Throw your brackets out.
This March Insanity has been traditionally unpredictable, with 4 double-digit seeds making it to the males’s NCAA Match second weekend. It is the primary time 4 groups seeded No. 11 or decrease are in the Candy 16.
It is also gorgeous that the mighty Massive Ten – the highest convention in NET rankings – despatched 9 groups to the Massive Dance and just one (No. 1 seed Michigan) remains to be standing. Particularly in distinction to the Pac-12, which has 4 groups set to sq. off Saturday and Sunday in Indianapolis.
However now that the smoke has cleared, we now have a really feel for every of the 16 groups remaining. A have a look at some daring predictions for the remainder of the match:
1. Double-digit seeds make it to the Elite Eight. Each UCLA and Syracuse had been NCAA bubble groups that hardly bought into the sphere of 68. Now they’re among the many 16 groups left. Each groups have performed their greatest model of basketball and are able to pulling off extra upsets, this time in opposition to No. 2 seeds. Coach Mick Cronin has the Bruins (20-9) rolling proper now, pulverizing Abilene Christian by 20 and cruising previous Brigham Younger by 11. However this will likely be a taller job in opposition to an SEC champion Alabama workforce. If UCLA’s guards – particularly Johnny Juzang – can outplay ‘Bama’s, this recreation is winnable. A lot of Syracuse’s deep run – beating San Diego State and West Virginia – has been based mostly on the new taking pictures of the coach Jim Boeheim’s son, Buddy. The marksmen has made 13 triples and poured in 55 factors in two tourney video games. If he is on from past the arc, No. 2 seed Houston is in bother vs. the Orange (18-9).
2. Michigan is the second No. 1 to fall. The Wolverines (22-4) are the Massive Ten’s final remaining males’s workforce (of the 9 that earned bids), and although they had been in a position to fend off LSU within the second spherical, it could possibly be a much bigger problem getting previous an athletic and prolonged Florida State workforce. That is the kind of bodily recreation the place the lack of Isaiah Livers, Michigan’s spine all through the season, could possibly be expensive. FSU has a lineup that may put extra strain than regular on 7-1 Hunter Dickinson and 6-9 Franz Wagner, the workforce’s two stars.
3. Baylor does not make it to the Ultimate 4. The Bears (24-2) are a favourite to win the entire thing and take down undefeated Gonzaga within the nationwide title recreation. Downside is, their path to get there may be fairly difficult. No. 5 seed Villanova is not at full power with Collin Gillespie out. However the Wildcats have been sharp of their first two video games and can provide Baylor an actual take a look at. The professional menace, although, is Arkansas — assuming the Razorbacks get to the Elite Eight over Cinderella Oral Roberts. That is the kind of offensive workforce that may stifle the Bears. Coach Eric Musselman’s Arkansas workforce is loaded with offensive weapons, and it is going to be an epic backcourt matchup between Razorbacks guards Moses Moody, JD Notae and Jalen Tate vs. Baylor guards Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell.
4. Southern California takes out Oregon and Gonzaga, reaches the Ultimate 4. The way in which the Trojans (24-7) regarded whereas drubbing Kansas by 34 factors within the second spherical, they regarded like they may beat nearly any workforce left within the match. However undefeated Gonzaga – the nationwide title favourite? It is potential for a wide range of causes. As dominant because the ‘Zags (28-0) have been, they have not been examined in West Coast Convention play or the primary two rounds of the NCAAs. How will Gonzaga’s Drew Timme match up in opposition to USC star Evan Mobley? The battle of the large males will likely be must-watch. Coach Andy Enfield has a protection that ranks fifth nationally in factors allowed and can give the closely favored Bulldogs all they’ll deal with. There’s additionally the notion of strain and participant psyche. The final undefeated workforce that bought this far, Kentucky in 2015, misplaced within the Ultimate 4 regardless of being one in all coach John Calipari’s most dominant groups. What occurs when Gonzaga faces its first actual take a look at?
5. Loyola Chicago cuts down the nets. The Ramblers (26-4) are not a Cinderella. This can be a nationwide title contending workforce with the nation’s greatest protection – limiting opponents to 55.8 factors a recreation and main KenPom’s effectivity scores (86.1). The final workforce to carry these stats throughout an NCAA Match – Virginia – received the nationwide title in 2019. However coach Porter Moser’s offense isn’t any slouch, both. It is predicated on spacing and endurance from the playbook of the late coach Rick Majerus.
That slows the tempo down and permits a well-disciplined half-court offense to take an up-tempo workforce fully out of rhythm. Cameron Krutwig (15.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.0 apg) is the important thing for Loyola Chicago to come back out swinging prefer it did in an infinite upset of No. 1 Illinois. With a slowed tempo, Loyola can beat anybody within the Midwest Area – or any remaining workforce Area for that matter.
Comply with school basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.