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Chaos or chalk – The Stockton Region

The Stockton region is the most wide open of the four regions. It could go chalk, or it go full-blown constitutional crisis.

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-South Carolina vs Mississippi State Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Stockton Region is the most interesting section of women’s March Madness, to me, because it’s the one that has the least fanfare surrounding it. South Carolina is perhaps the least heralded of the one seeds (that is not to say that they’re the worst of the top seeds, just that they receive less coverage than the others), and that trickles down into the rest of the bracket.

Speaking anecdotally, this is the bracket that feels wide open. South Carolina is clearly the best team in this region, but they’re also vulnerable; they lost to their Stockton region 6th seed, Missouri, who I have as the team most likely to get upset in the first round (more on that later).

BRACKET PREDICTIONS

Here are my predictions for the Stockton Region [winners in bold]:

ROUND OF 64

[1]South Carolina/[16]UNC Ashville

[8]Michigan State/[9] Arizona State

[5]Marquette/[12]Quinnipiac

[4]Miami/[13]FGCU

[6]Missouri/[11]South Florida

[3]Florida State/[14]Western Illinois

[7]Creighton/[10]Toledo

[2]Oregon State/[15]Long Beach State

ROUND OF 32

[1]South Carolina/[9]Arizona State

[4]Miami/[5]Marquette

[3]Florida State/[11]South Florida

[2]Oregon State/[7]Creighton

SWEET SIXTEEN

[1]South Carolina/[4]Miami

[2]Oregon State/[3]Florida State

ELITE EIGHT

[1]South Carolina/[3]Florida State

The reason I’ve picked Missouri to lose to South Florida isn’t earth-shattering; I just don’t think there is that much separating them. I’m probably wrong, and I don’t really have any evidence to support it. Just a gut feeling, and when filling out these brackets, that’s really as good as anything else.

I’m confident that South Carolina will win their region. I almost picked Miami to upset them, again on a gut feeling, but South Carolina is too good to get tripped up like that, or at least should be. I don’t think that South Carolina will be able to make it to the championship game, as I believe that they’ll have a tough time getting past Notre Dame, should both make it to the Elite Eight.

This is a wide open region, and if South Carolina were to lose in this region, or that all the lower seeds one, or something of that kind, it wouldn’t be a gigantic surprise. This region could have some real chaos, and it go completely chalk. We’ll just have to find out.