This has been another fantastic season in college basketball. It’s been a season filled with ups and downs for many teams, but March Madness is finally here. The regular season is basically irrelevant at this point. Everything that has happened prior to this point is a distant memory, unless you are one of the teams that didn’t make it into The Big Dance. The top 68 teams in the country get to join in this annual historic event. You win and you’re in. With the first round already underway the excitement is really getting going. Starting with 68 teams, there will be only the best two left standing on Monday, April 6 for the championship game in Indianapolis.
The big question is, who are those two teams going to be? Will it be the top contenders, such as Kentucky-Villanova, Duke-Arizona, Virginia-Wisconsin, or will there be another Cinderella story? In recent years the Cinderella teams have included the University of Davidson, with now-NBA superstar Steph Curry, in 2008; Butler, who ended up losing to the University of Duke, in 2010; and, of course, the unlikely 2011 VCU team reaching the Final Four. I always like a good underdog coming through and beating the big-time teams that get all the top talent each year.
Kentucky is the Favorite
This year many people seem to believe there is only one team in the land that has a chance at winning the title, Kentucky. They are coming into March Madness with an undefeated regular season, looking to complete their run with a championship. Kentucky has multiple All-Americans, without a doubt the best team on court and on paper. In coach in John Calipari they have a leader who really wants to bring home a championship to the university. In my opinion, with the regular season they have had, and the talent behind them, it is going to be championship or bust. Just getting to the Final Four or the championship game is not going to be good enough unless they win it all. There are no moral victories here, just championships.
Who Could Slay Goliath?
While I think Kentucky should win and will win, there is always that chance something could change their fate. Someone could get injured, the team has an off night, foul trouble, etc. Any of these could have Kentucky watching the championship game from their couches in April. As Christian Laettner, one of the best college basketball players of all time loved to say about his opponents, “anyone can be beaten on any given night”. If Duke plays well, I think they have the best chance to beat Kentucky if the two meet in the championship game.