NCAA Releases Top 16 Teams

The Madness is Slowly Shaping up

As we move past February into March, there is one thing on the mind of college basketball fans: will their team make the NCAA tournament and how will they stack up against the rest of the nation’s competition?

Every year, the NCAA’s tournament releases their top 16 teams right before we begin to get into conference championships. They separate them into the top four seeds within each respective region of the tournament (East, Midwest, South, and West). 

The parody in college basketball is like never before as we’ve seen five different number one teams this year. This puts the committee in a very difficult place since they now have to decipher where these teams rank compared to the rest of the country.

This year the tournament committee has ranked the Alabama Crimson Tide as the number one seed in both the nation and the South region. 

The Crimson Tide have a 25-4 record and are led by Freshman Forward Brandon Miller who is averaging 19.7 points per game on 46.8% shooting. They play an exciting brand of basketball led by Coach Nate Oats. With Guard Javon Quinerly and Forward Noah Clowney aiding Miller, the Tide will surely be tough to bring down.

The rest of the South region consists of the 7th overall seed Baylor Bears led by a guard tandem of Freshman Keyonte George and Adam Flagler. The 10th overall seed Virginia Cavaliers anchored by Senior Guard Kihei Clark. And finally, the 13th overall seed led by Super senior and John Wooden Player of the Year candidate Trayce Jackson-Davis. Jackson-Davis is averaging 20.1 Points and 11 rebounds per game this season on 57.4 percent shooting which is good for 3rd in the nation.

The second overall seed and first seed in the Midwest region so far is the Houston Cougars. They are led by Senior Marcus Sasser who leads the team in points with 17 a night and 1.1 steals per game. The Cougars are coached by college basketball legend Kelvin Sampson and have taken on the tough, rugged spirit of their coach. This has led to an aggressive, tenacious defense and fast-paced offense. Anyone who has to play the Cougars will have their hands full this March.

The remainder of the Midwest region sees the 5th overall seed Texas Longhorns who are spearheaded by a four-headed monster of Marcus Carr, Sir’Jabari Rice, Timmy Allen, and Tyrese Hunter, all averaging double figures this season.

They are followed by the 9th overall-seeded Tennesee Volunteers. The Vols’ scoring duties have been led by Uruguayan Senior Guard Santiago Vescovi. The playmaking and on-ball defense has been sparked by Sophomore Zakai Ziegler.

The last team included in the Midwest region is the 16th overall seed Xavier Musketeers. The Musketeers have an astounding 5 scorers above 10 points per game. They are an extremely well-rounded team that is senior-led. They will be a very dangerous team in this year’s tournament.

The 3rd overall seed and top seed in the east region is the Purdue Boilermakers. Their attack is conducted by 7’4” star big man Zach Edey who leads the team in points, rebounds, and blocks. Edey leads the nation in rebounding with 12.9 per game. The Boilermakers have surrounded their big man who can get him the ball at ease. They play a slower-paced style of basketball which is a staple of Coach Matt Painter’s philosophy. This will make them a tough change of pace compared to the rest of the tournament competition.

The 2nd seed thus far in the East region is the UCLA Bruins. Seniors Jaime Jacquez and Tyger Campbell have been the main focus for the Bruins this season. They have been massively aided in their efforts by Junior Jaylen Clark, who is averaging 13 points per game.

The three seed in the East division as of now are the Iowa State Cyclones. They are led by the senior backcourt duo Jaren Holmes and Gabe Kalscheur. They are an incredibly savvy team that will be a tough out in March.

The final seed in the Eastern region is the 14th overall seeded Marquette Golden Eagles. The Golden Eagles are led by Sophomore Guard Kam Jones who averages 15.2 points per game. Marquette is coached by Shaka Smart whose teams always play a fast-paced defensive-centered style of basketball.

The final number 1 seed and leader of the West region is the Kansas Jayhawks. They are the fourth overall seed and are led by Junior Jalen Wilson who is averaging 19.6 points per game and 8.4 rebounds. Freshman Gradey Dick has proven to be an elite shooter averaging 14.9 points per game on 41.8% shooting from three-point range. They are coached by Hall of Fame coach Bill Self. Self’s ability to adjust to his personnel and team strengths keeps the Jayhawks a constant threat in college basketball.

The second seed in the West region and 6th overall seed currently is the Arizona Wildcats. They are spearheaded by Lithuanian big man Azuolas Tubelis. The European big man averages 19.6 points per game and just over 9 rebounds per game. He is accompanied by an astounding 4 other scorers in double figures. The Wildcats also possess another 7-footer in Oumar Ballo.

The next team in the West region is the 12th overall-seeded Kansas State Wildcats. Their star player is Florida transfer Keyonte Johnson. Johnson averages 17.6 points per game and 7.1 rebounds a game. They also have another elite scorer in Markquis Nowell, who is putting up 17 points a game alongside Johnson. The scoring duo will be hard for any team to defend in this year’s tournament.

The final team in the West region is the Gonzaga Bulldogs. They are led by Senior big man Drew Timme. The team takes on his personality and play style as they are extremely fundamentally sound and aggressive. They will be hard to beat this year.