The No. 1 seed has gained the boys’s NCAA event within the final 5 years. The dominance of the highest seeds does not finish there: should you return to the final 15 years, the No. 1 seed has gained all of them 12 instances. Whereas there hasn’t been a very dominant crew in males’s basketball this season, there’s nonetheless a great likelihood the #1 seed will finally minimize the nets and win all of it.
This season hasn’t been what we anticipated in pre-season. North Carolina was the No. 1 preseason within the polls after many of the roster for the crew that gained the nationwide title final 12 months was restored. As an alternative, the Tar Heels missed the NCAA event after a disappointing season. They’re the primary Preseason #1 to overlook the massive dance.
Houston was anticipated to be an elite crew coming into the 12 months and so they lived as much as the hype. Kansas was anticipated to be good, however maybe not the primary. As an alternative, the Jayhawks had been nearly as good as ever and will change into the primary program to win back-to-back titles since Florida in 2006 and 2007. Each had been apparent decisions because the #1 seed this 12 months.
Now that the bracket is reside, meet this 12 months’s number one seed within the NCAA Males’s Match.
Kelvin Sampson quietly turned the Houston Cougars into some of the profitable school basketball packages within the trendy period of faculty basketball. Houston reached the Ultimate 4 in 2021 because the No. 2 seed, and final 12 months moved to the Elite Eight because the No. 5 seed. This 12 months, Sampson introduced in his first true five-star rookie when he landed ahead Jarac Walker. Add in some gifted returners – led by guard Marcus Sasser – and Houston began the 12 months at No. 3 within the AP ballot with actual expectations for a nationwide title.
The Cougars had hype all 12 months lengthy. They’re a balanced crew on each side of the court docket. Going into the draft on Sunday, no crew within the nation made the highest 10 in each offensive and defensive efficiency… however Houston was rattling shut with #11 offense and #4 protection. They’re probably the most bodily crew within the nation, stuffed with canine, that press in opposition to you defensively for the time being of assault, hit the glass onerous, and thrive in transition. There’s only one downside: Sasser suffered a groin harm within the AAC event and his standing is unsure forward of the massive dance. They might be the perfect crew within the nation, however they want a star guard.
Crimson Tide from Alabama
Alabama was voted fifth within the SEC within the preseason ballot. The Crimson Tide has made these predictions look foolish for the reason that season kicked off. Alabama defeated North Carolina, Houston, Memphis and Kentucky in a 13-2 begin that cemented them as a real contender. If there have been any real skeptics left, Crimson Tide ought to have silenced them in a dominant SEC event championship combat.
Alabama connects freshmen with gifted veterans in addition to each crew within the nation. Brandon Miller has established himself as the highest freshman in school basketball, a 6.9-foot marksman with an extended attain who’s projected to be the third choose within the 2023 NBA draft. Large Man Noah Clowney is one other gifted freshman who could possibly be a choose within the first inning, whereas defender Jaden Bradley can maintain the assault in verify on half the pitch. The veterans are additionally spectacular: Mark Sears and Jahvon Quinerly are the shooters and facilitators within the backcourt, whereas the middle Charles Bediako throws every little thing in. Alabama’s season was fraught with controversy after former participant Darius Miles was charged with homicide and fired the crew in January. that it is more durable. Nobody will really feel comfy selecting Tide to win all of it, however they’ve the weather to make it occur.
The defending champions are again on the prime of the standings this 12 months, however the Jayhawks start their quest for a rematch with loads of questions. Beginning defenseman Kevin McCullar Jr. he was mauled and head coach Invoice Self was hospitalized through the Large 12 event. Whereas Self is reportedly doing effectively and must be again in time for the primary spherical, the crew is visibly shaken. The Jayhawks misplaced a 20-point matchup to Texas within the Large 12 Championship, their second double-figure loss to the Longhorns in per week.
The Jayhawks shall be primarily based on Large 12 star and prime scorer Jalen Wilson, who can simply get the bucket from actually wherever on the ground. They’ve arguably the highest marksman within the event, with Gradey Dick capturing 41% of three this 12 months. If McCullar can get better, he and level guard Dejuan Harris are a risk on the again finish, averaging over 2.0 steals per recreation every. The very fact is, when Kansas is at its finest, they’re unbeatable.
Each time Kansas has suffered losses this 12 months, they’ve responded with vital win streaks. They’re six wins in need of changing into the primary back-to-back champions in practically 15 years. They’ve prime 10 assaults and prime 30 defenses. All the weather are in place, however from the teaching workers to the squad they should focus shortly.
The Boilermakers put collectively a shaky ultimate stretch of the Large Ten common season, dropping 4 of their final eight video games to drop from first place within the AP High 25. However a stable streak within the Large Ten event all the way in which to the title has Purdue as considered one of 4 No. 1 seeds within the massive dance. In fact, it begins with the spectacular Zach Edey. The 7’4 middle has change into a power for the Boilermakers, and his efficiency within the Large Ten semi-final in opposition to Ohio State is a first-rate instance of what he means to Purdue. Edey completed with 32 factors and 14 rebounds in a win over the Buckeyes, and had 17 factors within the first half and a solo double-double within the second half (15 factors, 13 rebounds). He then had one other double-double within the Large Ten Championship recreation in opposition to Penn State, scoring one other 30 factors with 13 consecutive boards.
Edey is not the one purpose Boilermakers are harmful. Head coach Matt Painter likes to encompass him with shooters, which supplies him room to work and shooters have alternatives when opponents attempt to double Edey. This creates alternatives for guards Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer across the perimeter, with each shooters switching over 32% from deep. Penn State’s late-game strain could also be a little bit of a roadmap for upcoming opponents, however Edey is an unshakable collegiate basketball goal and the event’s most harmful participant. It is onerous to discover a participant in collegiate basketball nowadays to tackle him one-on-one, and that may be sufficient to get the Boilermakers a really deep run.