Wednesday March 6th, 2013

Where will a Nerlens Noel-less Kentucky end up in One and One's first wacky bracket? (Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Where will a Nerlens Noel-less Kentucky end up in One and One's first wacky bracket? (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

What-ifs are a huge part of what makes the NCAA tournament selection process so intriguing. The committee has to account for so many blips in performance due to injury, suspension, transfers, home/road disparity, scheduling, etc. as fans do their best to educate the media as to why their team should be granted exceptions for poor performances. "Just take out Game X and Y and we're a lock," they cry. "We beat Team Z by 25!"

OK, fine. Have it your way. Your team now gets to exhibit only its top characteristics in its quest for bracket seeding, and every team lands the most favorable regional location available. The one hitch? Every other team gets the same benefit. Welcome to the Wacky Bracket, where no small-conference champ upsets anyone because every big team is at their best. Here's what the Round of 32 looks like.

MIDWEST (Indianapolis) EAST (Washington, D.C.)
1. "Last Year or Next Year" Kentucky 1. November Duke
8. "Better Luck vs. Kansas" Iowa State 8. "Different Class Schedule" Harvard
5. "Making 3s" Illinois 5. Wells Fargo Center Villanova
4. Overtime Notre Dame 4. Buzzer-Beater Butler
6. C-USA-Only Memphis 6. "No Trash Cans" Kansas State
3. "Good Appling" Michigan State 3. "Forcing Turnovers" VCU
7. Wells/Lyons Xavier 7. Postseason-Eligible UConn
2. "Avoided Gulfs and Pacific Islands" Miami 2. "Post-Whittington" Georgetown
WEST (Los Angeles) SOUTH (Arlington)
1. Healthy Louisville 1. "Not In A Close Game" Florida
8. Non-conference Minnesota 8. "Post-Monty Shove" California
5. "Secondary scorer shows up" Ohio State 5. Home Arkansas
4. "Better Conference" Gonzaga 4. Home Missouri
6. "T.J. McConnell-eligible" Arizona 6. "More disciplined" UNLV
3. "Making Jumpers" Syracuse 3. "Steady point guard" Kansas
7. "Since Josh Smith" UCLA 7. "Non-CAA" Virginia
2. "This Resume in Another League" New Mexico 2. "Hitting on all cylinders" Michigan

Who do you think would make the Final Four in Atlanta? Which no-flaw teams did we leave out? Get the discussion started by tweeting at @AndyGlockner or @SI_NCAABB.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.