OK, so you didn’t care about my bracket before the NCAA Tournament, and you don’t care about my bracket now.

I get that. But you’re here. So whether you want to admit it or not, you do care about my picks for the NCAA Tournament.

And you should because so far MY PICKS ARE MONEY.

Well, for the most part. In my bracket pool, the biggest upsets of the tournament helped me more than they hurt me. I had Arizona losing in the second round while I had Michigan State, UNC, Virginia and Xavier going down in the Sweet 16.

In fact, I turned off the games Sunday night thinking I was about to have all 8 of my Elite Eight teams alive. I went to go do dishes with Cincinnati up 22 points. I was thinking I had it made in the shade heading into the second weekend.

One text from my brother, one nervous flip on of the TV and one painful final minute of horrendous Cincinnati basketball later, I lost my first Elite Eight and Final Four team.

But hey, I’m still alive. And if you’re reading this, chances are that you’re still alive, too. If you aren’t, perhaps you’re doing some gambling homework.

Whatever the case, let’s talk Sweet 16.

Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

South Region

Good picks — Kentucky reaches Elite Eight, Loyola-Chicago upsets Miami in first round, no Arizona/Virginia in Elite Eight.

Not so good picks — Cincinnati advances to Final Four, Kansas State loses to Creighton in first round, Nevada loses to Texas in first round.

Who wins now? — Chances are, this region looks awful in your bracket pool. I mean, the top 4 seeds are out. If you have one team left on this side of the bracket, you’re probably not in too bad of shape. That’s the case for me. Kentucky is my one team left. And who am I picking to move on? Kentucky. I’ll take John Calipari vs. Bruce Weber every day of the week and twice on Sunday. As for the winner of Loyola-Chicago vs. Nevada, I’ll assume that Sister Jean is right and that the Ramblers’ Cinderella run will end in the Sweet 16. Nevada’s toughness will make it a dogfight against Kentucky, but give me the Cats to make it to San Antonio.

West Region

Good picks — UNC, Xavier losing in Sweet 16, Gonzaga-Michigan matchup in Elite 8.

Not so good picks — Texas A&M losing to Providence in first round, Florida State losing to Mizzou in first round.

Who wins now? — I avoided the land mines in this region by predicting Sweet 16 losses for UNC and Xavier. (Both obviously lost one round earlier.) And for the record, I did write after Texas A&M beat Providence that it could be a nightmare matchup for UNC. Having said that, I don’t think that’ll be the case against a team that defends as well as Michigan. I’ll stick with my original pick that the Wolverines will be the last team standing in the West, and that they’ll get past Gonzaga to earn a trip to the Final Four. For what it’s worth, I had Michigan in my national championship. Now, amazingly enough, the Wolverines are the top seed remaining on that side of the bracket (not that seeds matter anymore).

Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

East Region

Good picks — Marshall beats Wichita State in first round, Butler gets past Arkansas in first round, West Virginia reaches Sweet 16.

Not so good picks — Florida reaches Sweet 16.

Who wins now? — Florida losing to Texas Tech was the only game I had wrong in this entire region on opening weekend. So really, I’m going to double down on my original picks for this one. Yes, I understand the Isaac Haas injury was devastating (we actually wrote a really interesting story on his Alabama roots that you should read), and I’m assuming that he won’t play. But I think Purdue still has enough in that veteran-laden group to get past an inexperienced Tech squad. As for getting past Villanova, that’s a different story. I’m not changing my mind on the Wildcats. I like Jalen Brunson’s chances of navigating through that West Virginia press and advancing to an Elite Eight showdown with Purdue. Without Haas, I like Villanova’s chances of moving on even more.

Midwest Region

Good picks — Michigan State loses in Sweet 16, not getting cute with Kansas/Duke.

Not so good picks — Syracuse/Clemson/Auburn lose in first round, New Mexico State advances to Sweet 16.

Who wins now? — I might’ve gotten too cute with New Mexico State and College of Charleston, but I didn’t with the blue bloods. I’m sticking with that. I like the chances that Duke actually has a clue what to do with a week to prepare for Syracuse’s zone (unlike Michigan State). Nobody can look as bad as the Spartans did, right? Surely Mike Krzyzewski will have the Blue Devils ready to roll for that, and a quick turnaround against Kansas won’t be too tall a task. The Jayhawks responded well to some early deficits the first two rounds, which was a credit to that Jayhawk backcourt. But I’m not convinced that Kansas can defend all of Duke’s offensive weapons for 40 minutes. I’ll take a blue blood showdown that ultimately sees Duke move on.

Final Four

Matchups — Kentucky vs. Michigan, Villanova vs. Duke.

Who wins it all? — Yes, I’m doubling down. I’m still going to pick Michigan and Villanova to play in the national championship. It’s tempting to change my pick and go with Kentucky, but I won’t and here’s why. I think the Wolverines will force Kentucky to play slower than it wants to. I also think Michigan, despite how much it struggled after shaking off the 2-week layoff rust in the first two rounds, looks more like the offense that averaged 77 points during that 9-game winning streak it rode into the NCAA Tournament.

As for the other matchup, I think that Duke and Villanova were easily the two most impressive teams of the weekend, which doesn’t necessarily mean that’ll continue. But I keep flashing back to when Villanova won it all two years ago. That team averaged a margin of victory of 24 points before its showdown with UNC. This team is playing at that level. I think Villanova shoots over that Duke zone and moves on.

In a great matchup of contrasting strengths, a Villanova-Michigan title game would be a thriller. It might not have the NBA talent that a matchup like Duke-Kentucky would, but it would have plenty of stars like Brunson, Mikal Bridges and Moritz Wagner. I’ll roll with the experience of Villanova to prevail in a winner-take-all scenario. The Wildcats have all the ingredients needed to cut down the nets one more time.

Here’s hoping I don’t have to revise that belief.