March Madness Bracket Breakdown

It’s that time of the year again: March Madness! One of the most entertaining sporting events of the year, March Madness features 64 teams battling for College Basketball supremacy. The single elimination tournament always has plenty of drama, especially the last second buzzer-beaters. Region-by-region, here’s some of what to watch for:

South Region:

Top seed Virginia grinds games to a halt with a veteran squad and tough defence. That’s a perfect narrative if everything works out accordingly since two-seed Cincinnati’s strength is also on the defensive end.

Two Players to Watch:

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky

Canadian content right out of the gate: The 6’6 guard/Hamilton native was named SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player en route to leading a Wildcats team that’s clicking at the right time. He’ll need to work on his shot to improve his draft stock, but he’s playing with crazy confidence right now. He looks like a difference maker for an NBA team down the line.

Deandre Ayton, Arizona

In the last week, articles have compared the Arizona big man to Shaquille O’Neal, and described as both a monster and a beast. This article just combined all of those comparisons into one sentence. Ayton is the surefire #1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft – look for him to score 30 points and grab 20 rebounds in a game.

One Round-of-64 Game You Need to Watch:

#5 Kentucky v. #12 Davidson

West Region:

The Xavier Musketeers are the weakest of the top seeds. Teams like fourth seed Gonzaga are primed and ready to make another mad run to the Final Four.

Two Players to Watch:

Michael Porter, Jr., Missouri

A likely top five pick in the NBA Draft, Porter, Jr. returned from injury last week. He is a game-changer for Missouri as a do-it-all swingman. However, as nobody says, the best time to work out any more kinks is in a single-elimination tournament.

Rob Gray, Houston

Capable of shooting the lights out, the senior sports an iffy haircut and a great game. Watch for him to lead Houston to a surprising run in the tournament, as he lights up the scoreboard – he averages 18.5 points per game.

One Round-of-64 Game You Need to Watch:

#3 Michigan v. #14 Montana

East Region:

The offensive powerhouse Villanova Wildcats, 2016’s champs, are the East Region’s top seed. Look out for teams like 3-seed Texas Tech with a staunch defence to surprise.

Two Players to Watch:

Collin Sexton, Alabama

The point guard is on the top of most lists for “Most Likely to Be This Season’s Kemba Walker Postseason Hero”. He’ll take over a game if his team needs him to, and his team will need him to. He was doing it in the conference tournament.

Jalen Brunson, Villanova/Mikal Bridges, Villanova

They are both critical to Villanova’s success. Brunson’s a savvy playmaker (and shotmaker). Bridges is an elite shooter with the defensive ability to guard all over the court. To borrow classic cliches, they’re the engine that makes the Wildcats go.

One Round-of-64 Game You Need to Watch:

#4 Wichita State v. #13 Marshall

Midwest Region:

Have you ever wanted to see a 16 seed upset a 1 seed? This region houses the most likely chance. The Kansas Jayhawks will take on the under-seeded Ivy League champion Penn Quakers.

Note: Since I, among other bracket experts, have pinpointed this potential upset, Kansas will win by such a ridiculous amount that I will be sorry I ever brought this up.

Two Players to Watch:

Miles Bridges, Michigan State

The swingman fills the bucket from all over with a versatile offensive attack. From last year, he’s improved his shooting that will translate to the NBA level. He’ll look to lead the three-seed Spartans to another championship.

Marvin Bagley III, Duke

Duke is playing a zone defence this season and Bagley is the man in the middle. The powerful big man is averaging a double-double for the second seed Blue Devils and will be drafted in the top five in the NBA Draft in June.

One Round-of-64 Game You Need to Watch:

#7 Rhode Island v. #10 Oklahoma

 Making Predictions

This tournament has several fantastic teams capable of winning it all but when it comes down to it, the Villanova Wildcats led by the dynamic duo of Brunson and Bridges know how to knock down shots when they need it. They’ll cut down the nets in San Antonio after the championship game.


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Gabe Nisker
Gabe Nisker is a lifelong sports fan who has been at True North Sports Camps for 10 years, both as a camper and a counsellor. He writes for the McGill Tribune and RaptorsHQ, primarily about baseball and basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @61gabester and he can be reached via email at gabrielnisker@me.com.