2018 NCAA Tournament bracket advice, in the form of haiku

For about 12 perfect hours, the NCAA Tournament holds its perfect form: 64 teams. We got to that number after Syracuse beat Arizona State on Wednesday night.

So here we are again. It's time for an annual, lyrical preview. Simple, concise and disciplined. A look at 32 games all in haiku form. The syllabic-mandated poetry is done in 5-7-5 pattern.

You know my March mantra: Long preview can reveal so much. But, sometimes, things are better left said as briefly as possible. In my case, sometimes even briefer than that. And certainly leaving plenty to be desired. 

As always, here it is, the field of 2018, as poetically as I can put it.


Villanova (1) vs. Radford (16)

Nova now the fave
This is March? No, this is Rad
Brunson an android

Virginia Tech (8) vs. Alabama (9)

Toughest 8-9 game
Buzz will change shirts at halftime
Sexton is must-see

West Virginia (5) vs. Murray State (12)

This gonna be good
Jevon Carter came on home
Murray (State): Prizint! 

Wichita State (4) vs. Marshall (13)

ISO: Shockers' D
Ha: Shox jump league, get good seed
Herd style of play: FUN

Florida (6) vs. St. Bonaventure (11)

Bonnies' boss backcourt
This one is for Bob Lanier
Gators: great dark horse

Texas Tech (3) vs. Stephen F. Austin (14)

F. short for "Freaking"
Red Raiders so overlooked
Battle for Texas

Arkansas (7) vs. Butler (10)

Hogs and Dogs tip off
Butler beat Villanova
Ark has pro center

Purdue (2) vs. Cal State Fullerton (15)

Expect a blowout
For me, Purdue best 2 seed
Isaac Haas: oak tree

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Four-St. Bonaventure vs. UCLA
Bonnies bounce onward / Florida Gators are up next / Big-time Thursday game Brian Spurlock / USA TODAY Sports


Kansas (1) vs. Penn (16)

Penn is not winning
Seriously, don't pick Penn
Game is IN KANSAS 

Seton Hall (8) vs. North Carolina State (9)

State has some huge wins
Duke, Tar Heels, Arizona
Hall has more talent 

Clemson (5) vs. New Mexico State (12)

All these 12s are good!
This run saved Brad Brownell's job
Return of the WAC

Auburn (4) vs. Charleston (13)

Upset potential
Bruce looks frayed at the edges
Or maybe he's fried

TCU (6) vs. Syracuse (11)

Cuse is in the house
Froggies waited 20 years
Last Dance: '98

Michigan State (3) vs. Bucknell (14)

Chic Final Four pick
Dramatic year for Sparty
What will Izzo say?

Rhode Island (7) vs. Oklahoma (10)

One Hurley is out
Final college game for Trae?
Top Thursday matchup

Duke (2) vs. Iona (15)

Devils fallible
Lehigh. Mercer. Iona?
Grayson farewell tour

Thursday: Trae first up / URI has the guard play / Freshman of the Year USATSI


Virginia (1) vs. UMBC (16)

No Hunter? Uh-oh
Final Four much tougher now
Retrievers: best dogs

Creighton (8) vs. Kansas State (9)

May not be that close
Marcus Foster revenge game
Wildcat —> Bluejay

Kentucky (5) vs. Davidson (12)

Game is in Boise
That site gives us some epics
Edney and Hampton

Arizona (4) vs. Buffalo (13)

Sean Miller: coaching
DeAndre Ayton: playing
Bye, bye, Buffalo

Miami (6) vs. Loyola Chicago (11)

Best game in Dallas
Loyola very trendy
Almost too trendy

Tennessee (3) vs. Wright State (14)

SEC co-champs
Salute: Admiral Schofield
Vols win this easy

Nevada (7) vs. Texas (10)

Bamba born to block
Nevada plays a fun style
Toughest 7-10

Cincinnati (2) vs. Georgia State (15)

Not that Gary Clark
Please bring back stool, Ron Hunter
Wendy's, where u at?

Wahoos are hampered / Pack-line D can't be cure-all / Did you stick with Cavs?  USATSI


Xavier (1) vs. Texas Southern (16)

Trevon Bluiett: ice
No love for X as a 1
Last year made the Eight! 

Missouri (8) vs. Florida State (9)

Tigers have their chance
FSU is just OK
MPJ: ball out

Ohio State (5) vs. South Dakota State (12)

Bunnies and Buckeyes
5 seed no one saw coming
Mike Daum? No, Mike Damn

Gonzaga (4) vs. UNC Greensboro (13)

The other Sparty
Down year? Not for Gonzaga
Will not be that close

Houston (6) vs. San Diego State (11)

Such a blah matchup
Rob Gray, rethink that top knot
Cougars' good karma

Michigan (3) vs. Montana (14)

My upset special
Long layoff for Michigan
Yeah, this will backfire

Texas A&M (7) vs. Providence (10)

Friar fans are fun
Aggies: underachievers
Wear that towel, Ed

North Carolina (2) vs. Lipscomb (15)

No more grade fraud talk
Theo and Roy, one more time
Bisons' Dance debut


That Is all I got
We are now at 64
The perfect number

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his ninth season reporting on college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics... Full Bio

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