The Madness of March is upon us! Arguably the best time of year to be a sports fan. Upsets, comebacks, epic performances, and most importantly – a schedule of games that are seemingly non-stop. It gives us sports fans every reason to basically hit pause on life itself. That’s why the NCAA Tournament is synonymous with mass Vasectomies among male sports observers.
Every year there are certain themes to follow and in my quick research today, these are the ones I found that you are going to likely be hearing a lot about leading up to Thursday’s official start! Here ya go:
·UCONN’S offensive rebounding prowess- ranked #1 in the nation in offensive rebounding %
·UCLA diminished without Jaylen Clark- Clark is one of the nation's best defensive players and the Pac-12 DPOY
·Will Marcus Sasser play and when?- Houston’s best guard, Marcus Sasser injured his groin in conference tournament play and wasn’t able to suit up vs Memphis, they got smoked in the process. All eyes will be on his availability.
·Gonzaga red-hot- The Zags haven’t lost since dropping one in OT to rival Saint Mary’s on Feb 4th. They’ve only lost twice since early December and they have scored into the 90’s five times in the last month of play.
·Bad 3-point shooting from the SEC- the Southeastern Conference is dreadful as a group from deep. Out of 32 conferences, they rank 32nd in 3 point shooting percentage.
·Sexy underdogs include: Montana State (14), Oral Roberts (12), Furman (13), Kent State (13), Drake (12)
·No consensus favorite- Houston or Bama, depending on where you look entered the tournament @ +500. Unusually high odds for the favorite. That’s Vegas telling you, its wide open.
·The 12-seed myth- Since the field expanded in 1985- a #12 seed has beaten the #5 seed 52 times, winning 35% of the time. At least one 12-seed has won a first round game in 31 of the last 36 tournaments. The last time it didn’t happen was 2018.
Of course, there are a million more themes than this, but this ought to be a good place to start for the casual NCAA Tournament observer.