The NCAA tournament bracket has finally been released, and analysts have already settled on regional breakdowns. All the notable teams have made the list, and there is little doubt that they will clinch victories in their respective regions. Nationally, however, is another matter altogether.
Here is a regional breakdown of the 2019 NCAA tournament and a look at how the game may play in the final four and championship rounds.
- East Region
It goes without saying that the Duke Blue Devils have clinched the No. 1 seed in the East Region having outdone all other games to clinch the top position nationally. The team has a lot going for it and its competitors in the region don’t stand a chance.
Michigan State, the champion for the Big Ten, comes in second following its third victory against Michigan. It is closely followed by LSU which has been dramatic and controversial off-court as it has been on the court. In the 4th place is Virginia Tech, which is banking its hopes on the prodigal player Justin Robinson. The lowest ranked team for the East region is the Tigers.
- West Region
Gonzaga, which is also a favorite contender for the final four as well as the championship, comes in 1st place for the West region. It has performed exceptionally well for the regular season so much so that the Blue Devils perceive it as a threat.
Coming in 2nd place is the ‘Zags with their impressive offensive strategy currently ranked the best in the region. Texas Tech comes in 3rd place with Florida State ranked 4th. Marquette and Buffalo are ranked 5th and 6th respectively, and although their chances of making it to the very top are slim they could upset the rankings as analysts consider them sleeper picks – Marquette shows great potential and may surprise many.
- Midwest Region
North Carolina rules the Midwest region and is a formidable threat against both the Duke Blue Devils and Gonzaga. It has enjoyed a spotless winning streak for its last seven games for the regular season and shows great promise for this season.
Kentucky, Houston, and Kansas come in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places respectively. Kentucky is a formidable opponent as it best North Carolina 80-72 in December – it also went on to beat the Jayhawks 71-63. The Midwest doesn’t have a shortage of good teams as even Auburn, which ranks 5th in the region, took home the SEC trophy while Iowa State, which comes in 6th, won the Big 12 Tournament. Wofford, the 7th team in the region, also ranks among the top 20 as per kenpom.com and won the Southern Conference Tournament.
- South Region
Virginia is ranked top for the South region and shows great promise for the national tournament; albeit not as much as North Carolina or Gonzaga. The Cavaliers have performed exceptionally well for the regular season and suffered only a few losses.
Tennessee is close on their heels coming in 2nd place and Purdue and Kansas State coming in 3rd and 4th respectively. Villanova, another notable team, comes in 6th while Cincinnati comes in 7th.
The teams leading their respective regions are expected to come out on top nationally. In particular, analysts expect the Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina, and Gonzaga to make it to the final four-round with the Blue Devils expected to take the trophy home. However, each team has its strengths and weaknesses, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if either North Carolina or Gonzaga clinched the trophy. Virginia, unfortunately, doesn’t show as much promise as its fellow regional leaders.
The 2019 season is just beginning, so it is still early to come to a conclusion. However, whatever the outcome, the 2019 March Madness is expected to be explosive, so do not miss a match. You can watch the March Madness online from anywhere in the world on a variety of online platforms.