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Patrick Donnelly | | March 16, 2023

March Madness predictions: Andy Katz makes his 2023 DI men's basketball bracket picks

Andy Katz ranks the Final Four path difficulty for each 1-seed

Right after the 2023 Division I men's basketball bracket was unveiled on Sunday,'s March Madness guru Andy Katz live-streamed his March Madness picks for Bleacher Report. 

He gets into each of his picks in the video, but for now, we'll dive into his biggest upsets and most notable results, as well as his Elite Eight and Final Four selections.

BRACKET: Check out the 2023 bracket

West region 

  • First round: No. 9 Illinois over No. 8 Arkansas 
    • Reasoning: "Two inconsistent teams. I don't trust Arkansas at all. I'm going Illinois."
  • First round: No. 12 VCU over No. 5 Saint Mary's
    • Reasoning: "You wanted more upsets? I've got one for you. ... If you watched the way VCU played in the A10, they won the regular season, and they won the conference tournament. I go VCU."
  • Elite Eight: No. 2 UCLA over No. 1 Kansas

East region 

  • Round of 32: No. 5 Duke over No. 4 Tennessee 
    • Reasoning: "Tennessee's just too banged up. Duke advances."
  • Elite Eight: No. 1 Purdue over No. 2 Marquette 
    • Reasoning: "This game happened earlier in the season. ... Obviously, Marquette is much better [than the start of the season]. They gave Purdue a good game, but I think [Purdue] beats them again. So, I have Purdue advancing.” 

South region 

  • Round of 32: No. 5 San Diego State over No. 4 Virginia
    • Reasoning: "Neither team may get to 60 [points]. That is going to be an absolute defensive struggle. Both very good defensive coaches and teams. I like San Diego State to upset Virginia and advance to the Sweet 16." 
  • Round of 32: No. 6 Creighton over No. 3 Baylor
    • Reasoning: "This is where Creighton's offense is too much for Baylor. Remember, Creighton was picked to win the Big East in the beginning of the season. I think Creighton advances."
  • Elite Eight: No. 2 Arizona over No. 1 Alabama 
    • Reasoning: "This is where I think Alabama's run ends. The bigs for Arizona are going to me too much for Alabama. ... I was high on Arizona early in the year, and I've got them coming out of here to the Final Four." 

PLAY TO WIN: Play the 2023 Bracket Challenge Game

Midwest region

  • First round: No. 10 Penn State over No. 7 Texas A&M 
    • Reasoning: "Penn State will beat Texas A&M. ... They will not be able to handle Jalen Pickett. Seth Lundy and Andrew Funk are going to make shots. A&M has not seen a team like Penn State." 
  • Round of 32: No. 8 Iowa over No. 1 Houston
    • Reasoning: "[Iowa] can score. Houston cannot score as well. That game's going to be in the 70s or 80s."
  • Round of 32: No. 6 Iowa State over No. 3 Xavier
    • Reasoning: "Iowa State beats Xavier in a grinder. Physical game."
  • Round of 32: No. 10 Penn State over No. 2 Texas
    • Reasoning: "Again, Penn State had the run to the Big Ten tournament title game. They knock off Texas." 
  • Sweet 16: No. 10 Penn State over No. 6 Iowa State
    • Reasoning: "Again, I love the offensive execution of Penn State."
  • Elite Eight: No. 4 Indiana over No. 10 Penn State 
    • Reasoning: "Mike Woodson. Trayce Jackson-Davis. Jalen Hood-Schifino. You know why? They've got multiple pros. They've got a pro coach. Indiana advances." 

Final Four 

  • No. 1 Purdue over No. 2 Arizona
    • Reasoning: "Arizona-Purdue with Azoulas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo going against Zach Edey and Trey Kaufman-Renn. That would be a great big matchup. [Kerr] Kriisa going with those guards. I think this would be a great game. I have Purdue advancing." 
  • No. 2 UCLA over No. 4 Indiana 
    • Reasoning: "UCLA-Indiana, how about a couple of brand names right there in the national semifinal. ... I like UCLA here. Everyone says, 'Oh, they don't have the Defensive Player of the Year in the Pac-12 [Jaylen Clark, out for the year with an Achilles injury].' Every time we say things like that, you know, the team that has lost the starter, a lot of times advances.”

NEED TO KNOW: Here are 8 notable storylines to keep an eye on heading into the tournament

National championship 

  • No. 1 Purdue over No. 2 UCLA 
    • Reasoning: "A Purdue-UCLA final would be a great game. ... I'm just going to ride [Purdue]. He is a unicorn, there is no one like Zach Edey in the country. He has taken his game, with multiple 30-point games, to another level. I think Purdue wins the national championship over UCLA.” 

2023 NCAA tournament final scores, highlights

Tuesday, March 14 (First Four in Dayton, Ohio)

Wednesday, March 15 (First Four in Dayton, Ohio)

Thursday, March 16 (Round of 64)

Friday, March 17 (Round of 64)

Saturday, March 18 (Round of 32)

Sunday, March 19 (Round of 32)

Thursday, March 23 (Sweet 16)

Friday, March 24 (Sweet 16)

Saturday, March 25 (Elite 8)

Sunday, March 26 (Elite 8)

Saturday, April 1 (Final Four)

Monday, April 3 (National championship game)

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