Who would have won March Madness? (Coronavirus edition)

Staff Writer: Shane Zachos

shane1

The court we will all be missing during this time. Photo credit: nypost.com

With the corona virus spreading across the world in a matter of months the public has been hit hard with many of their favorite spring activities having to be postponed/cancelled. One of those festivities is one of sports fans favorite time of the year in March madness. This tournament is full of great upsets, Cinderella stories and greatness in the making, there is nothing quite like it. This years usual name of March madness is looking more like a March sadness time frame for all sports fans.

Like a tradition, most basketball and even non-basketball fans try to get the “perfect bracket” as they fill out the 68-team bracket. The perfect bracket has never even been close to being accomplished. However, sometimes there’s a standout team every year that seems to be a very constant national champion when it comes to looking at others bracket. We can never forget the year when Kentucky had a perfect record going into the tournament and nearly everyone had them finishing at the top of the chain when it was all said and done, but they fell short. So the question of who is gonna win it all…is a very difficult one but for one I believe I got the team right as well as a couple of honorable mentions.

shane2

Throwback to when Obama filled out his presidential bracket for the march madness. Photo credit: sportstressofblogitude.com

The problem with predictions on this tournament was the seedlings never took place for it so we could never even get the chance to know who would eventually play who. Nonetheless, I feel there is one team with way more talent and skill level than the rest and it really is not that close. That team is the Kansas Jayhawks.

One thing you always must look at in a championship team is how consistent they usually are in past tournaments. Kansas is one of those teams that makes the elite 8 regularly and in the past 10 years has not lost in the first round. Another thing that makes Kansas a standout team is having one of the nation’s best big men in Udoka Azubuike. Udoka is a dominant center that reminds me a lot of Joel Embid, big defensive presence, board getter, and bringing everything a coach would want in a center. Jay Bilas, college basketball expert says, “He is unstoppable one on one.” Even though he does not lead the team in PPG (points per game), I would say he is the most dominant player on their team.

udoka

Udoka focusing on sinking a clutch free throw. Photo credit: thespun.com

The thing about the Jayhawks that their roster is so skilled. It’s hard to find that one player that you want to contain the most. They had 4 players averaging over 11 points per game so that just proves anyone on their team can be THAT guy for them in a win. Of course, you can’t leave out the guy calling plays from the sideline, as almost every national champion has an elite, well known coach.

For Kansas it is Bill Self, Self has a record of 706-214 with a 46-17 record in the tournament. After 16 seasons he has led the Jayhawks to 14 straight conference championships as well as 4 final four appearances and one national championship back in 2008. When asked about how his team felt about the tournament cancellation, Self said “They are crushed just like I’m sure the other teams are crushed. They were heartbroken (but) they handled it maturely. I’m proud of them.” After the regular season ended, Kansas had one of the best overall records and earned the number 1 ranking in the country.

shane3

Kansas fans taunting opponents that they have 14 straight big 12 championships. Photo credit: kansascity.com

These two honorable mentions might seem a little unorthodox, but I feel since these two teams have two of the best players in college, they can get it done. First, the Dayton flyers, Dayton is led by Obi Toppin who averages over 20 points per game and 7 rebounds. The flyers are a top 4 team in the nation so they would likely get a 1 seed. However, I do feel that they can get upset in the second or 3rd round due to their lack of difficulty in the regular season.

obi

Obi throwing down a dunk. Photo credit: theoaklandpress.com

With this next team I feel that the amount of top 25 teams they play in the regular season could prove to be a benefit. The seton hall pirates would most likely be a 4 or 5 seed but we have seen it plenty of times when a team like this one gets crowned as champion because they have the guy with the X factor, Myles Powell. Powell is an elite scorer who can get a quick bucket whenever his team needs it. Even Tom Izzo (legendary coach for Michigan State) said he was “one of the great players I’ve ever seen in college basketball.” In addition to Powell, they have a lot of length and versatility at the 4 and 5 spots that could help them on the boards down the stretch.

In conclusion, I feel strongly if the tournament had happened this year, the Kansas Jayhawks would win it all. Behind their strong big man, elite scorers, smart head coach and consistency.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: