Bracket Season

Bracket Season

By Becker Kaufman

One of the most popular sporting events of every year, the NCAA’s March Madness, is quickly approaching. With everyone filling out there bracket’s, here is a preview of the top contenders to consider when making your bracket.

Gonzaga: The Favorite?

The currently undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs might look like a favorite, they are ranked #1 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll, and are even undefeated, but few consider them one, as strength of schedule remains a major concern for the Bulldogs. However, Gonzaga might not have as many Top 100 wins as some of the other No. 1 seed contenders, but that’s a West Coast Conference thing. The Bulldogs beat Arizona, Florida, Iowa State, Tennessee, San Diego State and Akron during the nonconference portion of the schedule. Led by junior Nigel Williams Goss, who has a team leading 16.3 PPG (Points Per Game), and freshman Zach Collins who leads the Bulldogs with team leading 1.6 BPG (Blocks Per Game). Gonzaga will be a tough team to beat this March, and possibly even the favorite if it remains undefeated

Villanova: Reigning Champs  

The Villanova Wildcats have a resume that’s good enough to remain on the top seed line even if the Wildcats suffer a slipup or two along the way to Selection Sunday. Both of Villanova’s losses came vs. talented and difficult teams, Butler and Marquette, and the Wildcats have outstanding strength-of-schedule numbers (26th overall), they also have wins away from home against Purdue, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Creighton and Providence. Villanova will enter the tournament as the reigning champions after defeating UNC last year in the Championship. Led by senior Josh Hart who leads the team with a 18.8 PPG, Villanova will definitely be looking to repeat as NCAA March Madness Champions.

Louisville: Always a Favorite

Although the Louisville Cardinals have struggled a bit away from home in ACC play (2-3 record), the losses at Florida State and Virginia came without point guard Quentin Snider however, who should be returning to the Cardinals soon, Louisville does boast some outstanding computer numbers, and the Cardinals have beaten Kentucky, Purdue and full-strength Indiana during the non-conference schedule. The Cardinals are led by sophomore Donovan Mitchell, who leads the Cardinals with a 15.6 PPG, and by junior Jaylen Johnson who has a team leading 6.4 RPG (Rebounds Per Game). Louisville, always a March Madness favorite, should contend for the title this year.

Uconn: The Favorite of the Women’s tournament

Although the women’s tournament gets less attention, it provides just as much entertainment and exciting games as the men’s tournament does. The Connecticut (Uconn) Huskies will enter the tournament as the #1 ranked team and the obvious favorite, rightfully so. Uconn last lost at the hands of Stanford, who beat UConn on Nov. 17, 2014, and the huskies currently have a 101 game winning streak, and will try to continue the streak into March with what would be the huskies 5th straight Tournament Championship. However, teams such as Maryland, Notre Dame, Mississippi State and Baylor should also make a run, and could challenge Uconn this year.