For some people, the N.C.A.A. The men’s basketball tournament is the most exciting sporting event of the year. Sixty-eight teams from around the country battle it out for three weeks until there’s only one left and confetti drips down.
For most fans, the unpredictable early rounds are the most compelling. Everyone has a favorite # 12 seed versus a # 5 seed or a 13-versus-4 seed, and after the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Virginia stunning in 2018, there’s even a precedent for a 16th seed that A 1 crashes.
Jay Wright has Villanova to two of the last four NCAA guided. Championships and is a finalist for the Hall of Fame this year, but his current team seems ripe for a surprise.
Villanova lost senior point guard Collin Gillespie to a knee injury at the end of the season and fell in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament against Georgetown after winning the previous three titles.
Winthrop, the Big South’s regular season and tournament winner, is 23-1 and is led by senior point guard Chandler Vaudrin, who is the nation’s Triple doubles leading and ESPN’s Jay Bilas as « Collin Gillespie at 6-7 and left-handed » with « great feel and great vision ».
Winthrop loves to go faster: They have Big South in all three – Tournament games scored more than 80 points and occupied more than 20 percent of the properties with opposing sales.
Remember that the 12th seed is historically 50-90 (.357) against the fifth seed, with three wins at the last tournament.
This is a trendy surprise as the Hoyas (13-12) looked great winning four games in four days to win the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden last week. Georgetown was last selected in the Big East with 11 teams, but prevailed against Marquette, Villanova, Seton Hall and Creighton and took the title. Now it’s one of four Big East teams in the tournament.
The length and height of the Hoyas – they are led by 6-foot-11 runner-up Qudus Wahab (12.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game) – made it difficult for opponents to score. The Hoyas kept Creighton on 48 points in the Big East, Marquette on 49 and Seton Hall on 58. Villanova lost 72-71.
Colorado (22-8) is an excellent team on both ends. The Buffaloes are led by veteran senior point guard McKinley Wright, who averages 15.5 points and needs 5.6 points for a game.
Even so, the Hoyas are on the rise and coach Patrick Ewing continues to show that he hasn’t received enough recognition as head coach. « I’m here where a lot of people didn’t think I would be able to, » said Ewing. « And I prove everyone is wrong. »
This should be a fascinating game. Syracuse was on the line before winning three of four and narrowly losing to Virginia in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, while San Diego State had a 14-game winning streak and hasn’t lost since mid-January.
The state San Diego is led by 6-6 year old striker Matt Mitchell and has good shooters in Jordan Schakel and Terrell Gomez. As a team, the Aztecs shoot 37 percent from a distance – 33rd out of 340 Division I teams.
Still, Syracuse can force distractions in its 2-3 zone that lead to transition buckets. On the offensive, Buddy Boeheim shoots 37 percent from the 3-point line and has made four 3s per game in his last eight games.
No. 11 seeds are 52-88 (.371) against sixth seeds, and in In five of the last six tournaments, an 11 has advanced to the round of 32. This could be the 11th seed selected this year.
Rutgers is competing in the N.C.A.A. for the first time. Tournament since 1991 when George H.W. Bush was in the White House and Mariah Carey topped the Billboard pop charts. And they hope to stay a little longer.
The team has more opportunities to score than Clemson and seems ready for some magic. Ron Harper Jr. is a tall, physical guardian who can play to make contact, averaging 15.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Geo Baker, the team’s emotional leader, averages 10.1 points, while 6-11 Myles Johnson protects the rim at 2.3 blocks per game.
Rutgers was a solid 10-10 in the challenging Big Ten Conference , and that should prepare the team, even if the players have not played in the national tournament before.
Virginia Tech was in the ACC Third, but only got a 10th seed. The team consists of Keve Aluma, a 6-9 striker with an average of 15.6 points and 8.0 rebounds, and three players with an average of six or more rebounds.
The Hokies are 48th in the NET rankings, while Florida ranks 31st. Still, the Gators (14-9) were inconsistent and came into play as losers out of three out of four. You could be for a short stay. This game starts the action on Friday afternoon.
Loyola is back in the tournament for the first time since Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the team’s 101-year-old chaplain, became one during the Ramblers’ run to the Final Four in 2018 Became an icon. They have won 21 of 23 games and are led by 6-9 year old Cameron Krutwig, Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, who averages 15.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists. </ Georgia Tech won the ACC Tournament after finishing ninth in the conference. It has the A.C.C. Player of the Year, Moses Wright, who averages 17.4 points and 8.0 rebounds. In the last few games he has scored 26 points against Virginia Tech, 31 against Syracuse and 29 against Duke. Wright had 15 points and 8 rebounds in the A.C.C. Tournament title game against Florida State.
The yellow jackets are also equipped with AC power. Defensive Player of the Year, Jose Alvarado, a native of New York who steals a game an average of three times and completes a defense that earns opponents 20 percent of the possessions.
Despite winning the conference tournament, Georgia Tech got the number here 9 not much respect and Loyola could pay the price. Ninth seeds are 72-68 (.514) versus eighth seeds so this can’t be taken as such a big surprise.
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