NCAA Bracket 2023: Highlighting Favorites, Cinderella Groups for Males’s March Insanity
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The Alabama Crimson Tide earned the No. 1 total seed within the NCAA males’s basketball match and a positive draw to make a run to the Closing 4.
Alabama was rewarded with a South Area bracket that options some prime groups that displayed distinct flaws over the previous few weeks.
The Houston Cougars, Kansas Jayhawks and Purdue Boilermakers have been the opposite three groups awarded No. 1 seeds.
All three of these packages may face robust checks as quickly because the second spherical, and it’s removed from a assure that every one 4 of them attain the Closing 4 in Houston.
As at all times, there might be a number of Cinderella groups that come out of nowhere to both win one sport, or transfer into the Candy 16.
The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles might be a well-liked decide as a No. 12 seed after their run to the Candy 16 two years in the past, however there are different much less apparent Cinderella choices that would profit you extra in your bracket swimming pools.
Make your picks: Play the NCAA March Insanity Males’s Bracket Challenge and Tournament Run.
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Alabama surged over the opposite contenders for the No. 1 total seed by successful the SEC match on Sunday.
The Crimson Tide went 29-5 this season and misplaced simply two video games in SEC play.
Brandon Miller and Co. have a straightforward path to the second weekend due to the weaknesses displayed by the Maryland Terrapins and West Virginia Mountaineers.
Maryland suffered all 9 of its Large Ten losses away from dwelling and it misplaced three of its final 4 video games. West Virginia went 0-7 towards the three greatest groups within the Large 12.
The current offensive struggles of the Virginia Cavaliers with out Ben Vander Plas open up a transparent path for Alabama to beat the upper seeds within the prime half of the South Area bracket.
Alabama’s hardest check would come within the Elite Eight towards the Arizona Wildcats, who may problem the Tide down low with Oumar Ballo and Azuolas Tubelis.
Alabama handed all of its main checks within the common season, and till a workforce proves it could possibly decelerate Miller and his teammates, it needs to be considered as one of many prime groups to beat within the Large Dance.
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The Large Ten match champion was drawn on the identical aspect of the bracket as Alabama.
Purdue and Alabama may meet one another within the Closing 4 if chalk holds of their respective brackets.
The Boilermakers have a more durable path to Houston than the Crimson Tide, however their route seems to be simpler than the opposite two No. 1 seeds.
Purdue will face a problem from both the Memphis Tigers or Florida Atlantic Owls within the second spherical. Zach Edey’s efficiency towards both second-round foe is important as a result of Memphis and FAU are sturdy within the backcourt.
After that, the Boilermakers may cruise towards a struggling Tennessee Volunteers aspect with out injured level guard Zakai Zeigler, or a Duke Blue Devils workforce whose greatest participant, Kyle Filipowski, could possibly be neutralized by Edey’s dimension.
A showdown with the Marquette Golden Eagles may occur within the Elite Eight. Marquette comes into the Large Dance because the Large East regular-season and match champion.
Nonetheless, there are a number of upset-minded squads, like Oral Roberts, within the East Area who may open up the trail for Purdue to not face the entire prime seeds within the area.
Oral Roberts, the USC Trojans and Windfall Friars may all be harmful double-digit seeds that wreak havoc towards a number of the conventional powers of the game.
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The Drake Bulldogs drew the proper matchup for his or her defensive strengths to indicate.
The Missouri Valley match champion earned its final 5 wins by holding groups underneath 65 factors.
Drake may trigger issues for the Miami Hurricanes guards within the No. 5-versus-No. 12 matchup within the Midwest Area.
Nijel Pack and Isaiah Wong kind among the finest backcourt scoring duos within the league, however they could possibly be slowed down by Drake’s tempo and difficult protection.
Miami struggled towards Duke’s stellar protection within the ACC match semifinals, because it went 8-of-26 from three-point vary.
Drake could not permit Miami to attain 78 factors, prefer it did towards Duke. The Bulldogs rank within the prime 70 of six totally different defensive metrics on KenPom. Miami doesn’t rank within the prime 100 of any key defensive metric.
The Bulldogs can decelerate and frustrate the Hurricanes to finish up being the No. 12 seed to knock off a No. 5 seed.
Oral Roberts would be the standard No. 12 seed, however Drake could possibly be much more harmful due to its matchup.
Cinderella: Arizona State
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A First 4 winner has received one other sport within the NCAA match in each occasion for the reason that First 4 expanded to the final 4 at-large groups in 2011.
That’s excellent news for the Arizona State Solar Devils, who meet the Nevada Wolf Pack in Dayton after which may face the TCU Horned Frogs within the first spherical.
Arizona State carries some momentum into the Large Dance after it beat USC within the Pac-12 match quarterfinals, a win that in all probability acquired it into the sector over different bubble groups.
The Solar Devils have been on this precise place underneath Bobby Hurley in 2018 and 2019. They beat the St. John’s Pink Storm earlier than dropping to the Buffalo Bulls within the first spherical in 2019. They misplaced in Dayton the yr earlier than.
Hurley’s teaching expertise within the First 4 could possibly be benefit that pushes the Solar Devils previous Nevada.
The Solar Devils protection might be very important not solely within the First 4, however towards TCU as effectively.
ASU ranks sixth in two-point protection on KenPom and twenty eighth in defensive adjusted effectivity. TCU has one of many worst three-point offenses in Division I, so it would rely extra on the two-point offense than most groups.
A win over TCU would arrange a second-round conflict with the Gonzaga Bulldogs in a sport by which only a few folks will decide ASU, and that would set it as much as be the final word Cinderella of the match.