Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Calm Before the Storm: March Madness

Selection Sunday is a little over a month away. It’s by far my favorite event of the year since I really enjoy watching college basketball. The atmosphere is crazy in the arenas, it’s fun seeing the upsets, and of course the most important thing for a lot of people during this time is the bracket. We all want to be expert bracketologists but March Madness is one of the best sporting events of the year. There are always different storylines and just like any other year, this year is no different. Who will be the Cinderella this year? Well we all know what the first storyline will be. Kentucky’s pursuit of perfection. They are filled with McDonalds All-American players so it will be interesting to see who takes the last shot in crunch time. Besides Kentucky’s pursuit of perfection here are some other teams to keep an eye on.

Gonzaga. It seems year after year Gonzaga is making headlines. Right now they are ranked number two in the country and after watching a few of the games, they are the real deal. Is it because they just haven’t played anyone or are they just really good? They are led by one of the best point guards in the league in Kevin Pangos. He is a senior so the experience will definitely help. They are also led by Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer. It is incredible how much of a different player he is compared to what he was at Kentucky. He has so much more freedom in Gonzaga’s offense and he is a very talented big man. Imagine if they make the finals and play Kentucky. He will definitely be out there to prove something. I think one of the most important players on this Gonzaga team is freshman 6’10 big man Domantas Sambonis. He is very talented and finishes nearly everything at the rim. If he can continue to play at a high level, this Gonzaga team will make a deep run in the tournament. As long as they don’t flop for the remainder of the season, they will be locked in as one of the number one seeds.

Duke. With the dismissal of Rasheed Sulaimon, media seemed to make a big deal about how Duke only has eight players on scholarship now. Jahlil Okafor will take them as far as he can. He is the most dominant big man in college basketball and will demand double and triple teams to stop him. With that being the case other people need to step up. Justice Winslow and Tyus Jones are two freshmen who are also playing very well. It will be interesting to see if their lack of depth will make them falter in the tournament. They are very talented and even though they don’t have much experience, I still expect them to make a decent run in the tournament.

Ohio State. This team is on the rise. Even though one player doesn’t make a team, we might be able to make an exception for Ohio State. If you don’t know who D’Angelo Russell is now, you should probably get familiar with the name. He is the best player in college basketball as a freshman point guard. His lefty shooting stroke is smooth and he throws crazy wicked passes. He is so much fun to watch and putting Ohio State on his back. This team will go as far as he is willing to take them. It will be interesting to see how other teams defend Ohio State. If you are able to shut down D’Angelo Russell, who will make the contributions? But the real question is, will anybody be able to shut D’Angelo Russell down?

Drexel bonus edition. This is my last year here. Can Drexel just please just win the CAA tournament and make the NCAA tournament once before I leave? The CAA seems to be wide open this year so Drexel has as good a shot as anyone else. The team is playing well now, so let’s make it happen.


Alan Liang is a senior Drexel Sport Management major with minors in Marketing, Business Administration, and Communication from West Windsor, NJ. Alan scores baseball games for Baseball Info Solutions and was on co-op with the Philadelphia 76ers in the camps department. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanLiang29. 

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