March is a month for celebration. St. Patrick’s day is in the middle of the month and people everywhere go crazy. The weather nationwide gets warmer and the dreaded winter is finally over. But the best and most celebrated part about March?… March Madness. Nothing makes a person go crazy more than a correctly put together March Madness Bracket. From Boston to San Francisco, everyone makes a bracket and if you don’t then you’re missing out. Advice for the casual sports fan; instead of waiting for St. Patrick’s day to come around this year, join civilization in filling out a march madness bracket and enjoy the most tense and action packed weeks of the year. For those borderline fans considering putting together their brackets, here are a few teams you can count on during the tournament.
The past two years have been rough come tourney time for the Big Ten powerhouse. Two years ago they were a title favorite who lost shockingly in their first game to a 15 seed. Last year they were stomped in the second round by Kansas losing by 20 points. Despite the recent bad luck during the tournament, Michigan State has a history of success that will be continued this year. A definite top 2 seed, Michigan State has the team to make it deep in the tournament this year. Sophomore Miles Bridges and freshman Jaren Jackson Jr. are poised to lead the Spartans to the promised land. This year, Bridges has averaged 16.8 ppg and 6.9 rpg while Jackson averages 11.4 ppg and 5.8 rpg. The pair has led the Spartans to a 28-3 overall record including a 16-2 record in conference play. The knock on Michigan State is that their strength of schedule isn’t as good as other tournament teams but come tournament time, the Spartans will be a safe bet with wins against Purdue and UNC on their resume. Don’t pick against Michigan State early in March.
Jalen Brunson might be the player of the year and he alone makes Villanova a title contender. The 6’3 junior guard was on the team that won the National Championship two years ago and this year averages just over 19 points per game. He makes Nova legit title contenders for the third year in a row. What makes him more dangerous is that he has a lot of help. Guard Phil Booth is fabulous when he is healthy and Donte DiVincenzo is a third guard worthy of praise. Despite recent struggles, the Wildcats have quality wins such as two blowout wins over projected one seed Xavier. It is never a bad idea to bet on Villanova come March and the 2018 tournament is no different. Expect to see the Wildcats deep in the tournament.
UVA has had the same formula for success in recent years and they almost never get to where they want to be. They are usually a very good defensive team but only an average team offensively. This has been a problem in years past but this year… is different. This is a historically good defense. This defense has held 3 teams including Clemson, a top 20 team, to under 37 points. This team beat Duke and UNC and has other impressive wins on their resume. This is a team you can count on to at least set foot in the elite eight this season. Despite the offense not being elite, the defense is, pick this team in your bracket.
The Boilermakers were one of the best teams in the country during the first part of the season. Led by Carsen Edwards and Vincent Edwards, Purdue has two player of the year candidates. With only five losses, Purdue is still one of the top teams in the country and have top tier wins to go along with that claim. They smoked Arizona, beat Michigan twice and only lost to Ohio State and Michigan by a combined four points. If a few of the things during that game went a different way, Purdue could be ranked as the number two or three team in the country right now. They will likely be a two seed on selection Sunday, but they will be the safest bet out of all of them besides maybe Michigan State. Bet on Purdue when filling out your bracket.