Tournament Brings Exciting Season to an End

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J. Gonzales/MCT

Michigan guard Trey Burke drives to the hoop against a Nebraska player. Michigan has a big shot of winning March Madness.

Colin Bean, Staff Writer

On March 19, The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will begin, and 64 teams will face off to see who will be the champion of one the most exciting college basketball seasons in recent history. In a season when five different teams have been number one, there are no clear favorites going into the tournament. However, there are several teams that look promising this year.

Final Four: The Indiana Hoosiers, Duke Blue Devils, Michigan Wolverines and Louisville Cardinals.

Indiana is probably the strongest team in the tournament with five wins over top 10 teams and only five losses overall this season. Forward Cody Zeller leads the Hoosiers in both points and rebounds and guard Victor Oladipo is easily one of the most exciting players this year. Indiana is third in points per game and beat Michigan and Michigan State twice.

Duke had the toughest schedule this season and had 10 wins over top 50 teams, which makes them a threat no matter whom they play. However they are fairly unpredictable with key losses against Virginia and Maryland, and a loss by almost 30 points to Miami. Forward Ryan Kelly injured his foot in January and was absent for all of Duke’s losses. Luckily for the Blue Devils, Kelly will be returning for the tournament, which makes them a very tough team to beat.

Although Michigan has looked a little shaky at the end of the season, they are a team that can pull out big victories. With an explosive player like point guard Trey Burke, the Wolverines are bound to make a few upsets this year.

Louisville is a very impressive team in the postseason. All of Louisville’s five losses have been nail-biters, including a five overtime thriller against Notre Dame. If Louisville can finish these close games they are a serious contender in the tournament.

Upset Alert: Creighton Bluejays and Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Creighton and Minnesota are two lower ranked teams that have the skills to defeat number one seeds. The Golden Gophers have defeated Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan State, and had the second hardest schedule. Despite a few late season losses, Minnesota is a talented team that has proven they have what it takes to win big games.

The Bluejays’ record and schedule may not be too impressive, but they have great potential. They are number one in field goal percentage, making 51.1 percent of the shots they take. Creighton’s key player is forward Doug McDermott, who is third in the nation in scoring, averaging 23.4 points per game.

Overrated Teams: Gonzaga Bulldogs and Oregon Ducks.

Gonzaga is a good team, but they have not shown that they are good enough to be a number one seed in the tournament. Their strength of schedule is 103rd in the NCAA and the Bulldogs don’t have any impressive wins that really stand out.

Despite Oregon’s ability to beat UNLV, Arizona and UCLA early in the season, things have gone downhill for the Ducks after guard Dominic Artis injured his foot on Jan. 23. Oregon has not been able to play like they did at the beginning of the season, and have lost six of their last 12 games.