March Madness: The most wonderful time of the year

Fat Guy Corner



March is here and it means only one thing; the bouncing of orange basketballs. It also means buzzer beaters, tremendous comebacks, underdogs winning games they were expected to lose, and players becoming household names, many who you have never heard of before.

March has become known as March Madness to most of us and it usually lives up to its name. March Madness is the time for filling out brackets and rooting for your favorite college basketball team. The Selection Show will get it started on Sunday night as the seeding for teams will be announced. There will be a couple of surprise teams who make the tourney and a couple who will be shocked that they are left out. The media will dwell on the couple who are left out but that’s how the orange ball bounces. The bottom line for me is, win one or two more games and you would be in the tourney. Let’s look at what this NCAA Tournament has in store for us this year.

The first big question is, who will be the four No. 1 seeds? I believe Kansas will be the No. 1 overall seed. I believe Gonzaga will also receive a One-seed. The defending champs, the Villanova Wildcats, will also be a One-seed. The last One-seed is up for grabs between the Oregon Ducks and the UCLA Bruins. I think if either one of those two win the PAC 12 Conference tournament the No. 1 seed goes to them. The scenario there then will force Gonzaga to, more than likely, have to leave the West Region. I could be wrong and Gonzaga might stay in the West Region, but I doubt it. Those should be your four No. 1 seeds.

The Big Ten should send seven teams to the big dance. The Purdue Boilermakers will be a four-or fiveseed and that is the best seeding a Big Ten team will receive, in my opinion. The struggling Wisconsin Badgers are in. The struggling Maryland team is in. The red-hot Minnesota team is coming in playing tremendous basketball. The Michigan State Spartans will be an 8, 9, or 10 seed, I think. This is by far the worst team coach Tom Izzo has brought to the tournament in a long, long time. The Northwestern Wildcats (yes, Northwestern) will make their first-ever tournament trip ever! What a feel-good story the Northwestern team has been this season. I sure hope they win at least one game to cap off a tremendous season. The last and seventh spot will go to Michigan. Michigan and Iowa are both 10-8 in conference play.

The difference is Michigan is 20-11 overall while the Hawkeye’s are 18-13. Michigan needs to win the first game in the Big Ten tourney to make absolutely sure it punches a ticket to the NCAA tournament. I see Michigan in the same boat as Sparty, probably a nine-or 10-seed.

The Big Ten was a very average conference and I don’t see any of the teams making a deep run. I will fade them all fast in my brackets.

Let’s peek at some other teams to factor in when filling out your brackets.

When filling in your teams, if you like defensive teams, look at Cincinnati, Virginia, and St. Mary’s. The problem is, Cincinnati and Virginia have trouble putting the ball through the hoop.

Here are a couple of teams who could go far, or be out on the first day. Florida State can look tremendous, then look awful two days later. The South Carolina Gamecocks are just like Florida State. The best offense in the tourney belongs to UCLA, hands down. When filling out brackets, always look at the teams’ road record. If a team has a horrible road record, it’s a good sign they will not advance very far.

This tourney will be captivating and amazing because there is not a lock to win it all. This year anyone can win the National Championship, so keep that in mind.

I will break down all four regions next week. Everyone enjoy the conference championship week as conference champions are crowned.

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