Vilardo: Updated NCAA Bracket and Pac-12 Predictions

Posted on March 26, 2021

  By Stephen Vilardo, SportsPac12

As we roll into the second week of the NCAA Tournament it offers a reason to reset our brackets with a Sweet 16 bracket. I imagine this year more people could use that than ever with all of the high seeds advancing to the second week.

My original bracket was actually looking rather good after the opening round. The second round however did not quite produce the same results. Only seven of my original selections for the Sweet 16 will be suiting up this weekend (Eight if we want to give credit for UCLA and I did say the winner of UCLA/MSU would be in the Sweet 16…I just may have gone with the Spartans in that first one).

Of my original Final Four, three still remain—but my overall winner has already made the hour and a half bus ride west from Indy back to Champaign, Illinois. So here is the fresh start Sweet 16 bracket.

Stephen Vilardo’s updated NCAA Tournament bracket.

Oregon State vs. Loyola Chicago

Midwest Bracket
Saturday, 11:40 PDT
Bankers Life Fieldhouse

The Beavers will continue their run and become just the second 12-seed to reach the Elite 8 with a win over a solid Loyola team. The Beavers have gotten four wins this season over ranked opponents, the most for an OSU squad since 1979-80.

To reach the Final Four, they will need to get a fifth, as I see Houston knocking off Syracuse. The Beavs journey will end on Monday night, with the Cougars defense proving a bit too much for Oregon State to overcome.

UCLA vs. Alabama
East Bracket
Sunday, 4:15 PDT
Hinkle Fieldhouse

UCLA has a chance to win this game. Any team that shoots that many threes could be vulnerable, but it has paid off more times than not for the Tide. I think this is one of those times that it will pay off.

Alabama may be too explosive and will follow this one up with a win over Florida State.

USC vs. Oregon

West Bracket
Sunday, 6:45 PDT
Bankers Life Fieldhouse

I am glad this is the last game because it gave me more time to think about and go back and forth on it. While it may not be an Elite 8 matchup as it should be, I do think the winner will be headed to the Final Four.

And I think that team will be the Trojans of USC. They will follow this one up with a win over Gonzaga on Tuesday night. The Trojans will keep the wins going for another week as they will beat Alabama in the Final Four. Baylor will end their run, however, defeating USC in the Championship game.

South Bracket

I see Arkansas and Baylor winning the Saturday games with the Bears earning the Final Four trip with a Monday night win over the Razorbacks.

Follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenVilardo and his organization @SERCenter. Visit his website at

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