One of the most intriguing and exciting men’s college basketball seasons in recent memory is coming to an end. Conference tournaments are just a preview of the NCAA Men’s Tournament, starting March 18th in Dayton . From a team, Wichita State, that will enter the tournament undefeated for the first time since 1991, to Harvard, who have won its 3rd straight Ivy League title , it should be thrilling. Here are four teams that have the best chance to celebrate to “One Shining Moment .”
Best Major Conference Team With the Best Chance To Win the Tournament: Florida Gators
If there is a team that most pundits will agree is the favorite to win this tournament, this would be the most obvious choice. Going undefeated the Southeastern Conference led by Head Coach Billy Donovan will get attention. Donovan led the Gators to National Championships in 2006 and 2007. This year’s group of Gators features senior experience from Casey Prather and Scottie Wilkbein .
Mid-Major Conference Team With the Best Chance To Win the Tournament: Wichita State Shockers
If a team with an experienced head coach matters this time of year, why not a coach with players that are experienced as well? Coach Gregg Marshall and this group of Shockers learned from last year’s semifinal loss and had rolled through their schedule and the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Even though the 2014 Shockers’ faced the 94th toughest schedule, they know what they need to do go get all the way.
Freshmen Looking To Make a Big Splash In the Tournament: Kansas C Joel Embiid and F Andrew Wiggins
We have seen groups of freshmen get far in this tournament ( 1992 Michigan Wolverines ), even win it all ( 2003 Syracuse Orange ). The biggest question with this team is whether Embiid will be healthy for this tournament and whether Wiggins will use the tournament to showcase his NBA prospects. This team may have the two keys to success to win it all in a dynamic offensive weapon and a defensive stalwart. However, without both on their A-games, they won’t move deep into the tournament.
Don’t Sleep On the Defending Champs, Louisville
Having won a share of the regular season title of the American Athletic Conference, Louisville is hitting its stride . Led by its great team defense , Louisville is still a threat to win it all. Just looking how they manhandled a ranked UConn team in its regular season finale last Saturday, it is easy to see why Louisville has a great chance of repeating. They were able to get balanced scoring and play stifling defense.
Final Four Predictions, With a Dark Horse
Based on what I have seen in the regular season, I think that three of the four mentioned here will get to the Final Four with Louisville repeating? However, if there is a team that can win it all and is Wisconsin. If you take a look at their best three non-conference wins over Virginia, Saint Louis and Florida, they held each to under 60 points. Always watch out for a great defensive team this time of year.