The best week of the year is upon us.
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is something sports fans everywhere look forward to each March. And that tourney tips off this week.
It won’t end until a new national champion is crowned on April 7, but this is definitely the best week of the tournament because you have 16 games on Thursday and 16 more on Friday. It’s a television and internet marathon I can’t wait to see.
Of course, I have a job and I’m not on vacation, so I’ll have to try to catch what I can. The difficult part is knowing all this drama is unfolding and you can’t always watch it live.
But when you can, boy is this stuff entertaining.
You just know many of these games will go down to the final minute with several buzzer-beater endings. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
Who’ll be this year’s Cinderella team?
We’ll have to wait to find out.
There are two play-in games tonight and two more on Wednesday, but the real action comes this Thursday and Friday with wall-to-wall games as teams look to stay alive and advance to this weekend, where another win seeds them onto the Sweet 16 next week.
Arizona earned the No. 1 seed in the West Region and plays Weber State on Friday. It obviously won’t be easy, but I can see the Wildcats reaching the Final Four, where they’d face the South champion, which I believe will be No. 2 Kansas and not No. 1 Florida, if the Jayhawks get past No. 3 Syracuse.
Arizona is actually the only No. 1 seed I see moving on to Arlington, Texas and the Final Four.
Arizona State is the No. 10 seed in the Midwest Region and the Sun Devils will have their work cut out for them with No. 2 Michigan their likely opponent if ASU gets by No. 7 Texas in its first game on Thursday night. But I like No. 3 Duke to emerge from the region.
And I have Michigan State, the No. 4 seed in the East, beating the Blue Devils in the semifinals and Arizona in the title game. The Spartans had their struggles this year, but injuries to key players played a big role in that. They’re now healthy and their impressive performance in winning the Big 10 Tournament ws a clear demonstration of why they were ranked No. 1 early in the season.
This group of seniors is the first that hasn’t reached the Final Four under Tom Izzo. I believe that changes in a couple of weeks.