Let the Madness Begin: Which teams can make noise in a tournament filled with upsets? (Editorial)


Bryce Wolaver, Staff Writer

The first 16 seeds for March Madness were revealed on February 18. The four #1 seeds are Alabama (#1 overall seed), Houston, Purdue, and Kansas. The rest of the seeds are as follows: 

#2 Seeds: Texas, Arizona, Baylor, UCLA

#3 Seeds: Tennessee, Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas State

#4 Seeds: Indiana, Marquette, Gonzaga, Xavier

Per usual, the NCAA committee got some things wrong. It starts with the #1 seeds. The weakest link amongst the four is Purdue. Purdue started the season off hot with a 22-1 record. They were the best team in college basketball, but have lost 3 of the last 5 and are tumbling down the rankings. It is possible that Arizona, Baylor, or UCLA could their spot. Arizona and UCLA both play in the PAC-12, and the winner can make a huge case for a 1 seed (provided it’s one of those two). 

Baylor and Kansas are fighting in the tough Big-12 conference. Baylor is two games behind Kansas in the standings with a 9-6 record, but they started 0-3. Two years removed from a national championship, don’t be surprised if Baylor wins the Big-12 en route to a #1 seed in the tournament. 

The only team that can comfortably stay as a #3 seed is Kansas State. Tennessee, Virginia, and Iowa State have all slipped up in the past few weeks. The latest slip up by Virginia was a blowout loss to a then 12-15 Boston College team. UVA then ran into a sneaky North Carolina team and lost on Saturday. Tennessee is 2-4 in their last six. The bright side is that the win came against Alabama, who was ranked #1 at the time. Iowa State got hot at the beginning of the year, taking down North Carolina in November (the preseason #1). They are also 1-5 in their last six, including damaging losses to West Virginia, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma.. 

The most impressive 4 seed is Indiana. After a shaky start to the season, they’re one of the hottest teams in the country. They beat Purdue and Rutgers back to back, but have dropped 2 out of 4 since. Not to worry though, one loss was by two against a very good Northwestern team (ranked #21) and a loss against Michigan State in a tough road environment. With Indiana playing through national player of the year candidate Trayce Jackson-Davis and playing good defense, they could make a serious run in the tournament. The Hoosiers momentum rides high after beating #5 Purdue on Saturday on the road. 

There are a few teams that could make a case for a top four seed. The Miami Hurricanes are currently a 5 seed in the latest mock bracket, but that could be subject to change. The Canes have won 7 of their last 8, including a win over projected-3 seed Virginia earlier in the year. Look for Miami to be dangerous in March. Another hot team out of the ACC is the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Coming off a rivalry win against North Carolina; the Wolfpack are as hot as anyone. One big concern is their defense, but they can score with anyone in the country.

The ultimate sleeper currently is Texas A&M. Like Indiana, Texas A&M also started the season in rough shape. They have won huge games over #11 Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, and Auburn. A&M plays classic SEC defense (amazing), but are quietly one of the better offensive teams in their conference. They scored 111 points per 100 possessions, only second behind projected 1 seed Alabama (116 points per 100 possessions). Texas A&M is currently projected as an 8 seed, but look for them to make some noise in the tournament. 

Dates of the NCAA Tournament are:

First Four: March 14-15

First Round: March 16-17

Second Round:  March 18-19 

Sweet 16: March 23-24

Elite 8: March 25-26 

Final Four: April 1

NCAA Championship Game: April 3

Disclaimer: Articles designated as “Editorial” represent the views and opinions of the author, not the 2022-2023 Periscope staff, CHS/CASD administration, or the CHS student body.