College Basketball

This year’s March Madness will be unpredictable, even more so this year than previous years. Typically, every year someone dominates their schedule and there is a team that is favored to win the tournament.

Top 25:

1          Villanova                     17-1

2          Kansas                       16-1

3          UCLA             18-1

4          Gonzaga                     17-0

5          Kentucky                    15-2

6          Baylor                         16-1

7          Creighton                   17-1

7          West Virginia              15-2

9          North Carolina            16-3

10        Florida State               16-2

11        Oregon                        16-2

12        Louisville                     15-3

13        Butler                          15-3

14        Arizona                       16-2

15        Notre Dame                16-2

16        Virginia                        13-3

17        Wisconsin                   14-3

18        Duke                           14-4

19        Florida                         14-3

20        Cincinnati                    15-2

21        Purdue                        14-4

22        Xavier                         13-4

23        Saint Mary’s                15-2

24        South Carolina            14-3

25        Maryland                     16-2

Big East: It is a bit early to tell who will run away with the conference, the top half of this conference is really tough. With four, top 25 teams and one team just outside of the top 25, it will be a battle for the conference title. Villanova (No.1) is currently in first with Creighton (No.7) a half game behind them. Even though Butler is third do not count them out, they are just one game back, and had a huge home win against Villanova. Any one of these teams in the Big East are capable of an upset on any given night.

Big 12: Kansas always seems to be the favorite to win the Big 12. They proved they will be tough again this year early in the season beating a tough Duke team. However, this year there is a tough Baylor team looking to take their spot. Baylor is a solid team this year and they could certainly win this conference. With these two powerful teams, do not fall asleep on West Virginia, they have held their ground this year, and knocked of Baylor when they were the top ranked team in the country.

Pac 12: The top half of this Conference is extremely tough. Be ready for a deep run from one of these teams in the Pac 12. UCLA is ranked 3rd in the country, and their only loss is coming from conference play against Oregon. Oregon is tied for first in the Pac 12 with Arizona. If Arizona stays in the 1 spot after their upcoming schedule, they are very capable of making a deep run in March. Oregon only has two more games against top 25 teams and those games will be huge, if Oregon continues to get better, they will find themselves playing in March.

SEC: Every year Kentucky is a national championship favorite. This year they have 12 underclassmen, that is not stopping them they are the fifth ranked team in the country and continuing to get better. Kentucky has a huge game on January 28th vs a tough Kansas team. They will have a tough conference game coming up against South Carolina, that game could decide who will win the conference.

ACC: This is arguably the toughest conference in the country. Six teams are in the top 25. No. 10 Florida State, No. 9 North Carolina, and No. 15 Notre Dame are all tied for first. No. 16 Virginia and No. 12 Louisville are one game behind. Even though Duke has fallen to No. 18, and they’re only 2-3 in conference I don’t think they will do down easy. Many of these teams will continue playing in March, and the rest of these conference games are going to be fun to watch.

WCC: Gonzaga is in the top spot, and I don’t think that will change. Gonzaga is ranked 4th in the country, and is dominating their conference. They will play in March but the question is, is how deep will they get? Although Gonzaga has beat some tough teams, the conference they play in is very weak. Will they be able to beat teams like Kansas, or UCLA?

Big 10: For the past couple years, Michigan State has been the favorite to win. This year that is not the case. Coach Izzo’s team isn’t his typical team. Wisconsin and Maryland are on top of the conference, with Northwestern and Purdue right behind them. I see all four of these teams in the top part of the conference advancing into the tournament. Northwestern is one of the biggest eye openers of college basketball this season, Northwestern is a solid basketball team and could upset a couple of teams this season.

By Nate Kindell

 

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