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NCAA Second Chance Tournament Challenge - 2023 March Madness Brackets

NCAA Tournament - March Madness College Basketball

How ragged are your brackets looking? How many of you had Princeton in the Sweet 16 as the third 15-seed in the last three years to make it that far? Put your hands down! Even the Ivy Leaguers didn't predict that. Michigan State, Princeton, Florida Atlantic, and Arkansas aren't supposed to be here. Neither is Creighton. They laid waste to your brackets like General Sherman did to Georgia in the Civil War.

Here's your shot at redemption. the bozos at CBS pulled the round-by-round game, but ESPN is offering a second chance bracket starting today. All you have to do is be the winner picking the next 16 games for a shot at $20,000 and 25 $200 Amazon gift cards. It's completely free and won't cost you anything but pride.

In this article, I will be providing you with my second chance 2023 NCAA tournament bracket. Be sure to also check out the rest of our NCAA Tournament articles and analysis including previews, predictions, sleepers, busts, and guides on how to fill out your brackets. Good luck RotoBallers!

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including NBA Writer of the Year, Best NFL Series, MLB Series, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


West Region 

(4) Connecticut vs. (8) Arkansas

Arkansas always looks on the brink of complete implosion on the court, but they make it work. They take ill-advised shots (making more than they should), which can lead to scoring droughts, but they are good enough on defense to usually survive. Standing in their way is UConn and Adama Sanogo. UConn has the guards to give Arkansas all they can handle and Sanogo can dominate the interior. I'm taking UConn here.

(2) UCLA vs. (3) Gonzaga

This is one of the few matchups that went the way that the selection committee planned, and it's going to be a good one! Amari Bailey has helped UCLA ease the loss of Jaylen Clark. Judging by what the Bruins did through last year's tournament with mostly the same team, they still haven't peaked yet. They are battle-tested and just an overall deeper team.

So I have UCLA and UConn in the regional final. I do think Sanogo will be a big problem for the Bruins, but I also think they have better guards than UConn. UCLA is built a lot like the Marquette team that gave UConn trouble in the Big East this year. I picked UCLA out of this region in my initial brackets and I'm sticking to it.

Regional Champion: UCLA


South Region

(1) Alabama vs. (5) San Diego State

The Aztecs play the brand of bully ball that has given Alabama problems this season, most notably against Oklahoma. My concern with San Diego State is how quiet Lucas Johnson has been in this tournament. The Aztecs have no answer for Charles Bediako and if Brandon Miller finally gets going, this will be a laugher. SDSU could pull this out if they play a perfect game, but I haven't seen anything close to that so far.

(6) Creighton vs. (15) Princeton

I'm not surprised by Creighton being here. I had them finally going to the Final Four. I also had them facing West Virginia in the regional final, so take that for what you will. Creighton is a carbon copy of Princeton with better shooters and Ryan Kalkbrenner is Tosan Evboumwan except more proven. Advantage: Creighton

I have Creighton in the Final Four in my original bracket since I thought Alabama would get toppled. Fast forward one week and Alabama still hasn't played very well, but they're still in it. That would be a monumentally bad matchup for the Jays since the Alabama defense would lock their perimeter shooters down. Creighton has played their best to get here and Bama hasn't.

Regional Champion: Alabama


East Region

(4) Tennessee vs. (9) Florida Atlantic

Hey, I had Memphis beating Purdue no I'm not in as bad of shape as most. I also had Tennessee losing to Duke, so I really have nothing to gain here. Everyone is looking at Tennessee like "hey, what are you doing here? You're not supposed to be here!" The loss of Zakai Zeigler hurts, but Tennessee is learning how to play without him and finally hitting their stride. His injury happened at a very bad time, but thankfully for the Vols, they had enough time before the tournament to get things figured out and it appears that they have. This is bad news for FAU.

(3) Kansas State vs. (7) Michigan State

Are you surprised to see Sparty here? Me either. I had them losing to Marquette, but that was one of the last games that I filled in on my original bracket. I also picked K-State out of this region for that reason. I still am a sucker for the Wildcats. Markquis Nowell is one of the best passers I've seen in the last decade in college. K-State is talented and tough, but so is Michigan State. I expect a close game here and the experience of Michigan State is going to be a problem. I still have K-State here, but again, I don't feel good about it. If I weren't so scared of the Spartans, I would have had Marquette out of this region.

For my new regional final, I have Tennessee and Kansas State. Unlike my original bracket, I won't have Kansas State advancing. The Vols have figured out how to become their highly-functional selves without the benefit of Zeigler. It will take a team with a dynamic point guard to beat them, and as good as Nowell is, Santiago Vescovi and Josiah Jordan James can still handle him.

Regional Champion: Tennessee


Midwest Region

(1) Houston vs. (5) Miami

There is usually one chalk bracket. The Midwest is the closest to fitting that bill. Only Indiana missed the party. I had Houston winning against Kent here, but Sincere Carry couldn't carry the Flashes past the Hoosiers. I really like Miami's guard play, but Marcus Sasser has had another week to rest his groin since Houston didn't need to push him too hard. These teams are pretty similar, but Houston is a much better defensive team. I think they'll wear down Miami and get to the regional final.

(2) Texas vs. (3) Xavier

If you told me that Texas is the best team left in the tournament, I really couldn't argue with you. Dylan Disu has exploded in March and has put the Horns on his back. Xavier is much like Arkansas. Supremely talented, but they look discombobulated much of the time. That's a horrible matchup for the Musketeers against Texas. Texas is good enough to slow them down and frustrate them enough to become shadows of themselves.

That leaves us with a Houston and Texas final, which is what I had in my bracket. I had Texas winning and I still feel like this is a winnable game for the Longhorns. It will be an absolute battle, but Texas has the size to take this game over.

Regional Champion: Texas


Final Four Prediction

(1) Alabama vs. (4) Tennessee

If it feels like you've seen this movie before, it's because you have. The Vols won by nine in Tuscaloosa, handing Alabama their first conference loss. Zeigler was huge in that game as Tennessee's guards gave Alabama fits and Jonas Aidoo had his way with Bediako. This may as well be a matchup between two different teams. James missed the first matchup, but can he match the productivity of Zeigler? I have my doubts. That said, I'll take Tennessee to win the rematch. I'm not 100% sold on Alabama being able to advance if Miller struggles as he did in Round 1 or fouling out as he did against Tennessee the first time around.

(2) Texas vs. (2) UCLA

Originally, I had UCLA advancing and cutting down the nets and I really don't have any reason to stray from that. I'm leaning on the experience of UCLA to carry them, but Texas has played well enough that this one does worry me now. However, I still don't think UCLA has hit their peak yet. It's still there. We saw it last year.

That would leave Tennessee against UCLA for the title. I'm still going UCLA for reasons I've stated before, but if the Vols still had Zeigler this is one place where it would really make a difference. Tyger Campbell has performed really well down the stretch and Jaime Jaquez is still capable of offering more if needed.

Champion: UCLA

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