The madness that is aptly named March Madness has arrived. Where the teams that have been doing great things all season, look to show why they are the best. The big dance, where the little teams want to show up and make that magical run that places them in the books as the Cinderella story. We know sometimes the best of the best dont win – it is sometimes about who is playing the best at the time, and who gets the matchups that favor the team and their skill set. Be sure to visit VegasTopDogs.com for your March Madness Winning action!
But here, we are going to concentrate on the ‘Big 8’ – the top 8 teams in the nation, and who are truly the genuine threats to run the table for the last time this NCAA season and win that coveted NCAA title.
1. Villanova ( 31-3) Ranked 2
Leading scorer: Sr G, Josh Hart 18.6 ppg
Xfactor: Last years champion. They come in holding their heads high – knowing they are still proven as the team to beat in the tournament this year again. They had a great run last year, and Jay Wright knows how to get the most from his team.
Reason they could run the table: Their accurate and strong ability to close out games.
2. UCLA ( 29-4) Ranked 3
Leading scorer: Sr G, Bryce Alford 16.2 ppg
Xfactor: They have really good size – and aren’t afraid to body up down low – wearing teams out.
Reason they could run the table: Their non stop offensive attack – with 20 games of scoring 85+ they have firepower that lasts for days. Having never scored less than 74 points, on the season – they are a team that can light up the boards in a hurry.
3. Kansas ( 28-4) Ranked 1
Leading scorer: Sr G, Frank Mason 20.8 ppg
Xfactor: Their team depth. It has lacked some during the year, if they step up – it could be detrimental in the outcome to how their season ends.
Reason they could run the table: Their deep ball is great. Hitting 41% of their three point attempts on the season, putting them in a position to score points and spread defenses.
4. Oregon ( 29-5) Ranked 5
Leading scorer: Jr F, Dillon Brooks 16.2 ppg
Xfactor: Who steps in for Chris Boucher? His 2.5 blocks/game and his presence on the offensive glass needs to be accounted for – losing him is a huge concern, and they need someone to do just that.
Reason they could run the table: Their in your face, defensive style buries teams. They swarm teams with tough D – and are not afraid to challenge everything at the rim.
5. North Carolina ( 27-7) Ranked 6
Leading scorer: Jr F, Justin Jackson 18.1 ppg
Xfactor: How do they bounce back? Losing to Duke was a kick in the guts – will it take the steam out from them?
Reason they could run the table: Having 4 players who can put quiet points up before you notice what they are doing to your defense – and a strong frontcourt in particular.
6. Gonzaga ( 32-1) Ranked 4
Leading scorer: Jr G, Nigel Williams-Goss 16.9 ppg
Xfactor: Zags region. They are still a mid-major team with big dreams. They are a very good team – but are we going to get a WCC team – that holds off against teams like Santa Clara, and Loyola Marymount – or a big time NCAA basketball program on the court?
Reason they could run the table: They have a swarming smothering defense which has only given up 71 or more only 7 times. Allowing a pitiful 37% shooting to opponents, isn’t a bad stat to carry on your shoulders.
7. Arizona ( 30-4) Ranked 7
Leading scorer: So G, Allonzo Trier 16.6 ppg
Xfactor: They need to keep opponents turning the ball over. They have struggled at times with making key stops, but if they can cut off passing lanes, force some sloppy play – it would be huge in their favor.
Reason they could run the table: Arizona gets into very smooth rhythms in a hurry. Where everything seems to be clicking for the Wildcats. When they get shooting the ball and their ball movement starts rocking – they cause many problems on the court for teams.
8. Kentucky ( 28-5) Ranked 8
Leading scorer: Fr G, Malik Monk 21.2 ppg
Xfactor: They need to get up and stay up. They have had times where they look flat – and they are forced to come back to get the W. If they do this too much, it could kick them out earlier than expected. But, as long as they don’t – they could be devastating to handle.
Reason they could run the table: Coach John Calipari. He is a coach with tons of clout, and 25 years of experience on his side. With almost 700 career W’s – the man knows how to win games, it’s been his “thing” for years.