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March Madness is on the Horizon!!

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With NFL and NCAA football over and done with, spring training not being in full swing for awhile, the NBA approaching the All-star break and hockey, well, being hockey, American sports fans have only one thing attracting their attention – college basketball. NCAA basketball is right in the middle of its season and is displaying some absolutely brilliant performances. So much so that February, the month that is notorious for gloomy weather and a lack of holdiay festivities (well, there is Valentine’s Day, but unless you are a girl this day is just another excuse for Hallmark and See’s to empty you wallet) is spreading cheer throughout the country and giving us something to look forward to – March Madness.

I cannot think of any other veune that offers as much as March Madness. The best 64 teams in the country squaring off in a one-and-done tournament where old rivalries resurface and new rivalries are born. 63 games in 17 days! Dick Vitale shouting at the top of his lungs!! Buzzer beaters, triple overtimes and net-cutting celebrations!!! And how can you forget, BRACKETS!!!! You just can’t ask for anything more than that. 

The excitement in me is building to dangerous levels. I simply can’t wait to get it started. So, I won’t. Here are the teams who I think will be in the Final Four come March.

1. Duke – The Blue Devils showed incredible poise and determination by beating the Tarheels in Chapel Hill – two things every final four team needs. Coach K has his team firing on all cylinders. Barring some kind of injury to a major role player, the Blue Devils will be there in the end.

2. Kansas – They can run and gun AND they can set up the half court. They can shoot the three AND bang down low. The can defend zone AND man to man. They have size, strength and speed. I don’t see a weakness. The Jayhawks are playing well and will be a tough matchup for anyone.

3. UCLA – The Bruins have 5 players who average double-figures in the points column. The only other teams who have that kind of depth are Duke, Kansas and Xavier. Simply put, the Bruins can come at you from any angle. Most teams just will not be able to handle that much firepower. 

4. The Darkhorse – Drake – The Bulldogs are having a dream season. Yes, they don’t play other top 25 teams during the regular season, but confidence is huge is college basketball. And with only one loss on the season, Drake has a lot of it. (I would have chosen North Carolina as the fourth spot, but with injuries to Ty Lawson and other Tarheel role players, North Carolina will have difficulty handling the ball) Drake is a team full of sharp shooters. If they can continue their hot streak, midnight may never strike during this Cinderella’s run in March.   

These are my picks. But then again, March Madness is known for its unpredictability. That’s part of its allure. You really never know what is going to happen.    


Nishan Wilde is VP of Sales for Robbins Sports and Athletics, an online resource for Baseball Uniforms, Basketball Uniforms and Track Uniforms.