Some observers nonetheless query whether or not the energy of the West Coast Convention hurts Gonzaga as soon as the NCAA event begins. First, the WCC is stronger than individuals suppose – particularly this season with three bids – however extra importantly, Gonzaga is 20-6 up to now six NCAA tournaments mixed with two appearances within the nationwide title sport and two extra within the Elite Eight.
The Bulldogs haven’t gained a nationwide championship… but. (For the document, the Large Ten, which the committee has a love affair with each March, final gained a nationwide championship in 2000.)
Gonzaga needs to be the favourite to win the West for just a few causes. It has the expertise of senior Drew Timme and the outstanding expertise of 7-foot freshman Chet Holmgren. It has 5 gamers averaging in double figures, it performs protection, and it has a future Corridor of Fame coach in Mark Few.
It additionally has a fairly good draw. The second seed is Duke. Mike Krzyzewski has taken 12 groups to the Last 4 however by no means out of the West. Extra importantly, his gamers have failed twice in high-pressure video games: his farewell at Cameron Indoor Stadium and the ACC event ultimate Saturday. How do you suppose this group will take care of understanding that its subsequent loss shall be Krzyzewski’s final?
Evaluation: The most certainly first-round upsets for the lads’s NCAA event
There are different harmful groups on this bracket, notably Connecticut (revived because it returned to the Large East) and Arkansas (stable all season within the ultracompetitive SEC). The committee did the Razorbacks no favors by matching them within the first spherical with Vermont, which ought to have been no worse than a No. 11 seed however is a No. 13 as a result of, properly, evidently the committee doesn’t watch lots of America East basketball.
Davidson can beat Michigan State within the first spherical as a result of the Wildcats can shoot and since the Large Ten is overrated. That may very well be the best-coached sport of the primary spherical: Tom Izzo is within the Corridor of Fame; Bob McKillop needs to be, too. A second-round sport between Arkansas and Connecticut may very well be wildly entertaining, and the winner may very well be a tricky out for Gonzaga. If Duke beats the Michigan State-Davidson winner, it might battle with Texas Tech or Alabama.
No matter who reveals up within the ultimate area, Gonzaga ought to advance to New Orleans. Sentiment would possibly say that Krzyzewski ought to get one final Last 4 earlier than he hangs up his clipboard. Duke beat Gonzaga in November, however that was a very long time in the past. The Bulldogs ought to make it from Spokane to Bourbon Avenue.
Baylor is essentially the most susceptible high seed within the event, and a few, like me, suppose the Bears deserved a No. 2 seed and Tennessee a No. 1. However the committee doesn’t make modifications Sunday, so the Volunteers successful the SEC event didn’t even transfer them up from being a No. 3.
That stated, Coach Scott Drew deserves nice credit score for retaining Baylor so robust this season after coping with accidents and necessary departures from final 12 months’s nationwide championship group. The Bears higher be prepared for Norfolk State, which is pretty much as good a champion because the MEAC has produced in a number of years.
They need to win, although, and face a tricky second-round sport towards North Carolina or Marquette. The Tar Heels are this season’s Jekyll-Hyde group. When good, they’ll beat anybody. When unhealthy, they’re really unhealthy. Both Carolina or Marquette might give Baylor a tricky night.
Evaluation: Three high seeds that might make an early exit from the NCAA males’s event
The coach smiling essentially the most Sunday needed to be Kentucky’s John Calipari, whose Wildcats acquired a No. 2 seed regardless of dropping to Tennessee for a second straight time within the SEC semifinals and acquired despatched to the area with the weakest No. 1 seed. The Wildcats might face a troublesome second-round sport with Murray State, which is 30-2 and went undefeated in a stable Ohio Valley Convention.
UCLA will get lots of consideration due to its outstanding run final season from the First 4 to nearly beating Gonzaga within the Last 4. However No. 3 seed Purdue shouldn’t be neglected regardless of Sunday’s loss to Iowa within the Large Ten event championship sport. Matt Painter is a vastly underrated coach as a result of, like his mentor Gene Keady, he has by no means made the Last 4. It ought to occur someday, someplace.
The true sleeper could be Virginia Tech, the ACC event champion. The Hokies are white-hot proper now and may beat Texas and could be a tricky out for Purdue within the second spherical.
