We are all excited to see March have a college basketball tournament again. Last year went from Madness to Sadness within 24 hours. Luckily, this year we know the full field at least so we can anticipate the excitement of college basketball again.
No.1 – Gonzaga misses the National Championship Game. Sure, they are the overall number one seed in the tournament, However, they have been haunted by their past. Unless John Stockton puts on a uniform again the hype will be short-lived again
No.2 – Big 10 with a pair of 1’s and 2’s. This year has been an overall strong year for the Big 10 Conference. Michigan and Illinois headline the strong Big 10 with Ohio State and Iowa not too far behind. This is going to be the year that the Big 10 overthrows the ACC as the best basketball conference in the country.
No.3 – Everyone will know who Patrick Ewing is. Recently, Patrick Ewing went to social media about being stopped by security to show his credentials badge at Madison Square Garden. He wasn’t too thrilled as he referenced his career with the New York Knicks to the guard. His school is back in a familiar place with going to the dance. However, Ewing now is in a new set of shoes. A pissed off Ewing is a dangerous one! Expect the Hoyas to make some noise.
No.4 – Four of a Kind. The Final 4 will have all the same seed number going to the Final Four in Indianapolis. Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois, and Michigan. With Indianapolis being right in the middle of Big 10 country, expect a Big 10 team to win the National Championship. We will get to that later. If you know your seeds you can have a good guess.
No.5 – The dreaded 5/12 matchup. The upsets and the fun begin here. The signature upsets of the first round happen here at 5/12. This year, we will see two of those upsets. UCSB knocks out Creighton, and Georgetown knocks out Colorado in the dreaded 5/12’s this year.
No.6 – COVID hasn’t gone completely away. This last year has heavily been impacted by COVID. This tournament will have six games impacted by COVID. How does that impact the NCAA tournament overall is yet to be seen. We have seen some big blows with Duke, Kansas and Virginia thanks to COVID during conference tournament time. With the NCAA Tournament being a bigger stage, expect to see some forfeits and my guess is six.
No.7 – The Lucky Upset. The upset is what you consider the best part of the tournament is. It creates the madness that we expect in March. It is the reason why we watch the NCAA Tournament, with every collective breath. I expect the lucky upset to happen seven times in the first round. Will you call the proper upsets we’ll see! We will find out those upsets by the end of the day on Saturday.
No.8 – Crazy 8’s at the Buzzer. Oh yes, the buzzer beater. Buzzer beaters are common in the NCAA tournament. This year will be no different. I am going to go with eight buzzer beaters as we continue to see a NCAA tournament.
No.9 – The National Championship Game. As we discussed earlier with the National Championship game being in Big 10 Country, the National Championship will be a Big 10 Battle. Illinois and Michigan will go at it again. The Big 10 having the highest quality play all year this should not shock any of us that we’d see a Big 10 Champ. The Illinois Fighting Illini will be your 2021 National Champion.
Bonus No.10 The Double-Digit Seed. We normally see at least one double digit seed go to the Sweet 16. This year with COVID, you will see at least two maybe even three. Enjoy the NCAA Tournament, I know I will!