Why a One Seed Will Not Make the Final Four This Year

Why a One Seed Will Not Make the Final Four This Year

Ethan Schwam

The biggest and best sports tournament in the country returns Tuesday, as March Madness and the NCAA tournament kick off. 68 teams battle it out for the chance to cut down the nets and call themselves national champions in 2022. On many occasions, the last team standing is the best or one of the best teams in college basketball. These teams, seeded 1st out of 16 seeds, had the best regular seasons and are the odds-on favorites to win the title. However, what if I told you that no one seed will even make it to the semi-finals this year? It hasn’t happened in over a decade, but this is the year and I am here to explain why.

Starting with the top overall seed, Gonzaga, they are really good. Projected number 1 overall pick Chet Holmgren has dazzled in his freshman season, and Drew Timme has continued to score at a historic rate. However, they run into one problem, the Duke Blue Devils. While Duke has been struggling lately and lacks big game experience, legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski is on the cusp of his retirement, and he has been known to win the big game when it truly matters, leading me to believe that Duke will stop Gonzaga when they meet in the elite 8. Paolo Banchero, Trevor Keels, and Wendell Moore are just too talented to be denied a final four run this season as well.

The south region’s number one, Arizona, rebounds well and Bennedict Mathurin is a true superstar, but they lack overall depth necessary when running into a team like Villanova or Tennesee. Villanova, led by Colin Gillespie, is a very complete squad that has all the tools to shut down Arizona, and the SEC champion Volunteers are arguably the hottest team in all of college basketball. They both have a scoring edge over Arizona, leading me to believe they will go down. 

Baylor might be in the toughest region of the entire bracket, which does not help their case as a one seed. I think they might even lose to a team like North Carolina in the second round. While they are the defending champions, they lost much of the talent from that season, and even talent due to injury. Kentucky and Oscar Thsiebwe or Jaden Ivey and Purdue offer more complete offensive juggernauts that can hang with Baylor if they make it farther than I expect, but I just do not see Baylor having the capability to repeat as champions.

Finally, there’s Kansas. While Ochai Agbaji is an elite scorer and the proper star on that team, on their side of the bracket lies someone even better, Keegan Murray of Iowa. Murray is a freak athlete who can shoot, score in the post, and play elite defense. Kansas has nobody to stop him or even Jabari Smith of Auburn if Kansas wins a couple games. Therefore, I think they get bounced one way or another, and that leaves no 1 seed to make the Final Four. This is an extremely rare occasion, but if it were to happen, this year is the year.