Before you even consider entrusting me with your toughest bracket picks, take a look at how my preseason prediction of the Field of 68 stacks up against the just-released bracket.
And then if you think I'm your man (a crazy thought, I know), take the plunge:
Total correct picks: 42 of 68
*Correct picks are in bold. Teams I didn't choose are in (italics).
Pitt: Maybe no team in the country is better and more comfortable at grinding out close wins, and with the ball in Ashton Gibbs' hands, why not? This team is experienced and hungry for a title.
Temple: It's hard to pick against the Owls and their back-to-back conference crowns. Point guard Juan Fernandez returns to lead the way.
Princeton: People are pretty high on Tommy Amaker's crew at Harvard, but the Crimson will really miss Jeremy Lin. That's why I'm taking a flier on the up-and-coming Tigers.
Duke: Only injuries could derail this from happening. These Devils are that good; the Tar Heels are still rebuilding; and the Hokies are still learning how to tough-out games they should win.
Old Dominion: The Monarchs return all but one key player from the squad that took down Notre Dame in the Big Dance. Yeah, they'll be back.
Wofford: After coming within a few hairs of taking down Wisconsin in the tournament, Wofford returns four starters and five seniors.
Florida: The Gators return a starting lineup that features three seniors hungry for some success considering their unmet expectations the past three years. Talented freshmen also are on the scene.
Oakland: Now that the talented Grizzlies finally got a brief taste of NCAA Tournament fever, they really want to return. NBA prospect Keith Benson (17.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg) will make sure of that.
Michigan State: Ohio State's going to present quite the challenge, and Illinois, Purdue and Minnesota will also be tough (and Northwestern!). But the Spartans will emerge from a loaded conference.
Memphis: The young Josh Pastner is quietly assembling a, um, young, loaded squad at Calipari's old stomping grounds. Expect a return to normalcy in the conference.
Butler: They'll miss Gordon Hayward, no doubt, but don't think for a second that these Bulldogs will lapse during conference play. Under Brad Stevens, they'll continue to dominate the conference.
Kansas State: Sorry, Kansas, but your rivals will be the ones to steal your grasp of the league. I love Jacob Pullen — fear the beard! — and his late-game heroics, and the frontcourt is loaded.
Utah State: The Aggies are one of the most consistent, and overlooked, programs in the country. Of course, that does happen when you don't play anybody. But within the league, they dominate.
San Diego State: I love Steve Fisher's squad, which returns five starters, including double-double guy Kawhi Leonard. The Aztecs could do some damage in the Dance.
Washington: Arizona and Freshman of the Year Derrick Williams are up-and-coming and will be back in the Dance, but the Huskies are clearly the class of the league led by G's Isaiah Thomas and Abdul Gaddy.
UCSB: The Gauchos have the returning POY (Orlando Johnson) and a dude who had nine 20-point games (James Nunnally). Enough said.
Gonzaga: Speaking of enough said, guess who dominates their conference every year? The 'Zags might need to win the conference tournament considering their nonconference war zone: SDSU, Kansas State, Duke/Marquette, Illinois, at Notre Dame, Baylor, Xavier and Oklahoma State. Brutal!
THE AT-LARGE BIDS (37 teams)
*In order of higher-seeded teams
Other tournament teams I missed