Another NCAA Basketball March Madness is starting today, and the future excitement looks promising. With several teams on a hot streak and no single top team eclipsing everyone else (like Kentucky did last year), it’s easy to forecast that there’ll be plenty of intense and unpredictable moments in this year’s tournament. Of course, we wouldn’t be the one-stop site we claim to be without flexing our sports analysis muscles and giving you Royal Blue’s predicted match-ups, unlikely underdogs, and favorite team to win it all this year.
Most Exciting First Round Game: University of Texas vs. University of Northern Iowa
The first round is typically filled with predictable games that host comfortable final scores, but there’s always at least a few in the round of 64 that get watchers on the edge of their seats. Texas has been on a bit of a cold streak despite being a big favorite at the beginning of the season, while Northern Iowa holds three impressive wins against ranked opponents, including and extremely formidable North Carolina team.
America’s Favorite Cinderella Story: Florida Gulf Coast University
Looking to return to their former glory of 2013, FGCU will have to face the #1 seed (and in what some may say, the best team in the tournament) North Carolina the first round. The “Lob City” Eagles had a dominant 31-point victory to lock-in their spot in the tournament, and it’s almost a scientific law at this point that there will always be at least one big upset in the first round of the tournament; so why not the little Florida school that could?
The Bracket Destroyer: Gonzaga University
This squad is ranked entirely too low for the 11th seed, and their first round match-up against Stetson Hall has made Stetson’s rather easy shot into the elite 8 a highly uncertain one. If you’re looking for the most logical, minor first-round upset, it’s right here.
The Team to Rule Them All: Kansas University
The team that’s seemed to have the hot hand all season is our pick to win the whole pot this year. Their most likely opponent in our opinion will be Michigan State (due to the Spartans winning when they have to, and having a play style that counters UNC’s high octane offense). While Kansas certainly isn’t unbeatable, their sound and consistent play style and very deep bench will be the reasons we think they’ll be holding up the trophy at the end of the big dance.
So what are your predictions? Agree with our final pick and big upsets, or do you think March Madness will be just as unpredictable as ever? Here’s a TV listing for all the games, and don’t forget to fill out your bracket here. Happy March Madness!!