March Madness is almost upon us again. Selection Sunday is set for March 16 at 6 p.m., on CBS. What does it take to win it all and which teams are ready for greatness?
Winning requires more than good guard play
Experts always talk about the importance of guard play and how the offense flows through the point guard’s hands. The top teams understand this and apply massive pressure on the ball handler. This year, in order to win, teams will need two and sometimes three players who are able to bring the ball up court. The teams best suited to handle this kind of pressure will come out on top this year.
Most people are picking the Gators to win it all in Arlington. They are the top rated team going into the tournament and have solid players in Casey Prather and Michael Frazier II. As a team they are excellent defenders. The one concern with Florida is their outside shooting. This lack of consistency will cost them when they get to Arlington.
Kansas has to be one of the favorites heading into the tournament. With Andrew Wiggins at small forward, Kansas has the extra ball handler needed to survive the pressure defense seen in the tournament. I would predict Kansas to be in the National Championship if it wasn’t for the back injury to Joel Embiid. While Embiid isn’t the biggest offensive threat, his defense and rebounding will surely be missed. Kansas should be happy with an Elite 8 appearance.
Last year the “Shockers” shocked the world and made it to the Final Four. Unfortunately for Wichita State that was last year, and now every team in the country has video and scouting reports on them. The Shockers play a complete team game and complement each other well. They can play with anybody in the country, but this year they are going to make it to the Elite 8 and nothing more. Their lack of size and star power will be their downfall.
The University of Michigan
Last year the Wolverines made it to the finals. They lost Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the NBA and Mitch McGary to injury, yet they are poised to make it to the finals again this year. Nik Stauskas has stepped into a leadership role. Caris LeVert had a major breakthrough this season and has been one of the most consistent players all season. Mix in Glenn Robinson III and the most underrated coach in the country, John Beilein, and you have this year’s National Champions.