The Hell with Cinderella’s Story
March is a month dedicated to blooming, coming out and showing off our new and improved self after crucial reconstruction throughout winter months. Sixty-eight fortunate programs were granted an opportunity to showcase these reconstructions having received their golden ticket into the Men’s NCAA Dl Basketball Tournament, all of which hoping to swap tickets for rings symbolizing victory as a result of their blood, sweat, and tears. Blood, sweat and tears have become the norm for this tournament hence the “March Madness” nickname. Madness may rein supreme more than ever this year as the field of teams is more unpredictable than we’ve seen in years past. Though the madness is in full effect, experts can’t help but to choose one number one seed to hoist the trophy when the fat lady sings.
Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga and Villanova were all named number one seeds in this tourney. All four have surely earned their seeding's throughout the rather unpredictable season of 2016–2017, but as we’ve learned in times past number one seeds don’t always come with championships and one things for certain this highly prized seed comes with an overwhelmingly large target especially for defending champs Villanova. Though Villanova bares the weight of the world on their shoulders they are certainly ready to weather the storms of March. The wildcats are lead by Senior Guard Josh Hart who averages 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assist per contest, but lets not overlook the play of Senior Forward Kris Jenkins who we all remember most for his buzzer beater three point shot in last years National Championship that brought Villanova their second of two National Championships over the University of North Carolina. Hart and Jenkins are two crucial pieces to what is becoming a dominate team that shows a great deal of chemistry not only on offense, but defense as well using their great length to defend passing lanes turning defense into critical offensive fast breaks. It’s quite simple why many experts are calling on Villanova to repeat as National Champions, they’re built for success.
Revenge is sweet but Southern region number one seeded North Carolina can’t find themselves looking ahead to another shot at the defending champs as the road to Phoenix (Championship venue) is filled with black ice, one slip up and they’ll find themselves on a one way headed back to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Southern region is spewing with talented ball teams ready to leave their mark in college basketball history. Kentucky and UCLA are just two teams that believe they should’ve been rewarded the number one seed in the Southern region, I’d be damned if they don’t come out on fire if given the chance to square off with the top ranked Tarheels. Ranked fourth in the Southern region is 2010 Cinderella story Butler who is an underdog once again, itching for another Championship appearance. To say the least North Carolina has a great deal of work ahead of them, but if ever there’s a coach that could ready a team mentally it’s Tarheels longtime head coach Roy Williams. Mental preparation will be the toughest part for this years North Carolina team as their talent speaks for itself. Tarheels Junior offensive leader Justin Jackson has up his game to a new heights after a rollercoaster sophomore year, this season averaging 18 points and 4 rebounds. His success could be due to great ball movement by point guard Joel Berry who has found his niche spreading the ball to his highly explosive offensive weapons, but its a two sided court and the Tarheels will have to bring energy they’ve on defensive side if they’re looking to dominate the Southern region as the experts predict.
Mid West top dog Kansas is on the brink of greatness largely due to their outstanding guard play. Senior Frank Mason, Junior Devonte’ Graham and freshman Josh Jackson by far have the most chemistry we’ve seen since the fab five. After the suspension of Guard Josh Jackson it was obvious that Kansas was missing a key element in the Big 12 tournament as they were sent home early after a devastating loss to a rather mediocre TCU program. Though this loss kept them from reaching thirty wins before the “big dance” the Jayhawks are feeling recharged as Jackson returns to the court in their Thursday first round match up against UC Davis. The fact that Kansas has only four losses this season after a grueling schedule facing off against top ranked programs such as Duke, Kentucky and both West Virginia and Baylor twice is astonishing. Wins against these four programs is the base for the Jayhawks confidence, but giving a boost is the guard play averaging 54 points combined, they’re the first rank guard scoring trio in the country. The Jayhawks show their defensive pride as they out score their opponents by ten points per contest this season. Bill Self (Kansas Jayhawks Head Coach) will call on his struggling Center Carlton Braggs to lend a helping hand on the defensive side against talented centers in the country. If Braggs hops aboard the Jayhawks could be rather unstoppable in this years NCAA tournament.
Last but surly not least Gonzaga the number one ranked team overall may just have one of the toughest roads to the Championship in this field of number one seed’s. Gonzaga hasn’t gained the same fame as their predecessors the reasoning is simple unlike Kansas, UNC, and Villanova, Gonzaga has found efficiency inside the three point line with mid-range shooting and points inside the paint lead by Senior Center Przemek Karnowski. Not only have they found a niche for scoring with ball in their hands they’ve mastered the art of defense, having success limiting teams from scoring the same shots they earn their victories from. This alone marks a team ready to make a deep run, but with future Hall of Fame head coach Mark Few at the helm the sky's the limited for the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Sure it’s march and there will be madness, but for all you Cinderella's screaming “it’s our year” … Good Luck trying to knock off these Bad Mother Fuckers!