Stevie Macgregor ’19, News Editor
The best weeks of the year are upon us. After a season of entertaining college basketball we get the pinnacle of all sporting events: March Madness. We will indulge in all of the basketball glory and savor the sweetness of an upset or a buzzer-beater. Let us take a look at the top teams in this year’s tournament.
This has been the year of the Blue Devils, or more importantly the year of Zion Williamson. He has been the talk of college basketball the entire year. Whether it was a highlight dunk or busting through his shoe, the media cannot seem to keep him out of the headlines. He has backed up all the talk and averaged 22 points, nine rebounds, and has been the most efficient player in college basketball history with a player efficiency rating of 42. Duke is not just the Zion show, however, fellow freshmen R.J Barrett and Cameron Reddish have provided scoring and pushed the team to a 29-5 record and the number one overall seed. Duke will be gearing up for a deep run in this year’s tournament.
After a somewhat disappointing end to the season last year, the Zags have bounced back. They have been led by sophomore sensation Rui Hachimura and junior Brandon Clarke, and they have paced Gonzaga with 20 and 17 points per game respectively. They are driven by the consistent leadership of head coach Mark Few. He led them to a national title game appearance in 2017, the first in school history, and he looks to push the Zags even further this year. With their high-octane offense and solid defense, Gonzaga looks to be gearing up for a long march.
The Tar Heels started the season slowly, dropping early games to Texas, Michigan, and Louisville. As the season progressed, however, North Carolina began to pick up steam. They secured wins over archrival Duke (twice) and Florida State to close out the year on a roll. The Tar Heels run one of the most balanced and best offensive attacks in the nation. Their scoring is led by the trio of Cameron Johnson, Coby White, and Luke Maye, each averaging around 15 points per game. North Carolina is elite on the offensive side of the ball and their offense will carry them far this year.
This year figures to be filled with upsets and the usual madness that comes with the NCAA Tournament. No matter what your bracket will be busted and you will be filled with a bevy of emotions as you watch the madness ensue.
Photo courtesy of Marin Independent Journal