Wow, what a season it’s been and we’re about to approach the craziest time of all, it’s MADNESS! Today I’ll give you a rundown of the teams that I feel deserve number 1 seeds in the big dance, and we’ll see later on tonight if the committee rewards those deserving.
South Number 1- Virginia Cavaliers. Tony Bennett’s team has lost 3 games all season in the gauntlet that is the ACC. It’s truly remarkable when you look at what the Wahoos have been able to accomplish the past 2 seasons. Unfortunately, they were on the losing end of the first and only 16 seed defeating a 1 seed last year, but the Cavs have bounced back and turned in another outstanding season. This team has lost 5 games in ACC play the past 2 years. You think about the teams that play in that conference, and you have to applaud the job they’ve done at UVA. Virginia plays better defense than any team in the country. It takes a lot of efficiency on offense to beat them. But the key to beating them is maintaining Ty Jerome. If he’s playing well offensively, this team wins. When he struggles to find his shot, turns the ball over, then Virginia is a different team, very beatable.
East Number 1- Duke Blue Devils. Zion is back, and we’ve all been amazed at what he’s been able to do with this team. As a UNC graduate, I’d really like to take this time to congratulate Zion and let him know that he’s by far the most likable Duke player ever. We hated Laettner, Grayson Allen, JJ Reddick, the list goes on, but it’s hard to dislike Zion Williamson. Not because of his dominance, but because of his hunger and his humility. A lot of folks were telling Zion and company that he should pack it in, not play the rest of the year and still come out as the consensus #1 pick in the NBA draft, don’t risk the injury. Big props to Zion, because the only thing better than being a great player- is being a great teammate. Nobody can doubt what this kid’s been able to do on the floor but listen to his postgame interviews- praising teammates, never taking credit. This kid is the real deal and seems to be an even better locker room presence than player. While Duke has all the tools to make a big run in the tournament- we’ve seen this before. Over the last 14 tournaments, Duke has more first-round exits (VCU, Lehigh, Mercer) than Final Four appearances (2). How many times have we seen Duke with the most talent, not hang a banner up??? More than we can count. They deserve a number 1 seed, but if you’re a gambler, you know better than to put money on these guys.
Midwest Number 1- UNC Tar Heels. Winners of 15 of their last 17, the Tar Heels come into the tournament on a tear. After an embarrassing loss to Louisville at home, this team really turned it on. The Tar Heels will go as far as their defense takes them. When they’re playing hard, physical, and anticipating on the defensive end, this is a tough team to beat. They’ve definitely stepped up the intensity since the loss to Louisville, and have a solid resume for a number 1 seed. No losses to bad teams, strength of schedule is #1 in the nation, 17 wins against quadrants 1&2 combined. This is a typical Roy Williams team. Two freshmen contribute every game, other than that; it’s seniors and veteran’s who lead the Tar Heels on what appears to be a push towards another final four.
West Number 1 Michigan State/Tennessee- this depends on conference championship games today. It would be ideal if either Tennessee or Michigan State list today, then you’d have an easy case for the winner of their respective conference tournaments. However, if neither team loses, I think Michigan State deserves the last 1 seed. The only team in the country with more wins against quadrant 1/2 opponents than UNC- Michigan State. Tennessee has statement wins over Kentucky, but the SEC is a weaker conference than the Big 10, and you reward those who play a tougher schedule. Either way, I’m fine with whoever ends up in this position, as long as it isn’t Gonzaga. No offense to Mark Few, but the Bulldogs have ONE quality win over Duke. Other than that, any good team they’ve played, they’ve lost to, and the conference tournament loss to Mt. Saint Mary’s pushes Gonzaga to the 2-line in my eyes.
There you have it; these are my number one seeds for the NCAA Tournament. The ACC has 3 teams who deserve to be number 1 seeds. The conference is stacked, in the tournament semifinals, 4 out of the top 12 teams in the country participated. Think about the gauntlet these guys go through each and every year. The best conference in college basketball no-doubt has three out of the four best teams. But hey, I’m always open to a good debate. Read this over and let me know if you agree or disagree with my seedings. Sports are a beautiful thing to talk about, and it’s time to kick off my favorite time of the year! #MarchMadness #TEAMNBS19