Ladies and gentlemen, it is now March! This means that two of the best things of the entire year are back: Shamrock Shakes and March Madness. I’ll let you pick which is better. With the NCAA tournament just 2 weeks away, there are plenty of story lines going into this year’s tournament. With so much going on, it can be hard to analyze every team that will be playing in the “Big Dance.” Let’s look at four different types of teams in order to better examine the field:
- The “usuals”: So, if you watch March Madness regularly, you will always see these teams. Some of these teams include Kansas, Gonzaga, Duke, and Kentucky. While one of these teams doesn’t always win, they are usually one of the last few standing, and they almost always make a deep run. They have a tournament pedigree, and they will have been battle tested all season long.
- The “sometimes”: These teams aren’t powerhouses like the above group, but they definitely can make a deep run if given the chance. While they don’t always compete late in the tournament, you can’t ever count them out. Some of these teams include Maryland, Oregon, Florida State, Auburn, and Creighton. They always seem to be just one or two key plays away from advancing to glory. Can they capture just enough magic to win a title?
- The “Late 25”: Who is in this group? To me, these are the teams hovering around 19-30 in the NCAA rankings that aren’t in one of the two above groups. These teams are unstable at times, but when they get going, they can definitely make some noise. I would expect to see a decent amount of the more viable “cinderellas” coming out of this group. Some of the teams in this group are Iowa, Colorado, BYU, and Houston. All of these teams are capable of making noise in March, but will it be enough?
- The… “Who”: How many times in March are you filling out your bracket, and you’re left wondering, “Who is this?” The team is probably from a school you have never heard of before, yet they will upset the #1 team in the country. Yes, that has happened to me personally, so I know the pain. They can be anywhere from a 12-16 seed, and they love to ruin perfection. They are there to blow up your bracket and make life tough. While it’s tough to predict who these teams will be before the bracket is released, early predictions can give us some idea. Some of these teams right now are Bowling Green, Little Rock, Colgate, and Robert Morris. Can any of these teams deliver a huge upset?
What group does your team fit into? How far will they advance in the tournament? Do you have a favorite, or do you pick a special way? Either way, this is an exciting time for sure! Regardless, it’s march, and it’s going to be madness.