For NCAA basketball fans, March is when the madness takes over. With brackets to fill out and NCAAB predictions to be made, here’s a look at the teams and players to watch for – and who we think will win the NCAA basketball finals.
Top Teams Heading into the Tournament
As the tournament approaches, all eyes remain on some of this season’s top-performing teams thus far. The championship winner will likely be one of the following fierce contenders:
- Baylor – The Bears are a steady blend of offense and physicality on the board that has been dominating the Big 12 with an experienced lineup.
- Duke – Never count out a Coach K-led squad. While the Blue Devils don’t have the star names of past tournaments, they are still the most balanced team in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
- Gonzaga – The Zags are often overlooked given their West Coast location, but they are once again a likely top seed after securing two No. 1 spots in the past three seasons. Plus, a powerful frontcourt and scoring machine make up for some of their backcourt weaknesses.
- Kansas – The Jayhawks are proven commodities for deep tourney runs, and Coach Bill Self has found success with his four-guard starting lineup.
- San Diego State – While not a traditional hoops power, the Aztecs have been at or near the top of the national rankings all season. Although a mid-major school hasn’t won the NCAA basketball tournament since 1990, San Diego State has a solid chance as one of the best teams in the country for both offense and defense.
- Dayton – Every tournament needs its Cinderella, and while Dayton has been a top 10 team this season, the Flyers are still relatively unknown. However, a rabid fan base and electric style of play make them a team to root for.
Key Players to Watch
While the annual NCAA basketball tournament is known for its intense competition, it’s also a time for players to showcase their talents. Here are just a few of the top NCAA basketball players to watch in March:
- Vernon Carey, Jr., Duke – The latest freshman phenom regularly downs 20 points and hauls in 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils.
- Jordan Nwora, Louisville – The best player on one of the ACC’s top teams, Nwora shoots over 50 percent inside the arc and over 40 percent behind it.
- Obi Toppin, Dayton – Toppin is a player-of-the-year candidate who can play above the rim and hit the three-pointer – making him a valuable asset as Dayton looks to go all the way.
- Cassius Winston, Michigan State – Winston dropped 32 on rival Michigan and is anchoring a Spartans team that started slowly but picked up steam as the season progressed.
2020 NCAA Basketball Tournament Predictions
When it comes to NCAAB picks, everyone has a method to their madness. When we look ahead, we see San Diego State, Kansas, Baylor, and Gonzaga squaring off in the semifinal round. As for the overall winner? We expect to see Kansas overtake Gonzaga in a high-scoring final.