The 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship affectionately referred to as March Madness is less than one month away. 68 teams will compete as part of a single-elimination bracket from Sunday, March 13 to Monday, April 4.
A few familiar faces top the list of favorites, although several other teams can make noise on the national stage; here are the top dogs three weeks before the tournament.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been the top-ranked team in America for a majority of the season. They’ve been riding behind a star frontcourt pairing of Drew Timme and freshman Chet Holmgren, both of whom are in consideration for national player of the year. Timme is averaging 18.0 points and 6.3 rebounds, while Holmgren is at a ridiculous 14.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks while shooting 44.6% from beyond the arc.
Gonzaga is the most well-drilled team in America and can execute its game plan against almost any opponent in America. Granted, they play in a weak conference, but they have a 4-2 record against top-25 teams.
The first of two teams knotted at +750 odds is the Arizona Wildcats. They currently lead the Pacific-12 Conference and are 24-2 on the season. Their star man is Bennedict Mathurin, who leads them with 17.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per night.
Arizona is dominant on the glass and has athletes all over its roster. They have the ability to match up with most of the teams that they face. The Wildcats have not lost in their last eight games, knocking off two top-20 squads in the process.
A team quickly climbing the charts is the Kentucky Wildcats. They’ve been clicking off wins with great success as of late despite being in a crowded Southeastern Conference. Four Wildcats averagedat least 10 points per night. Leading the way is Player of the Year frontrunner Oscar Tshiebwe’s line of 16.4 points and 15.2 rebounds.
Kentucky’s ceiling is the championship because of its talent— if the players continue to play at the level they currently are, it would take a huge effort to knock them off.
Villanova would be on a 14-game win streak if not for a pair of losses to conference rival Marquette. Head Coach Jay Wright has already won two national championships and has a very balanced squad this season. However, he has not been able to keep everyone healthy.
If they can roll out a consistent rotation of players throughout the national tournament, however, they have all of the makings, especially from a style of play perspective, to win the whole shebang.
Providence has the largest boom-or-bust potential of the entire tournament field— on paper, at least. They have five Q1 wins, a matchup nightmare in Noah Horchler, balanced scoring, and play tight defense. Their 22-3 record is the best in the Big East and could propel them to a title. However, if there is one cause for concern, it is their lack of experience against Power-Five Conferences.