Who are the March Madness contenders?

Who are the March Madness contenders?

This year of college basketball has been one of the most unpredictable, crazy seasons of memory. There were six different teams ranked number on in the country, the #1 seeds lost a combined 23 games (most of all time), the AP Top 5 lost 37 games (21 to unranked opponents), and the AP Top 10 lost 74 games (also the most of all time). This leaves one question and one certainty, who can win this thing and it’s going to be one heck of a tournament.

I asked junior Tim Tieman about what he thinks this year’s March Madness will contain and he said, “I think it will be one of the best tournaments ever, no one has really separated themselves from the pack and plenty of teams can win it.” Tim also said that he is picking his Musketeers to win it all in all of his brackets.

Basically there are eight teams that I think can be solid options to have on the National Championship line in your brackets.


Kansas doesn’t have that one star that has carried them throughout the season, but what they do have is a deep roster of very good players that also have experience. They are led by a core group of three of four year guys that have been to the tournament before and know what it takes to win. They won what I think was the toughest top to bottom conference in the country this year and if they can play smart and together I think they are the favorites to win it. Safe prediction- Final Four.

Michigan State

The Spartans are coming off yet another Big Ten Tournament win and hope to carry that momentum into the tournament which Tom Izzo normally gets his teams to do. They have Denzel Valentine who is a threat to put up a triple-double every time he step onto the court. The have pieces around him that could put them over the top and into the title game. Safe prediction- Final Four.


The Wildcats are coming off their third straight Big East regular season title and might have the best team from that era. The can shoot, they can defend, and they are deep. Their five losses have coming from five tournament teams, three of whom are top three seeds. Jay Wright has his team playing solid basketball and will be a tough team to beat. Safe prediction- Elite Eight. 


Virginia is doing the same thing that they have for the past three years, play incredible defense. They came in second place in the ACC regular season. The saying defense wins championships will have to prove correct for them. Their offense is what is going to hold them back. Malcolm Brogdon is basically their only real threat with the ball and they will need other to step up to be relevant. Safe prediction- Elite Eight.

North Carolina 

North Carolina was the preseason favorite to win it all and they have done what they needed to keep those chances high. With Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson the Tar Heels have two major keys to their title run. They won the ACC regular season and tournament championships which means that they will be battle tested once they get deep in the tourney.  Safe prediction- Elite Eight.


The Musketeers are having the best season in the program’s history. They came in second place in the Big East regular season. They have a deep roster that does everything good but nothing great. If they come out to play they can beat anyone in the country but if they can’t get going they could be bounced before the second weekend. Expectations are high in Cincy for the Muskies. Safe prediction- Elite Eight.


Buddy Hield is the best player in the country. He shoots the light out and can get to the rim and get fouled. If he can get pretty good production from the players around they will be a legitimate threat to get to the finals. They have to defend at a respectful level they will be able to make a lot of noise.  Safe prediction- Final Four.


Despite the early exit in the Big Ten tournament, they still won the regular season title and were able to win a tough Big Ten. Yogi Ferrell is motor for the Hoosiers and led them the whole season. They can put up a lot of points in a hurry and will be able to defend their way far into the tournament. Safe prediction- Elite Eight.

To view an interactive chart that features more of these teams’ skills click here.