March Madness 2019

Duke%27s+R.J.+Barrett%2C+left%2C+congratulates+teammate+Zion+Williamson+during+a+college+basketball+exhibition+game+against+Toronto+in+Mississauga%2C+Ontario%2C+Friday%2C+Aug.+17%2C+2018.+%28Christopher+Katsarov%2FThe+Canadian+Press+via+AP%29+ORG+XMIT%3A+CKL116
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March Madness 2019

Duke's R.J. Barrett, left, congratulates teammate Zion Williamson during a college basketball exhibition game against Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP) ORG XMIT: CKL116

Duke's R.J. Barrett, left, congratulates teammate Zion Williamson during a college basketball exhibition game against Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP) ORG XMIT: CKL116

AP

Duke's R.J. Barrett, left, congratulates teammate Zion Williamson during a college basketball exhibition game against Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP) ORG XMIT: CKL116

AP

AP

Duke's R.J. Barrett, left, congratulates teammate Zion Williamson during a college basketball exhibition game against Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP) ORG XMIT: CKL116

Nick Evans, Senior Contributor

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March Madness has arrived, and here are some of my lock picks, upsets, and my choice for the championship.

 

Lock Picks:

Nick Evans

  • Put Duke in your Final Four. This team is by far the most talented in the field and with a week East side of the bracket, they shouldn’t have to face a talented team until the likeness of Michigan State

Ian Turpel

  • Tennessee will advance to the Elite Eight. A talented team, that is a powerhouse in the SEC. Although they fell to Auburn in the SEC Championship on Sunday, they still have talent across the board and can play lockdown defense.

Andrew McSheffrey

 

  • Virginia will be in the Elite Eight. Coming off an early exit in last year’s tournament, the Cavaliers look very strong. With a subpar field surrounding them in the South, they should have an easy path to the Elite Eight.

 

Upsets:

Nick Evans

 

  • Yale will beat LSU in the Round of 64. With Yale coming off an impressive Ivy League Championship, they earned the 14 seed. Yale is shooting 37.2 percent behind the arc. If the Bulldogs are able to hit some big shots and keep it close, they could come out with the win.

 

Ian Turpel

 

  • Liberty will beat Mississippi State. Liberty is a strong team, and with the way Mississippi state played in the SEC tourney, Liberty is poised to make an upset. Mississippi is cold, losing against Tennessee and Auburn before the March Madness. Make sure Liberty is one of your 5-12 upsets.

 

Andrew McSheffrey

  • Oregon over Wisconsin in round one. Oregon is one of the hottest teams entering the field. They destroyed Washington in the PAC-12 by 20 points on Sunday. Against an over-seeded Wisconsin team, they look to keep their momentum entering March Madness.

Champion Picks:

Nick Evans

  • Anything can happen in March, and that’s why I’m picking Kentucky. Although people seize up when they don’t see a one-seed by their champion, I try to look at stats that can clue me in on the victor. No championship team has ever won while shooting less than 70% from the free-throw line, so if history stays strong, Duke won’t have a chance at winning. Kentucky shoots the three ball very well, Kentucky plays elite defense, they were a projected one seed for a while and they shoot better than 70% from the free throw line. They have a high caliber coach and if they can coming out of a strong Midwest side of the bracket, I expect them to be cutting down the nets in April.

 

Ian Turpel

 

  • Tennessee will be the champion. One of SEC’s powerhouses, Tennessee’s fast pace offense and athleticism alone should win them the first couple of rounds. This team plays strong defense holding teams to less than 71 per game on average. Their formula is simple, get the lead and don’t let the other team have a glimpse of hope by playing strong defense. If the Vols can come out firing in the first half for all six games, they should be able to come down with the Championship on April 8th.

 

Andrew McSheffrey

Duke will be the Champion on April 8th. The team has the most talent entering March Madness with RJ Barrett, Tre Jones, and Zion Williams. Zion alone is the best player in the field and should be able to will this Duke team into the Final Four. Plenty of things can happen in this tournament, but if you’re making a bracket, you should be picking the best team. Coach K is always elite, and with a school that is very successful come early April, Duke should be looked at as the clear favorite.   

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March Madness 2019