Just about everyone goes into the infamous illegal “office pool” for march madness every year. Just about all of those people haven’t watched a college basketball game all year either. While it is quite easy to say that anyone can win, I think it certainly helps to know a little more. As an avid college basketball fan…here is some advice.
Every year the experts say you need good guard play, the ability to play great defense, and the ability to hit 3 pointers. I think that describes just about all the great teams, and half of the good ones in the tournament. Basically that advice means nothing. So what does matter…what teams have tournament success…
- Teams with great coaching. Michigan St., Wisconsin, UCLA, North Carolina, Duke, Memphis. All these teams have coaches who have proven records. These teams do not go out and lay eggs. Of course, they could lay an egg but I’d rather bet on these teams knowing they have great coaching.
- Upperclassmen leadership at the guard position. Not very often does a team led by a freshman or sophomore dominate. Syracuse with Carmelo Anthony was an anomaly. Teams this year with junior and senior guards: Duke, Memphis, Xavier, Georgetown, Kansas, Tennessee, Pitt to name a few.
- Teams that have been there before. It is pretty rare that a team comes out of nowhere and gets into the Final Four. Granted, at least one team in the Final Four will be a surprise, but most often a team which has guys who have been far in the tournament will go far again. Memphis, UCLA, Kansas, UNC, Michigan St, Vanderbilt, USC, Oregon.
So those are the big 3 for me. Been there, old guards, great coaching.
Every year there is usually a team seeded higher than 5 that makes the Elite 8. Usually that team has great guard play, and are on a hot shooting streak. Best chances for that this year: Butler, Arizona, Drake (they are a 5 seed), Davidson, St. Mary’s, and Siena.
In the end, it is a guessing game….so good luck 🙂