Early Bracket Hints… Contenders and Pretenders

March Madness is on the horizon. Here is an early look at the teams that can make a deep run and potentially be cutting down the nets on April 7.

ACC newcomer Syracuse has all the ingredients. A great coach and the perfect blend of veteran stars with a brilliant young point guard. Year after year, Jim Boeheim maneuvers his teams into championship position. This team has all the elements.

Duke is a usual suspect and is always to be considered. Like many teams warranting attention, the Blue Devils are heavily stocked with Blue a Chip freshmen. They can make noise, but are too reliant on perimeter shooting. That is a fickle deterring dream killer when the long range bombs are not falling.
If the Virginia a Cavaliers continue to improve, they will be a handful to deal with.

Sorry Roy , the only other team worth examining, the Tar Heels, are too erratic and on certain nights defensively deficient.

The Big 12 is stocked with talented, dangerous teams. Of course, you have to start with Kansas as the league’s primary threat. Coach Bill a Self loaded up the pre conference schedule with a rigid list of outstanding opponents. Most of those tests were staged away from Allen Fieldhouse, the most prolific home court in the land. This baptism under fire toughened his young team if frosh phenoms. They can go a very long way.

The other Big 12 team that can make some racket resides in Ames, Iowa. The Cyclones have a great blend of pieces and the demeanor to survive and advance. Different players step up on different nights to do what’s necessary for the team to win.

Kansas Stare must be mentioned as a team that deserves respect. Some advancement by the scrappy Cats would not be surprising. However, Purple a Power is ultimately derailed by the lack of a marquee player who can take over a game.

Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and even a West Virginia, all will be at the dance. The Horns and Sooners have done their best work on their home floors. The Coeboys have suffered mid season turbulence and lost their swagger and the Mountaineers are pesky but not talented enough,

The PAC 12 offers up Arizona, the a wildcatsoccuoued the number one ranking for much of the season to date. They are coping with injury woes but are a serious threat if the reshuffling falls into place by tournament time.

The large contingent of tournament quality teams probably are not legit title contenders. However, Sranford, UCLA, Colorado and Washington all have the right stuff for a big run.

The west also boasts more great teams headlined by San Diego State. A veteran team with the ability to score abundantly and play suffocating defense, the Aztecs are a team that very likely will be knocking on the door in an Elite 8 game trying to advance to Jerryworld and the Final Four.

Although, known for their football team on the blue turf, the 2014 version of the Boise State Broncos are hooping it up. This is so very good team capable of doing some damage.

Wichita State’s Shockers, shocked the world last year and made it to Atlanta. As of this writing they are unbeaten and rolling through their league. Can this veteran group return to the Final Four, you bet. Will they? The feeling here us unlikely. This is probably a better team than last year but weak opponents and fate may well catch up to them.

Florida is the primary Deep South contender. The Gators play suffocating defense and have the mentality of a confident team that knows what it takes.

Kentucky can’t be ignored. An absurdly talented group of freshmen can certainly beat any team on any given day. That youth will need to continue to gel and peak at the right time.

Tom Izzo and Michigan State are always the toughest out in the tournament. The Spartans are always masterfully positioned to make a deep run. This team has the look personnel wise of some of those preceding successful outfits.

Iowa can be considered as theBig 10’s other challenger. The Hawkeyes are another one if those teams that seems to be able to adapt to whatever style is necessary to win.

Villanova and their lone vanquisher Creighton have barreled their way through the schedule. Both are scary tournament foes,

Others in the hunt. Defending champ Louisville, west coast antagonist Gonzaga and major dark horses, SMU and Southern Mississippi.

Sharpen those pencils and watch intently these next couple of weeks as ream’s try and improve their standing. March Madness promises to be a wild ride once again.

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