March MadnessThursday, March 29, 2012 By Sean Griffin, ’14
It is that time of year again. Let the brackets and craziness of March Madness begin. Most teams in college basketball all have one common goal. That is to win the national championship. Over the past few years, we have seen teams from across the country make a run in the NCAA tournament. From George Mason in 2006 to Butler in 2009, many of the underdog teams hope to make a “Cinderella” run to the national championship game. How will this year’s March Madness play out? Here is a preview of what to look out for in the coming weeks of the NCAA basketball tournament. Marquette will make it to the Elite 8. Marquette this season has a lot of talent at the guard position, especially with senior guard Darius Johnson-Odom averaging 18.3 points per game and doing everything for Marquette . Marquette has had some great quality wins this season, coming against Pittsburgh , Louisville , and UConn. In those games, Marquette has played great defense, along with great performances from Johnson- Odom. Marquette has shown no giving up this season and if they continue to have strong gameplay from Johnson-Odom and senior forward Jae Crowder, look for the Golden Eagles to make a run into the Elite 8. Kansas will be in the Final Four. Kansas has had a season of ups and downs, but they have had strong play from sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor and sophomore forward Thomas Robinson, who is great when finishing around the glass for easy layups and getting rebounds. In games this season against Ohio State , Baylor, and Missouri , Robinson has averaged 25 points a game and guard Tyshawn Taylor has averaged over 20 points per game. All of those teams were once ranked in the nation’s top 10. Kansas will have strong competition from the likely number 1 seeds of Syracuse and Kentucky , but if Robinson and Taylor continue what they have been doing, look for Kansas to make a run into the Final Four and even compete for a national championship. Duke will lose in the Sweet 16. Duke has high hopes of repeating this season as going to the national championship game. However, Duke has been struggling lately, as freshman guard Austin Rivers has not been able to find his stroke and Duke does not have a lot of good post players that can compete with the likes of Jared Sullinger and Thomas Robinson. In the last few games, Duke has not been playing great defense, giving up 60 points a game and nearly giving up the lead in half of those games. Duke cannot afford a slow start to a game in the tournament, as a slow start would only hinder their chances of advancing farther in the tournament. Duke will also be facing tough competition, but if they do not play with urgency and great defense, Duke could almost be bound for an upsetting loss. Now that the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament is underway, it will be interesting to see which teams will play well and if we will possibly have a dark horse team like Marquette or Davidson make a deep run in the tournament. We will just have to wait and find out.