Plunking a handwritten bracket on the fridge is still undoubtedly satisfying, at least until your picks start to stink like 7-week-old potato salad. We figured most readers would make their own predictions online, so Iím generously offering you mine to use as inspiration, or to roast me on Twitter (@gabecito). As sports editor, I always aim for objectivity. These picks, however, are influenced by a diploma from an ACC college and a childhood in Big 12 country. 

South

Upset alert

Texas: Freshman forward Mohamed Bamba, a potential NBA lottery pick, protects the rim for analyst Ken Pomeroy’s 10th-ranked defense with 3.7 blocks per game.

Sweet 16 sleeper

Miami (Fla.): It’s been 12 years since coach Jim Larranaga took George Mason to the Final Four. The ‘Canes won’t go that far this year, but they’re capable of punching above their weight behind freshmen guards Lonnie Walker IV and Chris Lykes.

Final Four pick

Arizona: The Wildcats boast two skilled 7-footers. Serbian senior Dusan Ristic shoots 43 percent from 3-point range. Deandre Ayton just dropped 32 points and 18 rebounds in the Pac-12 title game as a freshman. Junior Allonzo Trier (18.4 ppg) is a proven playmaker. With coach Sean Miller tied to recruiting corruption, any success for Arizona may be short-lived, on paper at least.


(Getty Images/Express Illustration)

West

Upset alert

South Dakota State: The Jackrabbits coasted to a Summit League title and played a tough schedule with wins over Iowa and Ole Miss and early losses to Kansas, Wichita State and Colorado. Junior forward Mike Daum (23.8 ppg) is sixth in the country in scoring.

Sweet 16 sleeper

Houston: Coach Kelvin Sampson has the Cougars in position for their first tournament win in 34 years. Senior guard Rob Gray has poured in at least 30 points in five games this season.

Final Four pick

North Carolina: The defending champions aren’t as big as in years past, but the Tar Heels could advance to their third straight title game by hoarding possessions — they lead the country in rebounds per game (42.5). Senior wing Theo Pinson can slash, pass and finish in the paint.


East

Upset alert

St. Bonaventure: Jaylen Adams might be this year’s mid-major star. The senior averaged 19.8 points and 5.4 assists a game and led the Bonnies to 12 straight wins to end the regular season.

Sweet 16 sleeper

West Virginia: Senior point guard Jevon Carter averaged 17 points, 6.5 assists and 2.9 steals per game to spark a high-pressure attack. The gritty point guard has already been a part of two runs to the Sweet 16 for coach Bob Huggins.

Final Four pick

Villanova: Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges won the national title as freshmen and were bounced in the first weekend by Wisconsin last year. On Saturday night, the guards combined for 56 points to lead the Wildcats to a Big East tournament title. Ken Pomeroy rates Villanova as the best offense in the country (127.4 points per 100 possessions).


(Getty Images/Express Illustration)

Midwest

Upset alert

Bucknell: Led by seniors Zach Thomas, Nana Foulland and Stephen Brown, the Bison won 18 of their last 19 games, including a dominant Patriot League tourney. They beat Boston University by 31 in the semis and Colgate by 29 in the title game.

Sweet 16 sleeper

Syracuse: The last time the committee barely let Syracuse in, the Orange made a Final Four as a No. 10 seed in 2016. Syracuse has the tallest team in the country, and its 2-3 zone terrorizes opponents.

Final Four pick

Duke: Move over, Kentucky — Durham, N.C., is the new home of one-and-doners. Duke may have five future first-round picks, including ACC player of the year Marvin Bagley III. And with senior Grayson Allen, the Blue Devils have an experienced point guard who’s already won a title (2015).


(Gabe Hiatt/Express)

Jeffrey Tomik contributed to this article.

Tips and analysis from The Washington Post

The three best bets to win the 2018 NCAA tournament

The most likely NCAA tournament upsets for the first round

The biggest snubs and suprises from Selection Sunday

Feinstein: What the selection committee got right — and wrong

Brewer: March Madness is the NCAA’s greatest hypocrisy and its best hope of salvation