March 11, 2022 | SPORTS | By Quinn Guevara | Photo by Daniel de Koning
This is March: Spring begins, everyone wears green for St. Patrick’s Day, and madness falls upon us. The 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament is right around the corner, and here’s all there is to know about bracketology and the field of teams before the first round of games begin on March 13.
Although the tournament is almost here, the No. 1 seeds are not yet set in stone. According an article by Joe Lunardi of ESPN, “I believe two of the spots are all but locked – Gonzaga and Arizona – and the remaining two will come from the Big 12 (Baylor or Kansas) and SEC (Auburn or Kentucky).”
Gonzaga has been dominant all year with phenom center Chet Holmgren. Although they have been the number one team in the country for most of the season, the team has been a little rocky lately.
The Bulldogs lost in an upset to St. Mary’s College a few weeks ago and came away with a narrow 13-point win against the University of San Francisco on Monday, although the game was much closer than the final score suggests. The big concern with Gonzaga is whether or not they are set up as a tournament-winning team.
Speaking of teams set up to win in the tournament, the Michigan Wolverines are poised to make a run for the championship on April 4. The Ann Arbor-based school beat its rival the Ohio State Buckeyes, who at the time were the 22nd ranked team in the country, according to USA Today Sports, in their home stadium in Columbus.
The Wolverines were able to win the game without the help of their head coach Juwan Howard, who was serving his final game suspension for a fight with Wisconsin’s head coach Greg Gard. The rivalry win proved that this team can win in tough environments and against the odds – don’t be surprised if they make a late and surprising run at a title.
The best part about March Madness is watching underdog teams upset higher seeded ones. With that said, the Duke Blue Devils might make an early exit from the tournament. They can still make a push for a higher seed during this week’s ACC tournament, but they are a young team facing many distractions that could prevent them from truly competing for the championship.
Underclassmen make up a majority of Duke’s roster, and most of them will soon be playing in their first ever NCAA Tournament game. The Blue Devils are also coming off their latest loss to archival UNC, which was the final home game for their legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who will be coaching in the final NCAA tournament of his illustrious career. With rocky play as of late, don’t be surprised if they get upset early.
This week, teams will be playing in their conference tournaments, which will finalize their seeding for the nationwide NCAA Tournament. March Madness always provides a few weeks of wildly entertaining basketball, and this year’s contest should be no exception.