I’ll admit this year I haven’t watched as much NCAA Basketball as years past, last year I watched as much Lonzo as I could, this year was kinda an off year for UCLA who didn’t make the tournament and the league as a whole, which has been desperate for dominant team all season. That being said here are my predictions.
Thanks to a 11 seed upset Purdue won’t face a single digit opponent until the elite 8 where they will be well rested and ready to beat a well coached but under talented Villanova. Purdue is a quick team that when they’re playing their game are easily good enough to make the final four, unfortunately they won’t be able to compete with Michigan State, and they will lose by at least 9 in that game.
Xavier drew one of the easiest routes to the final four, even without a through and through superstar their team play should be enough to carry them through. The early game against Missouri and Gonzaga should go relatively smooth, I don’t see them winning by any less than 8 points. The game against Michigan will be their first real test and lucky for them Michigan will be coming off a crazy game will UNC that will have drained all energy reserves they had. The final four is the furthest I see Xavier going.
There is a reason Sean Miller allegedly wanted to pay Deandre Ayton one hundred thousand dollars; he’s a beast. And he is gonna have to be, Arizona has a path to the final four so hard that I just can’t see them finishing it off in the final. UVA, Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Xavier; now that’s just plain awful. Kentucky seems to be a mess but if the freshman gel they will really challenge Arizona and next up would be UVA which will take Arizona to the brink. Luckily I don’t think Cincinnati will be much of a challenge and Xavier won’t be much better. By the end of the gauntlet I don’t think Ayton will have enough left in the tank to beat Michigan State.
Midwest: Michigan State
With one of the most grueling routes to the final four, it won’t be easy for Michigan State. That being said playing in Detroit will give them the energy needed late in their early games, and with all the off court controversy surrounding Izzo and Michigan State University I believe this team is closer than almost any other in the tournament. The game against Duke will be their greatest challenge prior to the final four due to Duke’s superstars in a NCAA season that has very few, if they can survive Duke they will beat Kansas. They are strong on defense, can shoot the three well, have a veteran coach, and they are my pick to win it all