Alright so Monday, I stated that only ten teams have a chance at winning it all in March. I went over five of those ten teams. Today I want to go over the other five teams that stand a chance. Remember, this list is in no specific order. Make sure to check out Part One if you haven’t already.
What is this team good at? Well they are tenth in the nation in scoring. That may not seem like a huge thing, but teams that can put up points make it far in the tournament. I am not placing all of my chips on Xavier since they are also one of the worst defensive teams in the country, but they can certainly win it all. If they catch fire on offense in any given game, then they will be hard to knock off. Look for Xavier to either be eliminated in the first few games, or make it all the way to the championship.
Nova just has a certain swag to them, and they should be a favorite in this tournament. They are not used to losing games (27-4), and they lead the nation in scoring. Although they are second in the Big East in the standings behind Xavier, I think that Villanova is a smarter pick. The Coach has been on the big stage before, Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges can shoot the lights out ( .528 & .511 fg%), and they have depth.
Millions of people fill out a march madness bracket every year, and they do not know a thing about college basketball. Who do these people usually pick? Well they pick the number one ranked team in the country . Virginia will most likely be the number one overall seed heading into the tournament unless they are badly upset in the ACC tournament. Why is Virginia so good? They only give up 52.8 points per game, which is the best in the nation. I usually say that defense wins championship in March. However, you have to at least have some offense to go along with that number one ranked defense. Read these two stats closely, Virginia ranks 314th in scoring and 314th in rebounding. If Virginia runs into a team that has a couple of dominant big men, then it may not end up well for them.
Alright here is where things got tough. Choosing the last two teams was challenging since I have a lot of bubble teams on my mind. However, here are the last two teams that you should give a shot.
This team excels on offense as well as defense. Cincinnati went toe to toe with Xavier earlier this season, but ended up losing. However, I just really like this team. Will I pick them to win in any brackets I create? NO. Do they have a better chance most of the competition to win the championship? Yes. Cincinnati is one of the best rebounding teams in the nation, and they have played well in an decent American conference. They play the ultimate team game, with no player in particular having to put the team on his back every night.
Can Purdue figure it all out and win the championship? I think they have learned from all of their close losses this season. Besides their blowout loss to Wisconsin which was brutal, Purdue has really had any bad losses. Carsen Edwards is going to have to take charge of this team and control the flow of the game. If Purdue’s big men can stay out of foul trouble, then the sky’s the limit for them.
Connor Strayer (@Big_C19)