Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
The start of the tournament is always exciting, but fans are already zoned in on a few games, according to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey. Despite being a first-four game, 26 percent of fans said the UCLA vs. Michigan State game is the most exciting matchup of the first round, followed by 25 percent who picked North Carolina vs. Wisconsin and 20 percent that picked Loyola vs. Georgia Tech.
Those games are all between teams seeded close together. While that may make for an exciting game, there’s nothing most fans love more than a good upset and the 12-5 games are always ripe for a surprise. When asked which 5-seed is most likely to get upset, 45 percent of fans picked Colorado, who plays Big East champion Georgetown. The next most popular pick was 24 percent of fans who predict Villanova to lose to Winthrop.
If the Yellow Jackets survive that first game, they will likely have Illinois waiting for them in the second round. The Illini were the second most popular pick by college fans around the country to win it all, earning 21 percent of the vote. They trailed only Gonzaga, who was picked to win the championship by 45 percent of fans.
Fittingly, Gonzaga was the team picked by fans to have the easiest path of the four top seeds to the Final Four, with 68 percent of the vote. Illinois was a distant second at 13 percent.
On the other end of the spectrum, 43 percent of fans believe Michigan has the hardest path of all one-seeds to reach the Final Four. Surprisingly, Illinois again had the next highest percentage of the vote at 26 percent.
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