Gonzaga's early worry

My first reaction to the 2013 bracket was very likely the same as yours. Something like: "Man, the Midwest is stacked." Louisville, Duke, Saint Louis, Memphis, Creighton and (just barely) Colorado State were all the strongest teams in their respective conferences on a per-possession basis. Michigan State and Oklahoma State are top-10 and top-15 teams, respectively. And Missouri, Middle Tennessee State and Saint Mary's are all dangerous in their own rights. This is one loaded region.

The Midwest may have more depth than the other regions, but at the very top of the bracket I actually think the committee spread the nation's best six or eight teams across four regions fairly well. You can quibble over who should have been a 1 or a 2 and whether conference tournament results play too large a role simply because they're the last thing we see, but overall this bracket gives each No. 1 seed -- the Cardinals, Kansas, Indiana and Gonzaga -- a fair shot at reaching Atlanta. (Albeit with a potential asterisk by the Zags' draw. See below.) That's all any top seed can ask.

Here are four bracket observations, based on the metrics I've been tracking all season long.

All you Gonzaga skeptics have a chance to look smart right away