Ok … no big shock here. Duke,
Duke, Duke. Everyone has been hyping up this young Duke team since
before the season started. They are likely filled with one-and-dones
that could dominate the Top-5 overall picks in the next NBA Draft.
The only concern with Duke is the fact that they are so heavily reliant
of freshman players. They are probably the most talented team in the
country, but will the young core of players be able to stay on point
through the pressure and spotlight of March Madness?
Duke is the heavy favorite to win the National Title and at since
November their odds to make it to the Final Four have increased from
+125 to EVEN. So, not only do the AP and Coaches think that the Blue
Devils are the No. 1 team, but the experts pushing money around in
Vegas do as well.
Tennessee is tough! We will most likely see them come out of the SEC
ahead of Kentucky and all of the rest. Ranked No. 3 in the AP, if they
win the SEC Tournament, I have no doubt that the Volunteers will take
the top spot in one of the four regions.
Kansas and Kentucky are the next highest on the odds boards behind
Duke, to make the Final Four. That said, I doubt either of them will
end up as a No. 1 seed. We should look towards the Virginia Cavaliers
to take the top spot in a region and then either Michigan or Michigan
State. Some pundits are thinking that it will be Michigan who gets the
At-Large and in Charge
There are a couple of teams that might get No. 2 or lower who have some
serious probability of going deep into the tournament.
UNC has a great shot of pushing deep as well, they are could come in as
a three seed, but most likely they’ll take a No. 4. Texas Tech is a
likely No. 2 but I see them getting upset fairly early. Despite losing
to Alabama, Kentucky is always a legitimate contender and we could see
them push through from a No. 3 seed.
The Final Four
So who will make it through the first few rounds?
Duke will live up to the hype and play in the final four. Tennessee
gets a top seed but is the first No. 1 to go down. They don’t make past
the Sweet 16. Michigan gets knocked out at No. 1, but the Michigan
State Spartans come in at a No. 2 and end up in the Final Four. Gonzaga
will make their appearance and will actually move past the Final Four
and play in the Finals.
Here is the biggest prediction of the year: Duke does not win the
title. If Duke faces Tennessee, Virginia, or Gonzaga at any point
during the tournament, the will get knocked out; they are just too