College basketball preps for Madness

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Mike Saladino
Staff Writer

As the calendars turn into the month of March, the feeling of madness is right around the corner.

Aside for the First Four, March Madness starts on Thursday March 16. In March Madness, there are plenty of upsets, but the following teams have a great chance to avoid the upsets and make it to the Final Four.

As of Monday, February 27, the top 10 teams in the AP rankings are as follows: Kansas, Villanova, UCLA, Gonzaga, North Carolina, Oregon, Arizona, Louisville, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Each of these teams are contenders in March Madness until they play each other.

Kansas is the number one team in the rankings for a reason. They have a record of 26-3, with wins against Duke, Kentucky, West Virginia, and two wins over Baylor. Their three loses came against Indiana, West Virginia, and Iowa State.

Iowa State would be their only shocking loss of the season, due to Indiana and West Virginia being highly ranked when they beat Kansas.

Villanova also makes a great case to repeat as National Champions. They continue to have great success with a record 27-3.

Their only problem all season is that they could not beat Butler. Villanova lost both games to Butler by eight points. The good thing for Villanova is they are still contenders. They have big wins Virginia, Xavier, Creighton, Notre Dame, and Purdue.

The interesting team ranked in the top five is Gonzaga. Some experts say they shouldn’t be so high because there schedule is weak and they haven’t beaten anyone formidable this season.

Even thought their schedule isn’t the strongest, they still have a record of 29-1. Their last game of the regular season Gonzaga lost to BYU, giving them their first loss of the season.

Gonzaga is still a tough team to play. They shoot the three ball and take it to the basket. The only question is if they can beat a team like Kansas or Villanova.

At number 9 sits Kentucky. Kentucky has had a up-and-down year. They had a great win against North Carolina early in the season, and have not been beaten by non-seeded SEC teams.

Other than the UNC wins, they have struggled against good teams. They have lost to UCLA, Louisville, Kansas, and Florida. The good thing for Kentucky is that those losses came in the regular season and not in the actual tournament.

One of the most intriguing teams in March Madness is Duke. It has been a crazy year for Duke. Whether it was about Grayson Allen and the tripping incident, or Coach K taking a leave of absence to nurse his injured back.

Duke has a record of 22-7 with solid wins coming against Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Virginia. They have lost games that we usually don’t see Duke temas lose. Their bad losses are to  Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Syracuse, and Miami. Duke has a good team, they just have to be more consistent for them to make a run in March Madness this year.

So this is the last week of the regular season before Championship Week next week. It should be good to see how the season will end before getting into the drama of March Madness.