Jay Bilas’ March Madness Bracket, Predictions, and Expert Picks


On Sunday afternoon, the complete bracket for the 2023 NCAA Tournament was unveiled, offering basketball fans plenty of insights into this year’s March Madness field. In the aftermath, former Duke player and ESPN analyst Jay Bilas wasted no time predicting which teams would reach the Elite Eight and Final Four and ultimately be crowned national champions as he picked every game of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Here we’re going to break down some of his biggest upsets and go over his complete Elite Eight and Final Four.

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Biggest First-Round Upsets Midwest Region

  •  No. 12 DRAKE over No. 5 MIAMI

 The Bulldogs can play, and if Norchad Omier is the least-bit compromised after the ankle injury against Duke, Drake can win. This is a weird subregion. If Miami were healthy, the Hurricanes would be a good bet to beat Houston, especially if Marcus Sasser isn’t healthy. The medical staffs could decide this region. – Jay Bilas

  •  No. 13 KENT STATE over No. 4 INDIANA

Indiana wins a seven-game series, but Kent State is very good, has been able to hang with Houston, Gonzaga and Charleston, and this is the type of game that the higher seed can get tight when the little guy hangs around. – JB

Biggest First-Round Upsets West Region

  • No. 12 VCU over No. 5 SAINT MARY’S

The Rams are not as physical as Saint Mary’s, but with pressure, VCU can be the more disruptive team. – JB


This is offense and defense against defense. Northwestern is good, but Boise is a good upset pick. – JB

Jay Bilas' March Madness Bracket, Predictions, and Expert Picks

Biggest First-Round Upsets East Region


Biggest First-Round Upsets South Region

  • No. 10 UTAH STATE over No. 7 MISSOURI 

 Both teams can shoot and score from deep. Utah State will have problems with Kobe Brown, but Missouri can get spread out by Utah State. I like the Aggies in this one. Remember, Ryan Odom led UMBC to the only win, ever, by a No. 16 seed. Winning as a 10 seed should be a little easier. – JB

Jay Bilas' March Madness Bracket, Predictions, and Expert Picks

Jay Bilas’ Elite Eight

  • South Region: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Arizona  – Winner Arizona

“Well, I have Alabama advancing to the Elite Eight for all the reasons you guys outlined,” Bilas said. “But they’re going to play Arizona. I like Arizona’s big guys, their ability to run the floor and how efficient Arizona is offensively.”   – JB

  • East Region: No. 5 Duke vs. No. 2 Marquette – Winner Duke 

“In the East, I think Duke because all the reasons you guys said, taking on Marquette, who’s just a terrific offensive basketball team,” Bilas said. “I think the difference there will be rebounding and defense, and I think Duke will move on from there.” – JB

  • Midwest Region: No. 1 Houston vs. No. 2 Texas – Winner Texas 

“Houston and Texas in the Midwest,” Bilas said. “I like Texas to advance there because they’re better offensively.”   – JB

  • West Region: No. 4 UConn vs. No. 3 Gonzaga – Winner UCONN

“UConn and Gonzaga, Gonzaga goes to so many Sweet 16s,” Bilas said. “I think they’ll reach another one. But I think UConn will go on from there.”

Jay Bilas' March Madness Bracket, Predictions, and Expert Picks

Jay Bilas’ Final Four

  • No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 5 Duke – Winner Duke
  • No. 2 Texas vs. No. 4 UConn – Winner UCONN

Jay Bilas’ National Championship

  • No. 4 UConn over No. 5 Duke – Winner UCONN 

“I think it will be the size of both Duke and UConn that will put them into the championship game,” Bilas said. “And then I think the Conn cuts the nets down.”  – JB

Jay Bilas' March Madness Bracket, Predictions, and Expert Picks

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