It’s March Madness season, BABY!
Normally, I conduct and countdown a top-five list of a various topic; anything from music to movies to beards. But because of unique circumstances, the notorious NCAA Final Four tournament, I am going to provide a top “four” list. I entitle this,
THE 2017 NCAA MARCH MADNESS FINAL FOUR FAVORITES.
BUT…because I’m OCD and will feel awkward if I leave it at four, I am going to alter it back and round it up to a top-five list.
To complete and round up to five, I will submit my “Cinderella” team. AHHHHH! The “Cinderella” story. The surprise small, non-traditionally school that makes a run and upsets one or multiple higher-ranked and creates this magical, fairy-tale story that many will tell for years to come. Some examples? Wichita State in 2013, VCU AND Butler in 2011, and George Mason in 2006.
Never underestimate an opponent.
Now let’s do this…
4. Arizona. Mark my words: Sean Miller will FINALLY bring a Wildcats team to the Final Four for the first time since inheriting the team from legendary coach, Lute Olson. The Arizona Wildcats have been one of the quietest top-10 teams of the 2017 season and for good reasons. With Oregon and UCLA hogging all the Pac-12 limelight, ‘Zona slithered through the cracks just to cement themselves as conference tournament champs. Oh, and their four losses of the year? Butler, Gonzaga, Oregon, UCLA. Goes to show how difficult the road to March was for these Cats. But their time is…MEOW.
3. UCLA: Two Pac-12 teams! Count ’em, TWO. To justify, all I need to say are two words, Lonzo Ball…ball. [Ok, three.] Some want to draw immediate resemblance of his play to the style of Steph Curry: a quick, sharp-shooter that can take over games. Only time will tell if this kid can light up the floor like the ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’. The team themselves aren’t slouches. Senior Bryce Alford and star Freshman TJ Leaf are just as capable of taking over games as Lonzo. These three led the bruising Bruin team through a vigourous regular season, beating Oregon, Kentucky, AND Michigan. [Mic drop.]
2 Duke: Just typing this sends tremors through my veins. I’m already regretting tossing Duke into this list. Why? It is notorious that the Blue Devils are a MESS if they are ranked anywhere other than the 1-spot. In the past ten years alone, they have lost nauseating games in early rounds: Mercer as a #3, Lehigh as a #2, West Virginia as a #2, and VCU as a #6. What’s on their side? A late-season surge to beat Louisville, North Carolina, then Notre Dame to win the ACC championship. Tough to bet against a group like “Wild Thing” Grayson Allen, Luke Kennard, and senior captain Matt Jones. Not to mention, the Coach K days are nearing an end. Let’s be honest. You know the legendary coach is on a mission for number six.
1 Kansas: Rock. Chalk. Jayhawk…K….U….! These guys seem to always seem to be a heavy favorite to win the ‘Ship but always find a snag along the way. Last year, Villanova, the eventual champions, knocked the Jayhawks out in the Elite Eight. Believe that these guys have not forgotten. Frank Mason III, captain and heavy favorite to win the Wooden Award, is on a mission to end his college career on a high note. Along with Mason III, Devonta Graham, Joshua Jackson, and Sviatoslav Malkdjflkja;sodifwqerlkj [thats how you spell his name, right?] create a high-calliber force to be wreckin with. Consider the Jayhawks my heavy favorite to cut down the net in Glendale, AZ.
And now, my Cinderella………..
5 Rhode Island: Ranked at the 11-spot, URI will RUIN brackets. They will beat Creighton, upset Oregon in the second round, and possibly find themselves in Elite-8 territory if upset Louisville/Michigan in the Sweet 16. Why should you believe? Why do I? they just beat former “cinderella” VCU in the A10 title game. Follow the signs…