College teams to watch coming down the stretch


The college basketball season has, again, proven that there is no dominant team among the college ranks. Villanova is currently No. 1, but we all know the Wildcats will choke in the NCAA Tournament. I’m calling an upset already. I don’t need to see the brackets.

I was hoping the Wisconsin Badgers would die on the side of the road, but just when you think they are dead, they get hot. They have won seven games in a row, including beating Michigan State, Indiana, and Maryland, when all of them were ranked.

Damnnit.

Here are some teams to watch out for come tournament time and provided they make the tournament.

Now, I did quick research. This is far from in-depth and I might turn out to be terribly wrong on all of this, but I was bored, so I decided to fling some stuff around.

No one has said a word about the Gonzaga Bulldogs this season. They aren’t even ranked. Hell, they have lost six games this season. They shouldn’t even have a program. Don’t worry, though, Mark Few and his group are always ready come March. With a record of 20-6, I expect them to make the dance, and make a run to the Sweet 16. This isn’t the typical 30-win squad we are used to seeing, but Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis are very good players.

Staying out West, what about BYU? Kyle Collinsworth is arguably one the best guards in the country and has his team at 19-8. They have been inconsistent, yes, and have had some terrible losses, but this team is better than 50 percent of the field that will end up getting in. They score 84 points per game and not one guys averages over 20 points per game. They share the ball and I can see this squad of young Cougars being this year’s Cinderella. Of course, a good finish to the season and a run in their conference tournament will solidify their trip to the party.

While the Texas Longhorns have been in and out of the Top 25 this season, I believe this is a tournament-worthy team. First-year head coach Shaka Smart has his team playing well, and people need to realize that it is open season any time two Big 12 teams play. They beat up each other, and Texas has taken its lumps. But they beaten North Carolina, Iowa State, and West Virginia, and still have four more games against Top 25 opponents this season before the Big 12 Tournament.

I’ll wrap it up with Duke. The Blue Devils are the defending national champions, but have incurred some serious struggles this season. They lost three top prospects to the NBA, and it has certainly showed. However, they always play well this time of year, and I could see their hot play lasting into the tournament. They are on the bubble right now, but this team has all the makings, and coach, to make it very far in the tournament. I wouldn’t be surprised if this squad made it to the Elite Eight.

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