With a plethora of top teams and talent, March should once again prove it is the month of madness
There are a few months out of every year which are dedicated to one thing and one thing only. October is almost completely associated with Halloween. One can’t think about the month of December without thinking about Christmas. What does one think of when they consider the month of March? Madness. The college basketball season has been raging since November and now that all the regular season games have been played and all the conference tournaments have concluded, it’s time for the playoffs. Last Sunday, a day dubbed selection Sunday, the NCAA released the annual 68 team bracket featuring teams from across the country.
The south may have the most stacked region in this year’s tournament. Lead by their stifling defense, University of Virginia has been absolutely dominant this year, easily taking the number 1 overall seed in the tournament. Beating them will be no easy task for anyone, but if there is a region for the 1 seed to go down early, it will be in the South. For UVA to make it to the final four, they would likely have to take on either University of Arizona, University of Kentucky, or Davidson University before taking on the two seed, University of Cincinnati. Davidson has been playing out of their minds as of late and found the perfect time to get hot. They are an easy pick for a 12 over 5 upset against Kentucky. Even if Kentucky survives Davidson, they’ll likely face the best player in college basketball in Arizona’s Deandre Ayton. Cincinnati may be in the best position to make it out of the south. They had the second best defense in the nation which led the team to an impressive 30 win season.
The east is a very exciting region as well. Villanova University may be a 1 seed, but their path may not be as easy as it looks. While University of Alabama may be known for their football, they have a freshman phenom in Collin Sexton who could excell on the national stage. When Sexton gets hot, he can take over games so this potential round of 32 upset is an intriguing one to watch. West Virginia University was once thought of as one of the top teams in the nation after starting 15-1, but a 9-9 finish brought them down to earth. Still, if they get hot, they could potentially make a deep run. Purdue University should also should not be ignored.
Defending champion University of North Carolina are my pick to make it out of the region. Xavier University is the worst out of the four 1 seeds and the Tar Heels have already proved their prowess over the 3 seed University of Michigan and the 5 seed Ohio State University. They could potentially meet GonzagaUniversity in the elite eight for a rematch of last year’s title game. Michael Porter Jr. was once thought of as the top high school prospect in the nation and while his return to University of Missouri in the South Eastern Conference tournament proved underwhelming, there is no reason to assume that he’s lost a step. He could easily lead Mizzou deep into March.
University of Kansas and Duke University are the regions 1 and 2 seed respectively and they shouldn’t have too hard of a time meeting in the elite eight. Duke’s biggest challenge is Michigan State University which should be an intriguing sweet sixteen matchup. However, there are still some upsets that could happen. Coach Bobby Hurley of Arizona State University and Coach Dan Hurley of University of Rhode Island could meet in the sweet 16 to renew their brotherhood rivalry, but that would mean that Duke and Michigan State would have to fall early. University of Oklahoma is my sleeper in the region solely because of Trae Young.Young has proved time and time again that he will be a star.