Location, location, location. It’s a big factor in selecting a college. And in this case, it’s the only factor for selecting this bracket. Which location has a bigger awesome factor? It was all fun and games until we got to the Sweet 16. Here are the 16 teams that advanced … which would you pick as the national champ?
Manhattan, NYC (Manhattan): The epicenter of New York City, America’s greatest and largest city. Easy answer.
College Park, MD (Maryland): This lovely campus in the burbs of DC gave us the gift of Scott Van Pelt … and crab cakes.
Austin, TX (Texas): The home of the largest public university in America and more hipsters you could shake a stick at. Also, Austin is the the home of Willie Nelson, Gary Clark Jr., and the immortal Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Bloomington, IN (Indiana): The quintessential college campus in America. Beautiful Indiana limestone complements some of collegiate America’s most iconic bars. Hello, Kilroy’s and Nick’s English Hut.
Cambridge, MA (Harvard): One of the most prestigious universities in the entire world, also one of the oldest, founded in 1636. Historic buildings like the Longfellow House and Christ Church of Cambrdge surround Harvard. Plus, Natalie Portman went there and “The Social Network” is a sweet movie.
Eugene, OR (Oregon): Eugene was the home of the world’s greatest fictional fraternity of all time, Delta Tau Chi from the classic comedy “Animal House.” Ultimate trump card.
Provo, UT (BYU): Mountains make the ultimate backdrop, BYU’s campus is no different. Provo might be the number one seed of college campuses.
Columbus, OH (Ohio St.): This might be the first time that Ohio State has ever been considered an underdog. Columbus is an up and coming city that is packed with young folks and culture. Columbus is quickly becoming the Midwest’s coolest city.
Philadelphia, PA (Villanova): Villanova is just one of what seems like dozens of Catholic schools in Philly, but none are as beautiful. The Nova campus is littered with beautiful stone buildings including the omnipresent St. Thomas of Villanova Chapel.
Irvine, CA (UC-Irvine): It’s southern freakin’ Califronia, bro. Providence, RI (Providence): The city of Providence is an absolute New England gem on the banks of the Providence River. Besides, the Friars play at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Who doesn’t love donuts!?!
Charlottesville, VA (Virginia): The man himself, Thomas Jefferson, designed the campus. That right there is enough to put this campus in the Final Four. America!
Durham, NC (Duke): This beautiful campus is just eight miles from its arch rival North Carolina. Duke’s campus is most known for Krzyzewskiville, the most beautiful collection of tents you could ever hope to see.
Salt Lake City, UT (Utah): Salt Lake City is such a beautiful city that it was the host for the 2002 Winter Olympics and has arguably the greatest view for a college campus in America, the Rocky Mountains.
Dallas, TX (SMU): SMU is probably the most uppity school in all the land full of one-percenters and trust fund babies, but Dallas is a darn cool city. The biggest market in the South, Dallas is home to killer barbeque and Jerry World. Works for us.
Spokane, WA (Gonzaga): Gonzaga is surrounded by the Ticonderoga of the Pacific Northwest and its absolutely gorgeous year round. The campus itself sits right on the Spokane River, which offers students a beautiful view right after they walk out of a Zags hoops win.
The debates were quite fierce at times in the newsroom, especially when it came down to our Final Four of Indiana, BYU, Virginia and Utah. But, in the end, it’s tough to beat Salt Lake City as a location. Congrats, Utes.