How to: Fill out a March Madness bracket

How to: Fill out a March Madness bracket

With some calling to expand college football's four-team playoff, I say why not go whole hog and play an exact replica of this year's March Madness bracket on the gridiron.

It's that time of year in which the term "Cinderella" is commonly referred to in the sports world, especially in regards to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

At least one No. 13, No. 14 or No. 15 seed has won in the first round in 28 of the last 32 years.

The East boasts the strongest field in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

We're diving deeper to No. 13, where East Tennessee State boasts an experienced roster of upperclassmen that knocked off top-seeded UNC Greensboro to win the Southern Conference.

UF, FSU, FGCU head to Orlando for opening NCAA games. They're also 1-2-3 in all-time Final Four appearances: North Carolina has 19, Kentucky 17 and UCLA also 17 (because the 1980 appearance was later vacated). No one can really argue about the field of 68 that was selected. The TV box gave me some looks at the rest - Villanova was wonderful, Gonzaga put together a brilliant year, North Carolina was fascinating.

Overall, the bracket produced more small quibbles than true blockbusters. Double-digit seeds rarely make the Final Four and they've never won a title.

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The 2017 NCAA tournament is finally here, and if you are a fan of college hoops, or sports in general, then that should be music to your ears. But the Jayhawks nearly seem as though they've been undervalued all season, maybe because winning the Big 12 regular season has become an annual rite in Lawrence. That includes an Elite Eight win over Kansas State in the Jayhawks' run to the 1988 national title.

Syracuse was vulnerable because of its 84th ranking in the RPI and 2-11 record on the road.

Since 1985, two or more No. 1 seeds have made the Final Four just twice.

Second round: Northwestern over Gonzaga, West Virginia over Princeton, Maryland over Florida Gulf Coast, Arizona over VCU. They are not a reliable predictor of results but they are a reliable predictor of how much you should gamble. In fact, No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee took down No. 2 seed Michigan State just previous year.

Wichita State has no business being a No. 10 seed. It would be criminal if the Redbirds were left out, but the way they played in the two losses to Wichita State may have been the nails in their coffin.

This year, at-large bids went to just a handful of mid-majors, VCU, Dayton and St. Mary's among them, and all deserved to be in the tournament.

Let's face it: A majority of people reading this cheat sheet are Michigan or Michigan State fans, so we're probably dealing with a lot of people thinking the Wolverines or Spartans are going to pull a 2014 UConn and win it all despite being a No. 7 seed or lower. The Tar Hills did win the ACC's regular season conference championship, while UCLA may be, top-to-bottom, the most talented team in the PAC 12. After surviving a scare in the 55-53 semifinal squeaker over Seton Hall, the Wildcats beat up on the Blue Jays in the Big East championship game, winning 74-60 on Saturday night.