This article contains opinion.
It’s almost one of the best times of the year for basketball, folks!
March is right around the corner, and that means college basketball thrills are sure to follow.
With selection Sunday being only a month away, here’s a preview of some the best contenders and underdogs for winning the coveted national collegiate title.
Jeff’s Top Three Contenders
1. Duke Blue Devils
Duke is fresh off its disappointing 2018–19 season in which many thought Coach K and his squad underachieved in the national tournament, losing in the Elite Eight.
After the departure of Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, Duke has a new cast that looks primed for another title run.
Currently sitting second in the ACC at 11–2, Duke led by Trey Jones looks ready to go. The No. 7 Blue Devils have gone on a six-game win streak since losing to Louisville just a few weeks ago.
Now with the return of Wendell Moore Jr., many think that Duke can make some noise in the tournament.
2. Kansas Jayhawks
Bill Self and the Jayhawks always seem to be in contention for winning a title every season, and this year is no different.
The Jayhawks have lost only one game all season and are No. 3 in the nation.
The pick and roll tandem of guard Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike has proven to be deadly. These two account for more than 30 of Kansas’ 74 points per game.
Kansas has been strong defensively all season and will prove to be a tough matchup when it gets later in March.
3. Baylor Bears
The Bears have stunned the nation this season at the No. 1 spot in the country. Currently undefeated, this team has been a problem for teams all year long.
This team is stout defensively and averages 7.7 steals and 4.6 blocks per game.
The Bears had a disappointing 2019 season where they were bounce out of tournament in the second round against Gonzaga. This team has bounced back and is playing lights out with production from all their starters.
Forward Freddie Gillespie is leading the team in block and rebounds and putting a solid 9.8 points per game.
This is a squad that will beat you with superior defense and teamwork and has a strong chance to win it all.
Sleeper – Butler Bulldogs
Butler currently sits at 19–6 on the season and 7–5 in the tough Big East.
The Bulldogs by no means are a physically imposing squad, but their dynamic guard play could push them over the edge and cause a few upsets in March.
Guards Sean McDermott and Kamar Baldwin both can shoot from range and collectively average 36.7 percent from 3-point range. This guard tandem can put up shots in a hurry and combine for 28 points of total offense for the Bulldogs.
If No. 18 Butler can get a bid into the tournament, they may be able to upset a top title contender by putting up points in a hurry.
These are only a few of the many teams that could really make a run in the national tournament this year, and as always there will be plenty of upsets that will ruin brackets all around.
These teams I believe to be some of the best in the country and have the best chance at making a run for the title or making an upset. With only a month left of play, teams will be playing their hearts out for the best seeds in the national tournament.
In the end only one squad will be able to cut down the nets in the big dance. Seedings and rankings can determine everything for a program.
It will be interesting to see how things will shake up when the regular season ends.