March Madness is ready to get going, with the First Four to be held tomorrow. 68 teams are now lined up to battle for position as the field continues to be reduced to find a champion. The Final Four will take place as April unfolds and the championship game will be held on April 5. As the games are about to begin, a look at the top seeds gives a preview of what’s coming.
Gonzaga Still On Top
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are a number-one seed this year, entering March Madness as the only undefeated team in NCAA Men’s Basketball. On the strong shooting skills of Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert (the West Coast Conference Player of the Year), Gonzaga could be on an automatic collision course for the championship game.
The Baylor Bears slipped before regaining their position and are now number two in the rankings. The team has been on a strong run the past couple of years, winning 23 in a row last year and winning all but one game this year. That loss came after the team was first to take a three-week unscheduled break due to COVID-19, and Baylor is going to count on Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell to lead them in the postseason.
Fighting Illini Fighting For Victory
The Illinois Fighting Illini are ranked third with good reason. They rolled over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Wisconsin Badgers and the Michigan Wolverines late in the season. That included a 23-point advantage against Michigan, one of the top-ranked teams in NCAA basketball. The Fighting Illini took the Big Ten Championship off the performance of Kofi Cockburn and he’ll be putting up the numbers once again in March Madness.
The Wolverines, the last of the first seeds, haven’t won a Men’s Basketball title since 1989, but that could be about to change. Head coach Juwan Howard is in his second year at the school and has turned things completely around. With freshman Hunter Dickinson putting up some big numbers, Michigan has a real shot at the title. To get there, though, they really want Isaiah Livers to recover from a foot injury that kept him out of the team’s Big Ten semifinal matchup against the Ohio State Buckeyes – the Buckeyes won by one point.
Crimson Tide Continues To Roll
The Alabama Crimson Tide are a two-seed team heading into March Madness and took the SEC championship this year, just like the school’s football team. It only took one loss on the season and has several formidable giants that are going to lead the way in the postseason. Herbert Jones is a 6’8” forward and the SEC Player of the Year, while John Petty reaches 6’5” and has put up some great numbers.
The Houston Cougars are running deeper than many may have expected before the season started. However, they got to where they are thanks to skill and the ability to overcome a couple of losses. They bounced back after several losses to ultimately take the American Athletic Conference tournament and are ready for some more.
Hawkeyes Rally Late In The Season
The Iowa Hawkeyes played decent ball all season, but turned things up in the final weeks. They took seven of eight games, including wins against Wisconsin and Ohio State. Get ready to see Luka Garza to be almost unstoppable in March Madness.
The last two-seed team is Ohio State. It had to overcome several key losses to get to this point, including the loss inn the Big Ten title game. However, several huge wins allowed the Buckeyes to advance and it’s now time for Duane Washington to show off. Kyle Young, who has been inconsistent this year, needs to find his mojo if he wants to help his team make a deep run in the championship series.