Frantic February

Jeremy Johnson, Sports Editor

With the NCAA tournament around the corner, teams are now in the stage where they are fighting for their respective seeds.

Teams on the bubble are looking for their best wins of the season to improve their resume, while others are fighting for a number one seed.

Fighting to be on the top line is Kansas, Villanova, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan State and Iowa.

Obviously there are only four spots available so three of these squads will fall to a second seed.
The Jayhawks have won seven in a row and could possibly close the regular season undefeated the rest of the way.

However, I do expect Kansas to falter in at least one game down the stretch, I still like their chances to grab a one-seed though.

Similarly to Kansas, Villanova are the favorites in the Big East.

Their toughest game left on the schedule is a rematch with Xavier, who they blew out 95-64 in their meeting back in December.

While they may lose that game, they’re almost a lock to claim the Big East regular season title.
They will run the table and also win the Big East Tournament.

Oklahoma has been a powerhouse all season long behind Player of the Year frontrunner Buddy Hield.

The Sooners had a weak nonconference schedule but their most notable win came against Villanova.

To clinch a top seed in the tournament, Oklahoma will likely have to win their conference tournament.
That won’t happen.

The Sooners will fall in the semifinal round, falling to a number two seed.

North Carolina has the potential to be the best team in the country, led by Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson.

Unfortunately, they have a problem closing out games.

If the Tar Heels can solve this problem, then they will undoubtedly be one of the top seeds in March.
UNC will soon learn that those types of issues aren’t easy to solve.

They will fade in another close game in the ACC tourney, losing out on their chance to be a number one seed.

And then you have Virginia. The team that doesn’t wow you at all but they consistently get the job done.
I expect them to lose one of their final three regular season games, but that will be all.

The Cavs will catch fire in the ACC Tournament, defeating North Carolina along the way which will clinch a top seed for Tony Bennett’s squad.

For the last one-seed, I expect the Big Ten champion to be awarded, which will be Michigan State.

On Selection Sunday, Villanova will be the number one overall seed out of the East followed by Virginia from the South, Michigan State out of the Midwest and Kansas in the Wild West.
Tune in next issue to see how my predictions went all wrong.