March is here. Welcome, and prepare to be amazed.
Following a year plus that has been crazier than any other, this year’s march madness serves to have more of the same.
With blue bloods out (Kentucky, Duke) or not contending (UNC, UCLA) and new blood rising to the forefront (Baylor, Gonzaga, Michigan), we can expect chaos even more than usual!
With that in mind, here are some potential upsets – nay, PREDICTIONS in the first round.
Ranked in order from lowest winning seed to highest.
12 seed Winthrop vs 5 seed Villanova
This one has pundits all over marking it down, and it really does make sense even if it is kind of a bummer.
Winthrop has lost 1 game this season, and has been among the best mid majors for a few years now.
This program knows a thing or two, because they’ve seen a thing or two. The winning pedigree and veteran experience makes this 12 seed a trendy pick for a run, and a win in round 1.
On the other side, Villanova has been struggling mightily lately.
They have lost 3 of four, including an ugly loss to a bad Butler team.
They lost their best player (Collin Gillespie) earlier this year, and have since lost another guard, Justin Moore, sprain his ankle.
Nova is far from the juggernaut we saw a few years ago. They are beat up and out of sync.
The 5-12 upset always happens, and this year, this feels like the lock for this “upset.”
13 seed Ohio vs 4 seed Virginia
This one is pretty simple, Virginia, historically and this year, is not exactly known for scoring.
On top of that, this version of Virginia does not defend as well as their predecessors.
So, a team that often found itself on upset alert simply due to their style of play once again finds themselves there.
Toss in the fact that Ohio has an absolute scoring stud in Jason Preston (put up 31 in a two point loss to #1 seed Illinois), and this has trouble written all over it for the Cavaliers.
Preston will be the best player on the court against a team that struggles to score.
What could go wrong? Everything for Tony Bennett and crew.
14 seed Colgate vs 3 seed Arkansas
Arkansas is a very good basketball team.
In fact, that 3 next to their name belies how good this squad is.
They are clearly the superior team to Colgate.
Colgate has only played 5 teams all year due to COVID, and while they outscore their opponents by 18 ppg, they have not exactly played blue bloods.
Nobody is impressed you beat BU 5 times this season.
That being said, regardless of who you face, when you can score like the Raiders can from 3, anyone can fall.
Colgate shot 8th best in he nation from 2 and 3rd best in the nation from 3. Sample size was not too small either, as they were 32nd in attempts from 3 this season.
Look for Colgate to simply shoot their way to round too. Arkansas fans have waited long for a squad like this, but this is why we love college basketball.
Anyone can beat anyone, and sometimes its luck of the draw. March Madness!
Speaking of madness…
15 seed Iona vs 2 seed Alabama
I think this Alabama team is great. I think they had a case to be a 1 seed over Michigan.
Houston is not as good as their seed, and simply cannot choose them due to how mediocre Cleveland State is this season.
Ohio state will win, and so will Iowa vs For Profit University.
Thus, we are left with bama vs Iona.
Alabama can’t win everything, can they? What is this Florida in the Tebow/Horford years?
But seriously, the reason why the Gaels are going to win this game is simple.
It is the slicked back hair and tailored Italian suits of the Celtics killer himself, Mr. Richard Pitino.
I refuse to bet against a man who will win by any means necessary and has won at this level for longer than I have existed.
He will find a way, bribery or through basketball god prayer, to take this one.
RIP to the SEC, as they just ran into a buzzsaw of fate.
Don’t worry – football will return soon SEC fans!