Allow me to make a bold statement — the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is awesome.
It is the second-best annual sporting event in America.
There’s something about it that’s truly magical. It can display the raw emotion of sport, the glory of victory and the agony of defeat.
It is going to be a great month.
What makes college basketball so great is the passion. These kids play so hard, and it gives an effort a much different feel than the NBA.
The NBA season is a grind. Pro players can often turn it up and down a notch on a given night.
College basketball is a sprint. The players are young and have fresh legs. Most of the best players in the country are freshmen and sophomores.
The players may not be as well known as LeBron James, but the intensity is definitely there.
The field of 68 is wide open this year.
Could this be the year a 16-seed finally defeats a 1-seed? It’s quite possible.
Heading into the weekend, I have many expectations.
On paper, my picks are somewhat conservative. It’s just tough for me to pick huge upsets in sports.
That doesn’t mean I don’t think they can happen. In fact, this is the year I could see many of these upsets occurring.
Teams like VCU, Butler and George Mason have paved the way for other Cinderella teams to make runs to the Final Four. This only adds to the magic of March.
Eleven out of the last 12 years, a 12-seed has upset a 5-seed. After thorough examination of the brackets, I selected both Ole Miss and Oregon to be bracket busters.
If you’re in a tournament, this is an easy way to get upset points.
At the end of the day, March Madness is about one thing: great basketball.
I don’t care what anyone says; I’ll take the month of March over the NBA any day of the week.
This tournament is going to come down to one thing: who’s hot at the right time. This is exactly why I believe that Louisville will be crowned national champion on April 8.
From my observations, Louisville is the best team in a country filled with good, but not great teams. In the final year of the conference’s existence, Louisville cruised to a Big East championship.
On paper, the Cardinals look like overwhelming favorites against any opponent. With 29 wins, they finished the season ranked second in the nation.
They also finished first in the Big East, a conference that sent eight different teams to the NCAA Tournament.
Coach Rick Pitino leads the Cardinals and has won only won a national title once in his career. Now is his time.
Coaching is an underrated factor in these games. Most players are young and inexperienced on a national stage. It’s Pitino’s job to put these young players in a position to succeed.
In the Midwest section of the bracket, the only competition Louisville is likely to see is Duke and/or St. Louis.
The St. Louis Billikens are a dangerous team. The death of coach Rick Majerus has rallied the team. Following the death of their late coach, the Billikens have a record of 24-3. This team plays hard and can hit the three-point shot, which are dangerous attributes to have in March.
Another team I really love is the Miami Hurricanes. They can really play with anyone in the country.
They finished the season 27-6. They’re athletic, and they can run. It’s easy to see them making a run at the Final Four.
With that said, this is going to be a very interesting month. Anything can happen in March. I think that’s why we love this tournament so much.
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