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The NCAA basketball tournament is almost here! It’s March Madness!

By Nate Burns - 7 years ago in More Sports News

The Madness is upon us!

As the small conference tournaments wind down, and the power conference tournaments gear up; fans everywhere prepare their excuses for skipping work to watch what has become one of the largest sporting events in the world, the NCAA basketball tourney. Even the most casual sports fan will feel compelled to fill out a bracket, as office pools and “friendly” wagers are impossible to escape. Today we’ll touch on some of the storylines that are sure to make this year’s tournament one of the best we’ve seen.

Small schools, big-time teams

This season has been incredibly exciting as many programs have experienced more success than they typically have. A lot of small schools have spent time in the top 25 during the season, and several others look to make their mark on the tournament with program-defining wins. Gonzaga will likely be a number 1 seed as they try to make it to the Final Four for the first time in school history, and their conference foe St Mary’s is a top 25 team with their eye on some upset wins. A few other teams who are sneaky good are Vermont, Middle Tennessee State; and Wichita state are as good as they’ve ever been (remember they were in the final 4 in 2013, losing to eventual Champs Louisville). The Butler Bulldogs are also a team to watch out for, as they’ve handed defending champion Villanova 2 of their 3 losses this season.

Goliath shall fall

Many of the historically successful programs have glaring weaknesses this year, making it a prime year for potential upsets and early exits for some popular teams.

Kentucky: looks good on paper with a great record and alot of talent, but they’ve not beaten any of the top teams that they faced. they also play alot of freshman, led by Malik Monk, De’aaron Fox, and Bam Adebayo, and without alot of experience this team is not good enough defensively to make a deep run in the tournament.

Duke: The preseason favorite to win the ACC this year, the Blue Devils have instead struggled through a mediocre season by their standards. they do have the usual talent associated with Duke, but Coach K missed time due to a back surgery, and they have not gelled very well as a team. Of course they’re always dangerous when they shoot well from beyond the arc, but this could be one of those years when they go out early.

Arizona: a top 10 ranking most of the year has many AZ fans looking for a final four appearance, but the Wildcats struggled against top notch competition. They could be highly overrated, and a high seed might set the table for a huge upset loss to one of these smaller, but still very good, schools

Potential champions

The parity in college basketball this season means there is no clear cut favorite. Let’s face it though, you can’t win your bracket without picking a champion, so here are a few teams that are strong enough to win it all.

Louisville: led by their signature defensive pressure, the Cardinals offense has been clicking as of late. Without any true superstar players , their strength is in the team concept. Rick Pitino has this team playing at a high level and poised to make a deep run

UCLA: led by freshman sensation  Lonzo Ball, and Sr shooting guard Bryce Alford, UCLA boasts one of the top back courts in the country. They are an athletic team and like to impose their will on their opponents. If they can manage a few more defensive stops per game, they could be cutting down the nets when it’s all said and done.

North Carolina: with one of the best PGs in the country, and ACC player of the year Justin Jackson on the wing, the Tarheels can score from outside as well as in the paint. They have 3 former McDonald’s All Americans down low that they rotate, along with Luke Maye, a very capable outside shooter who often pulls other teams bigs out of the paint. The Tarheels have struggled with ball security at times, but have shown an ability to lock down their opponents on the defensive end, making them a prime championship contender.

With the NCAA tournament almost here, each game is more meaningful than the last. We will bring you more updates as we get closer to the final 68 teams. Check back with and/ or follow on twitter @thedklegends. 


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