With the draft coming up just a few short months away, it’s time for every NBA draft analysts favorite month: March. Maleopold15 of Sports Thoughts and I will be going over each other’s finals four matchups, sleepers, upsets, and entire brackets. With not much time to finalize your brackets, here are our (inexperienced) opinions.
Michael Porter Jr. is the best player in college basketball, no questions asked. He may have missed the entire season. He may be doubted by all of the experts. His draft stock may be falling, but this March Madness. Remember, anything can happen. Despite his inefficiencies against Georgia about a week ago, Porter was aggressive on both sides of the floor. Often times, the team with the best player on the floor wins, and I can’t imagine any different with this Missouri team.
Like Porter, Colin Sexton of the Alabama Crimson Tide will almost always be the best player on the floor. No one on Villanova even comp- wait. What? I almost completely forgot to address Villanova point guard, Jalen Brunson. While Brunson may have been a huge part of the Wildcat’s success two years ago and has only improved since I don’t think he can handle the intensity of Sexton and the Alabama offense. I don’t want to call Brunson unathletic, but the “March Madness environment” generally favors to speedy guys who can create mayhem on the court, like Sexton, John Pettey, and Donta Hall.
3. Ohio State
You may have noticed a trend in my first two sleepers. I favor teams with superstar talent, just as I would in the NBA playoffs. Just as you expected, Ohio State is no different. Forward, Keita Bates-Diop won big ten player of the year. While his scoring methods may seem awkward, it just works. Unfortunately, with their potential third-round matchup against Missouri, only one team can make it to the Elite Eight.
My Final Four:
Not only does Arizona carry the potential number one overall pick, Deandre Ayton, but also a slew of scorers along the wing in Alonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins. With the whole team shooting over 50% from the field, I couldn’t imagine a world with them not in the final four, especially with their week conference.
Against popular belief, I seriously considered having Alabama in the final four, but with four players averaging over 12 points per game and an extremely tested and seasoned offense, I think Purdue is going to make it out alive. With Bama being tested against Virginia Tech, then Villanova, and finally Wichita State, they’d most likely be too tired out to continue to dominate by the elite eight. Therefore, Purdue finds themselves with a fairly easy road into the Final Four.
I don’t think anyone wants to hear me talk about Michael Porter anymore.
Every single year I’ve filled out a bracket, I always (and I mean always) have Duke cutting down the nets in the end. They always have the most talent and I know that as soon as I give up on them, they’re going to prove me wrong with the win. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. With one of the most legendary coaches of all-time to go along with a future top-five overall pick in Marvin Bagley, one of the scrappiest players in NCAA history in Grayson Allen, and a slew of other NBA-ready scorers like Wendell Carter, Gary Trent, and Marques Bolden. With this kind of depth, experience, and culture, Duke should always be the favorite, no matter what happens in the years before.
Things I Don’t Like:
Villanova may be one of the most battle-tested teams in the entire tournament. With them as the favorites on a lot of experts’ brackets, I can’t blame you for believing the same, but I just don’t see the energy I do in other teams in the Wildcats. A very balanced scoring attack could be seen as versatile, or it could be seen as a team’s downfall without a leader. We’ll have to wait and see if they can make it through the more energetic teams who honestly don’t have as much pressure.
Honestly other than Villanova, I think Maleopold has a very good and very safe bracket. While I may not even be old enough to gamble, Maleopold definitely has a smarter bracket than I do. When an upset occurs (like Alabama over Villanova or Missouri over North Carolina), I want to be able to take credit. Good luck to everyone with their brackets, and go check out what Maleopold had to say about me in his article.
Start a conversation in the comments about who YOU think will cut down the nets in San Antonio!