round of 64

  • 2018 1 Xavier lost to 9 Florida State in Round of 32

  • 2021 1 Illinois lost to 8 Loyola-Chicago in Round of 32


Nine #1 seeds in the last eleven tournaments have fallen before the Sweet 16, so make sure to watch out for that this year; Odds say that one of these #1 seeds is going home early. (Look for Baylor this year)


4. The Double-Digit Deduction: Double-Digit Seeds Win…A Lot

Okay, a lot is a little exaggeration. But they do win games. This rule focuses on #12 seeds or higher, as a #10 over a #7 is not that surprising. But let’s look back from 2010 on and see how many instances there have been of #12+ seeds advancing:


  • 2010: 3 #12+ seeds advanced

  • 2011: 2 #12+ seeds advanced

  • 2012: 5 #12+ seeds advanced

  • 2013: 6 #12+ seeds advanced

  • 2014: 4 #12+ seeds advanced

  • 2015: 2 #12+ seeds advanced

  • 2016: 5 #12+ seeds advanced

  • 2017: 1 #12+ seed advanced

  • 2018: 3 #12+ seeds advanced

  • 2019: 4 #12+ seeds advanced

  • 2021: 4 #12+ seeds advanced


Those numbers might not seem like a lot, but remember that A) there are only 20 teams each year that are #12+ seeds, and B) these teams are significant underdogs when they play; they aren’t supposed to win many. So if you look at your bracket and see only one or two #12+ seeds advancing to the Round of 32, maybe you should take a second look at that. (Look for Vermont this year)


5. The Purdue Postulate: Purdue Always Underachievers

I never pick this team to go deep. Every season this team has a high seed and thus high expectations, and every season they fall spectacularly short of said expectations. Since 2010, here’s a look at Purdue in the NCAA Tournament:


  • 2010: Lost in Sweet 16 (#4 Seed)

  • 2011: Lost in Round of 32 (#3 Seed)

  • 2012: Lost in Round of 32 (#10 Seed)

  • 2015: Lost in Round of 64 (#9 Seed)

  • 2016: Lost in Round of 64 (#5 Seed)

  • 2017: Lost in Sweet 16 (#4 Seed)

  • 2018: Lost in Sweet 16 (#2 Seed)

  • 2019: Lost in Elite 8 (#3 Seed)

  • 2021: Lost in Round of 64 (#3 Seed)


With the exception of 2012 & 2015, Purdue has always had a high seed and made the Elite 8 only once, usually bowing out well before their seed line would indicate. If you have the Boilermakers cutting down the nets in 2022… you have already lost your group. (Look for Texas to beat them this year)


6. This Duke Team Will Not Win the National Championship

This is not in my book, but it feels important to note it. I love Duke, and I have picked them to win it all nearly every year since 2015 (Nailed that year. 2017 I picked Michigan State, 2021 I picked Gonzaga. 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 I picked the Blue Devils). However, after watching Duke this past week there is no way they will be cutting down the nets this year for 1 big reason: Coach K.

He’s the best coach ever, maybe in any sport. But his decision to announce his retirement at the beginning of the season has doomed the 2022 Blue Devils. We saw it against UNC on senior night, and again against Virginia Tech in the ACC title game. Remember, these are mostly 19 year-old kids, and they are beyond freaked out by the Coach K of it all. They want to win for him so badly that they are making huge mistakes and freaking themselves out every time they play a meaningful game. There is no way those kids are going to be able to handle the pressure of winning Coach K a final national championship. (Look for Gonzaga to take them out this year)


Now that all that is over… Let’s pick some games!


Play-In Games

16 Bryant def 16 Wright State

16 Texas Southern def 16 Texas A&M CC

12 Wyoming def 12 Indiana

11 Rutgers def 11 Notre Dame

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Round of 64


West Region

1 Gonzaga def 16 Georgia State

8 Boise State def 9 Memphis

5 Connecticut def 12 New Mexico State

13 Vermont def 4 Arkansas

11 Rutgers def 6 Alabama

3 Texas Tech def 14 Montana State

7 Michigan State def 10 Davidson

2 Duke def 15 Cal State Fullerton

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East Region

1 Baylor def 16 Norfolk State

8 North Carolina def 9 Marquette

12 Wyoming def 5 Saint Mary’s

4 UCLA def 13 Akron

6 Texas def 11 Virginia Tech

3 Purdue def 14 Yale

7 Murray State def 10 San Francisco

2 Kentucky def 15 Saint Peter’s

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South Region

1 Arizona def 16 Bryant

9 TCU def 8 Seton Hall

5 Houston def 12 UAB

4 Illinois def 13 Chattanooga

11 Michigan def 6 Colorado State

3 Tennessee def 14 Longwood

10 Loyola-Chicago def 7 Ohio State

2 Villanova def 15 Deleware

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Midwest Region

1 Kansas def 16 Texas Southern

9 Creighton def 8 San Diego State

5 Iowa def 12 Richmond

13 South Dakota State def 4 Providence

11 Iowa State def 6 LSU

3 Wisconsin def 14 Colgate

10 Miami def 7 USC

2 Auburn def 15 Jacksonville State

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Round of 32


West Region

1 Gonzaga def 8 Boise State

13 Vermont def 5 Connecticut

11 Rutgers def 3 Texas Tech

2 Duke def 7 Michigan State

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East Region

8 North Carolina def 1 Baylor

4 UCLA def 12 Wyoming

6 Texas def 3 Purdue

2 Kentucky def 7 Murray State

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South Region

1 Arizona def 9 TCU

4 Illinois def 5 Houston

11 Michigan def 3 Tennessee

2 Villanova def 10 Loyola-Chicago

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Midwest Region

1 Kansas def 9 Creighton

5 Iowa def 13 South Dakota State

3 Wisconsin def 11 Iowa State

10 Miami def 2 Auburn

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Sweet 16


West Region

1 Gonzaga def 13 Vermont

2 Duke def 11 Rutgers

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East Region

4 UCLA def 8 North Carolina

2 Kentucky def 6 Texas

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South Region

4 Illinois def 1 Arizona

2 Villanova def 11 Michigan

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Midwest Region

1 Kansas def 5 Iowa

3 Wisconsin def 10 Miami

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Elite 8


West Region

1 Gonzaga def 2 Duke

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East Region

2 Kentucky def 4 UCLA

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South Region

2 Villanova def 4 Illinois

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Midwest Region

1 Kansas def 3 Wisconsin

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Final Four

2 Kentucky def 1 Gonzaga

1 Kansas def 2 Villanova

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National Championship

1 Kansas def 2 Kentucky

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There you have it! Every game of the NCAA tournament picked for you, so you can go make tons of money off my hard work. Let’s all just enjoy these next three weekends, because after 2020 we know how miserable the month of March can be without a little madness.


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