Madness is upon us, and your Baylor Bears have secured their second consecutive #1 Seed.
Let’s take a look at the Bears’ region, as well as the rest of the bracket.
- Gonzaga ties up the #1 overall seed, and will need to prove its mettle early vs the winner of Boise State and Memphis.
- Mercurial SEC-mates Arkansas and Alabama have the ability to flame out early or make a LOT of noise in this region.
- #3 Seed Texas Tech is going to make life difficult for Montana State, and I don’t really see them struggling too much until their forecasted meetup with Duke in the Sweet 16.
- Sic ‘Em Bears! Your Bears are headed all the way to Fort Worth, Texas to face Norfolk State. The Bears played Norfolk State in out-of-conference play back in 2014, where the Bears used a 23-2 run at the beginning of the second half to win 92-51. Look for this game to be slightly more competitive.
- North Carolina and Baylor look to clash in Round 2, pending UNC is able to get past Shaka Smart’s Marquette team in Round 1.
- Personally, I am very intrigued to see what St. Mary’s looks like against national competition. There really isn’t a team on their level in the WCC. Some national commentators are picking St. Mary’s to not only advance to the Sweet 16, but to beat Baylor and advance to the Elite 8. I disagree.
- The Texas Longhorns will have an athletic advantage over Virginia Tech, but that only got them so far in conference play. Curious matchup against a fiesty Hokies squad.
- Purdue is probably the most dangerous 3 seed... if they can defend. Purdue lost Sunday to Iowa in the Big10 Championship Game.
- Kentucky can’t be overlooked. Full of talent, and can absolutely dominate the boards behind Oscar Tshiebwe. My gut feeling is Baylor will have to climb over Kentucky or Purdue to get to the Final Four.
- Watch the play-in game between Bryant and Wright State. Peter Kiss is a show unto himself (and leads the nation in scoring).
- Arizona, to me, personally, is the weakest #1 seed. Injury issues and lapses in defense scare me away from betting them heavily to advance out of this region.
- If TCU can find the want-to they had in their regular season games versus Kansas...look out. I like the makeup of that team a ton, especially if Mike Miles is healthy.
- Houston showed me how tough they are in the AAC Tournament. I think UAB would have a great shot against just about any other 5 seed, but not sure they have the juice to overcome Houston’s experience.
- The entire bottom half of this bracket is very underwhelming to me. Tennessee is probably deserving of a 2-seed, but find themselves with only Michigan, Ohio State, and Villanova as likely opposition to an Elite 8 berth.
- Remember that time Villanova only scored 36 points in a non-conference game?
- #1 Seed Kansas will have the talent advantage all the way through this region, but don’t consider it chalk yet. The Jayhawks will be tested against any of their potential opponents in the Sweet 16, whether it be Iowa, Providence, or South Dakota State.
- #11 Seed Iowa State will play their... clones (stylistically) in LSU. Keep in mind, this is also the LSU program that just fired their head coach upon learning of the 5 Level-1 violations alleged by the NCAA.
- Auburn, pending their backcourt gets back into rhythm, is as dangerous a 2-seed as any.
- Unfortunately, if Kansas takes care of business and plays to their potential, I see them in the Final Four (and pretty confidently).
Who do you have coming out of each region? Who are your potential Cinderella-stories? Who is seeded too highly?
More breakdown of the March Madness to come soon.