March Madness 2021 Preview


Jared Goodman

The NCAA basketball tournament, referred to as March Madness by many, is on its way. This sporting event starts off with 68 teams and over the coming weeks, will dwindle down to eventually one team who will be able to call themselves champions. Who has the best shot at making a run to the championship? Here are my predictions from each region of the bracket.


West Region

The Gonzaga Bulldogs enter the tournament 26-0, the first team to enter undefeated since Kentucky in 2014-15. The Bulldogs are for real and have a legitimate shot at making the Final Four and ultimately winning the championship. They are led by senior forward Corey Kispert who averages 19.2 points per game. He is having a remarkable season, but is not the only reason the Bulldogs are poised for success. With Jalen Suggs, Drew Timme, Joel Ayayi, and more, Gonzaga has one of the most talented rosters in the country. When you look at their region, they really have an easy path to the Final Four. They already beat the 2, 3, and 4 seeds in their region, and the 5-10 seeds do not pose any real threat to the dominant Bulldogs. Ultimately, Gonzaga will reach the Final Four with Iowa, who they already beat, being the only team to put up a good fight.


South Region

From the South Region, Purdue will advance to the Final Four. Baylor is the heavy favorite from this region but since their COVID pause, they have not seemed nearly as dominant as they were during the first half of the season. For this reason, I feel that North Carolina will knock them out in the second round, leaving the door wide open for a different team. In the end, it will come down to Purdue and Ohio State, two Big Ten teams, facing off in the Elite Eight. The two teams faced each other three times throughout the season so far, with Purdue winning the first two, but narrowly losing in overtime in the third. The Boilermakers clearly know how to beat the Buckeyes and will do so, advancing to their third Final Four in school history.


Midwest Region

Many people filling out their brackets have Illinois advancing to the Final Four after their hot end to the season. However, it will be the 11 seeded Syracuse Orange taking the entire basketball world by storm. In the 4 tournaments prior to this season, a double digit seed has made the Final Four on two different occasions, one of these teams being Syracuse in 2016. Legendary coach Jim Boeheim knows what it takes to lead an underdog team and he will do so yet again this season. His son, Buddy Boeheim, went on a rampage at the end of the season, putting up a career high 31 points against Virginia in the ACC tournament. If he continues this, combined with the scoring of Alan Griffin and Quincy Guerrier, the Orange will earn their trip to the Final Four, ruining brackets across the country.


East Region

The Michigan Wolverines stormed through the first half of the season, but eventually slowed down as their schedule toughened. Playing in the Big Ten, it is extremely difficult to finish without at least a few losses, so you cannot fault the Wolverines for dropping a few games to top teams. This rigorous schedule that they have faced has prepared them for what their opponents will bring to the table. Despite Isaiah Livers being out for a few games to start the tournament, Michigan will have a relatively easy schedule without him. They will handle their 16th seeded opponent with ease, and in the second round, Hunter Dickinson’s height will be too much for either LSU or St. Bonaventure to handle. After these two games, Livers should return and Michigan will knock off every team in their path. Coach Juwan Howard has done a fantastic job with the program since his arrival and will lead the Wolverines to the Final Four for their second time in three years.