(Fwrd Axis) — It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The buzzer is sounding, brackets are busting, and Cinderella is near. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yeah okay, I’ll still to writing about sports and not try to become a songwriter, which leads me to here.
The week of the college basketball the national tournament or should I just say March Madness. This year is extra special for well us all. Crowds are back, which let’s be honest adds to the overall excitement of the whole tourney. Why don’t we look over the bracket as a whole and see what we like? I won’t try to even guess or suggest how you fill out your bracket, I’ll simply suggest filling out one. It’s kind of like drinking eggnog near Christmas. Not many like it, but it’s tradition.
We start with the west. The overall 1 seed of the whole thing. Gonzaga. They have been a juggernaut all year and have built themselves into a premier program inside college basketball. They feature a playing style that has Drew Timme in the front with superior guard play from their two outstanding guards. The Bulldogs are a popular pick to win it all and come back from the championship game failure from a year ago. The matchup with Georgia State in round one. Don’t expect a UMBC type of upset here.
In the South, the Arizona Wildcats are featured. The wildcats in the Pac 12 have been outstanding. In fact, on the year they’re 31-3. 18-2 in the conference. The Wildcats average 85 points per game. The wildcats await to see which 16 they will be playing, but in the end, expect these Cats to be dancing into the elite 8.
In the East it’s the defending champions the Baylor Bears one of the two 1 seeds from the Big 12. Over the course of the season I feel out of all the teams featured on the top line the Bears have been the least talked about. Look for these Bears to be there in the sweet 16.
Finally, we get to the Midwest. The Kansas Jayhawks are the outright champion of the Big 12. The Jayhawks being a one is nothing new, but this is their first time featured in the top line since 2018. The Jayhawks have been featured as 1-15 times. Luckily for the Jayhawks too. A season ago they were taken to the brink by Eastern Washington in round one Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Texas Southern will have their hands full.
Let’s look at the (potential) madness or teams that should be on upset alert Thursday and Friday. When looking at the matchups 1-16, 2-15, 3-14, etc. First, let’s define what is an “upset”. The term could mean that a lower seed defeats a higher seed. Let’s look deeper, however. North Carolina an 8 seed plays Marquette a 9 in round one. If the Golden Eagles of Marquette won by definition it would be an upset, but let’s examine if Vermont were to defeat Arkansas. A 13 versus 4.
Now, this would be an upset the obscurity of a school from the American East defeating an SEC school imagine this in football (hint it’s not possible as the American East doesn’t play football as a conference). This has been a popular pick also. The style the Catamounts play will have them in this matchup with the Razorbacks. Mix in the location of this matchup and you have a recipe for an upset.
Another one that just looks like an upset is Akron and UCLA. I’m not picking on the 4 seeds here, but the MAC, that’s a tough conference not saying that Pac 12 isn’t, but look for the Zips to pull it off. From the finge a game that may whisper very faintly an upset. Look no further than the Blue Bloods themselves. The Duke Blue Devils. Hear me out. The Big West conference title game took place late Saturday night. The Titans were hot from deep as in 70% in the second half hot. The Titans finished the game 55% from deep in-game. Any team that can catch fire like that is dangerous to take down anyone.