Created on: February 20, 2013
Sports fans glancing at their calendars will notice that February is quickly approaching it's end. That means that March is just around the corner, which is significant to millions of college basketball fans around the globe. The 2013 edition of March Madness is on the horizon, meaning lots of pencils are sharpening in anticipation of NCAA basketball brackets being distributed and the field of 64 or so teams being selected. It is a time of immense joy, but can also be quite harrowing for the amateur prognosticator.
That is because to win that office pool one has to be able to pick those upsets, get at least three of the Final Four teams, and most likely pick the winner of the NCAA Tournament itself. It is normally an exceedingly difficult thing to accomplish, but this year, it might prove to be even more maddening. That is because no team has separated itself as being the best team in the land. It seems like at least ten teams have been number one at some point, so it is a tossup as to who will cut the nets down in early April.
The hard part will be separating pretenders from contenders. Looking at teams that could run the gamut and win it all, Miami (Fl) certainly could be that team. Since a lousy weekend back in late December, Miami has run off 13 straight wins, including victories over #1 Duke and #19 North Carolina St. The team is 12-0 in ACC play and are led by five seniors and talented sophomore Shane Larkin. Throw in NCAA Tournament savvy coach Jim Larranaga and the Hurricanes have all the elements to win the Big Dance.
Indiana University has had a resurgence in recent years, which could culminate in a National title come April. Tom Crean took over a program that was in shambles, recruited hard, and has returned the Hoosiers to number one in the nation. They have had some tough moments in Big Ten play but still have only lost three times this season. The team is being powered by Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo, both of who could carry this team to the title in a month.
The Florida Gators are a team that has been lying in the weeds down in Gainesville, ready to strike. They have been hanging around the top five all season, with four starters averaging double figure points a game. Kenny Boynton is leading the charge for the Gators, but getting plenty of help from guys like Mike Rosario and Erik Murphy. Billy Donovan has won National Championships at Florida before, so they have to be a serious contender.
Finally, there are a few other top ten teams that are possibilities to make a run. Both teams from the state of Michigan have had stellar seasons, with the University of Michigan spending time at number one. That both have a good mix of youth and experience that will serve them well come tournament time. Coach K and his Duke Blue Devils can be inconsistent, but certainly could win it all, as well as the Syracuse Orangemen. Those looking for a dark horse might try the Butler Bulldogs or the Georgetown Hoyas, who are peaking at just the right time.
Learn more about this author, John Atchison.
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