Stephen Vilardo’s NCAA Bracket and Predictions

Posted on March 18, 2021

  By Stephen Vilardo, SportsPac12

March Madness invariably brings upsets and surprises, and a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket is about as common as a winning lottery ticket.

Nonetheless, I’m sharing my men’s bracket with summary explanations of  my predictions for the five Pac-12 teams involved in this year’s Big Dance in Indiana, which just happens to be my home state.

stephen Vilardo’s 2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Braket


Prediction: Play-In Loss

I have UCLA falling to Michigan State on Thursday in West Lafayette. These are two teams seemingly headed in different directions: The Bruins skid will continue against a Spartan squad that has found their preseason form, and Tom Izzo is doing what he does in March. I do think whoever wins this one will be in the sweet 16, earning a win over BYU in the first round and knocking off Texas in the second round.


Prediction: Round of 32

usc logoI have USC getting past either Drake or Wichita State in the opener (I think it will be Drake). The Trojans will be too much for either of them. Unfortunately, I see their run coming to an end against Kansas, and I think it will be due to missed free throws down the stretch. USC has a team that I think could be an elite eight squad, and I would like their potential matchup with Gonzaga in that round, but I do not like the Second-Round game against the Jayhawks.


Prediction: Sweet 16

I see a Sweet 16 run in the cards for the Ducks. Oregon will get past VCU and their opportunistic defense. The Ducks will take care of the basketball against the Rams and establish the paint negating VCU’s ability to block shots and force turnovers. In the Second Round, I see Oregon upsetting Iowa. Luka Garza may get his points, but the Ducks will limit Iowa’s guard play and advance. I see the run coming to an end at the hands of Kansas.


Prediction: Sweet 16

Where missed free throws may cost USC, it could be the key to Colorado advancing. The Buffaloes will get past a hot Georgetown team in the opener. Colorado and Florida State should be a close defensive battle, but CU will have enough on the offensive end to advance. In the Sweet 16, the Buffs will face a Michigan team that will be a little too much, even without Isaiah Livers. If Colorado could pull off the upset, it would be a Final Four run for Tad Boyle’s crew, but I don’t think they make it past the Wolverines.

Oregon State

Prediction: Round of 32

The Beavers will stay hot and pull off the 12-5 upset over Tennessee in the opener. Warith Alatishe will continue his solid play, and Ethan Thompson will have a game against the Vols. Oregon State is big enough inside to get the job done. In the Second Round, the run will come to an end against an equally hot OSU—Oklahoma State and Cade Cunningham.

Follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenVilardo and his organization @SERCenter, and visit his website at

—Recent Stephen Vilardo Stories—

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up on the latest.