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Josh Reed’s Bracketology Breakdown

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Josh Reed’s Bracketology Breakdown

Josh Reed, Staff Reporter

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Favorites: One of these teams will be pretty happy by April 3rd

UVA: UVA is a number one seed for the third time in five years, and look ready to capitalize off an extremely dominant season. They absolutely manhandled the best conference in basketball, and only lost two games the entire season. Don’t let ACC Sixth Man of the Year De’Andre Hunters’ injury absence scare you off: UVA is the team to beat.

Purdue: The Boilermakers’ have looked amazing this season. Expect nothing to change. With an offense that has more options than an all-you-can-eat buffet and a ferociously tough defense, expect a huge run this year.

Villanova: The Big East champions are preparing to do what they were doing around this time in 2016: cut down nets. Watch for junior Mikal Bridges to continue his remarkable season and end it on a high note.

Kansas: The Jayhawks just won their 11th Big 12 championship, continuing their history of dominance. Expect them to roll in March with guns blazing. Coach Bill Self’s squad always seems to play their best in March, and this year is no exception.

Michigan: The Wolverines come into the Tournament red-hot and full of energy. They’re just coming off a Big-10 tournament in which they beat rival Michigan State in the semi’s and beat Purdue to win it. With confidence aplenty, expect Michigan to ride its ride to the Final Four.

 

Prepare for the worst: Expect these favored teams to head home early

Kentucky: After a disappointing season from Coach John Calipari’s squad, expect a disappointing tournament run (or lack thereof), especially in the stacked South bracket. They’ve been on fire lately, but expect them to be doused by either Arizona or UVA.

Duke: Duke has been uncharacteristically vulnerable this season. Duke’s road to the Finals is extremely difficult. With possible matchups against Kansas, Michigan State, and an underrated Rhode Island team, Coach K’s squad’s chances look slim at best. If future NBA prospects Grayson Allen, Marvin Bagley III, and Wendall Carter Jr. don’t step up, they’re in trouble.

UNC: The reigning champs have historically had a bad case of Championship Hangover. They’ll make a bit of a run, but history will repeat itself.

Xavier: Even if they do get past a Sweet Sixteen matchup with either Ohio State or Gonzaga, they’ll meet UNC or Michigan. If this scenario plays out, expect them to go down.

 

Upset Alert! : These teams have the opportunity to bust some brackets

Virginia Tech: With huge wins against UNC, Virginia, and Duke, Virginia Tech has shown they can come out on top in big-time games.

Kansas State: Despite a disappointing loss in the Big-12 semi-finals to Kansas, they’ve had impressive moments. If everything clicks, they have a chance to beat UVA in the Round of 32.

 

Dark Horses:

Arizona: Having the best player in the country in Deandre Ayton certainly helps their case. If they find a way to win the South, they can ride that momentum to a title.

West Virginia: Defense wins championships. A WVU defense led by senior guard Jevon Carter could live up to that adage if they win some decisive games.

Michigan State: Possible meetings with Duke, Kansas, and Purdue certainly look intimidating, but if any team can come out on top of this stretch, it’s the Spartans. Look for star freshman Miles Bridges to have a monster tournament.

 

My predictions:

Champion: UVA

 

Final Four:

South: UVA (1) Advance to Natl. Champ

West: Michigan (3)

East: Purdue (2) Advance to Natl. Champ

Midwest: Kansas (1)

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Josh Reed’s Bracketology Breakdown