A look into March Madness
March 15, 2018
After an unpredictable season of upsets and underdogs, this year’s annual NCAA basketball tournament is anyone’s to win. However, out of all of the 64 teams competing in this year’s national championship, there are a few favorites who have as good a chance as anyone to contend for a spot in the Final Four.
The University of Virginia managed to finish the regular season as the number one ranked team in the country with the nation’s best defense and a half court offense that regularly wears down its opponents. The Cavs proceeded to sweep the ACC tournament defeating Louisville, Clemson, and North Carolina in order. As the number one seed coming from the South, Virginia looks to prove itself as a tournament contender and advance to its first Final Four since 1984.
As the one number seed coming out of the East, the Villanova Wildcats have consistently been a national powerhouse. Led by junior guard Jalen Brunson and senior forward Kris Jenkins, Villanova has as much talent as any other team in the nation. The Wildcats also have some momentum having just defeated Providence in the Big East tournament finals.
Michigan State Spartans
Even though they are only the number three seed coming out of the midwestern quarter of the bracket, the Spartans are a very popular pick to win the national championship in April. Tom Izzo’s team is led by forward Miles Bridges who returned for his sophomore season to average 17 points and seven rebounds. Picked by Barack Obama to win it all, Michigan State will have a clear path to the Final Four if they can get passed Duke.
Duke Blue Devils
Duke is a very talented team that has not yet brought it all together in the way many thought they are capable. They will enter the bracket as a number two seed with a first round game against Iona. Led by freshman forward Marvin Bagley III, the Blue Devils look to win it all for their first time since 2015.
North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina has been solid all year combining a fast paced style of play with a stellar offensive attack. Led by senior Joel Berry, they have a great chance to capitalize on a relatively weak division in the West. As the defending national champions, they intend to make a run in the tournament once again.
Other teams to look out for are Kansas, Xavier, Gonzaga, and Purdue.
After an unpredictable season, it is tough to predict who has what it takes to go all the way, but it will be tough to beat any of these teams in a do or die scenario.