The committee at all times throws not less than one bouquet to a non-Energy 5 group, and the beneficiary this season was Wyoming, which will get to play Indiana in Dayton.
One thing tells me chalk won’t fly on this area. Heck, Akron might beat UCLA within the first spherical. By no means sleep on the Zips.
There is no one hotter than Kansas getting into the event, and the Jayhawks earned their No. 1 seed.
However their highway to New Orleans won’t be simple. Auburn, the No. 2 seed right here, clearly has the expertise to beat anybody, and taking part in No. 3 seed Wisconsin is at all times like 40 minutes of a root canal. What’s extra, two of the three most underseeded group within the discipline (becoming a member of Tennessee) are on this area: No. 4 seed Windfall and No. 5 Iowa.
Windfall seemed horrible in a Large East semifinal loss to Creighton, however anybody who actually watched Ed Cooley’s Friars this season has to suppose they deserved a No. 3 seed. Iowa gained the Large Ten event, however evidently the committee had completed the bracket lengthy earlier than that occurred. The case may be made that the Hawkeyes additionally deserved a No. 3 seed.
2022 NCAA males’s basketball event bracket
Wisconsin won’t have a straightforward first-round sport towards Colgate, which might shoot and is making its third straight NCAA event look. Heck, South Dakota State is able to beating Windfall. Anticipate loads of upsets alongside the way in which right here. Miami and USC needs to be among the finest first-round video games, and the winner will give Auburn bother.
There’s additionally the LSU sideshow. After ready three years for the NCAA to formally announce that some guidelines might need been damaged below coach Will Wade, the college determined to fireplace him Saturday. Meaning Kevin Nickelberry will coach the group towards Iowa State on Thursday. Nickelberry has been a head coach at Hampton and Howard. He’ll deal with the scenario in addition to it may be dealt with.
A Kansas-Iowa Candy 16 sport could be a taking pictures gallery, however the hottest group proper now’s Kansas. The group most certainly to indicate up within the area ultimate from the underside of the bracket could be Wisconsin, though Auburn’s Bruce Pearl definitely has proved he can coach in March. Kansas has been to a few Last Fours below Invoice Self. A fourth wouldn’t shock anybody.
There was little doubt that Arizona deserved to be the second general seed within the event and the highest seed within the South. The Wildcats had been 31-3 and gained the Pac-12 common season and event below first-year coach Tommy Lloyd.
Clearly, Lloyd realized so much in 22 years as an assistant below Mark Few at Gonzaga. Arizona light throughout Sean Miller’s ultimate three seasons, ending 17-9 a 12 months in the past after declaring itself ineligible for the postseason amid yet one more NCAA investigation. Lloyd turned issues round shortly.
Villanova, the area’s No. 2 seed, doesn’t want any turning round. Jay Wright’s group gained nationwide championships in 2016 and 2018 and was the one group in final 12 months’s event to scare Baylor, dropping to the Bears within the spherical of 16. The Wildcats are skilled and have a knack for successful shut video games.
Play the sport: What number of basketballs can you discover?
The group that least belongs within the discipline is Michigan, no matter whether or not the Wolverines beat Colorado State within the first spherical. CBS’s Clark Kellogg stored repeating “energy of nonconference schedule” as the rationale Michigan made the sector. Michigan beat one group within the discipline in nonconference play: San Diego State. It misplaced to North Carolina by 21. However the committee loves the Large Ten.
In the meantime, Dayton, which beat Kansas in nonconference play, acquired knocked out of the sector as a result of Richmond gained the Atlantic-10 event, and VCU had no likelihood as a result of the Large Ten will get TV rankings.
Tennessee might simply come out of this area. It opens towards the most effective story within the event – Longwood – after which performs Michigan or Colorado State. Additionally price watching early is Loyola Chicago. (Keep in mind Sister Jean? She’s 102 and nonetheless a terrific story.) The Ramblers are coached by Drew Valentine, 30, who performed within the Last 4 for Michigan State simply seven years in the past. They get Ohio State within the first spherical.
If Villanova and Tennessee get to the second weekend, that could be the most effective sport of the Candy 16. Houston additionally needs to be watched. This may very well be a enjoyable area from begin to end.