A Look Into 2023 Men’s March Madness

By Jeff Turner, licensed under CC BY 2.0
By Jeff Turner, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Every year, sixty-eight American college basketball teams participate in a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament known as “March Madness.” The teams are sectioned into four groups and compete in a single-elimination format, which means teams are removed from the competition after one loss.

Let’s break down some dates. Selection Sunday, when teams are picked for the tournament, is March 12. On Tuesday, March 14, the 84th anniversary of March Madness will begin with the “First Four” game of the tournament. The opening stages start on March 18 and 19 at eight regional locations nationwide. The championship game will be played in Texas on April 3.

This year, teams with the best records, also known as no.1 seeds, are the Purdue Boilermakers (22-2, 11-2 Big Ten), Houston Cougars (22-2, 10-1 American), Alabama Crimson Tide (20-3, 10-0 SEC) and Kansas Jayhawks (18-5, 6-4 Big 12). Houston is currently ranked number one in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Net Rankings. Team leaders of the Houston Cougars are Marcus Sasser with 16.4 points per game in 2023, J’Wan Roberts with 7 rebounds and Jamal Shead with 5.6 assists.

Purdue has also had a promising season so far. Some key highlights from the Boilermakers include their thwarting of an attempted Iowa comeback in Mackey Arena, when the Iowa Hawkeyes cut the lead down to six before the Boilermakers pushed the game out of reach in the final seconds. The end score was 73-87.

Top ranked teams are impressive, but the fun of the tournament comes from the underdogs. A Cinderella team (a mid-major team that has a chance at a few wins) predicted to find success in the 2023 March Madness is California’s Saint Mary’s Gaels (16-4). The personnel loss of leading scorers Tommy Khuse and Matthias Tass put the team off to a rocky start, but Head Coach Randy Bennet was quick on his feet with reorganizing. With a stout defense and promising newbies such as freshman guard Aidan Mahaney, the Gaels have a real chance at making the Sweet 16 for the first time in thirteen years. Other Cinderella teams include Florida Atlantic University (17-1), Boise State (14-4) and Kent State (14-3).

Some teams are anticipated to have a more unfortunate run in March. The North Carolina Tar Heels (6-7) have been dealing with bad team chemistry, and their results are suffering for it. Rumors of Caleb Love allegedly stealing RJ Davis’ girlfriend is just one example of poor interactions between Tar Heels this year. Following their loss to Duke, North Carolina faced back-to-back defeats to start February and finished the month with only three wins in a total of eight games. Their pace is slow; they lose momentum, and great players like Armando Bacot are missing crucial shots. The school might be closer to missing the NCAA Tournament than returning to the Final Four.

With star No. 1 seeds, promising Cinderella teams and program drama, this March Madness is guaranteed to be an interesting one. Tune into the annual tournament on CBS, TBS, TNT or TruTV.

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About the Contributor
Mary Frances Dempsey is a junior and this is her second year on The Sentry. She is passionate about advocacy and was on the news twice for contributing to a change in the APS dress code. In Mary Frances’s free time, she is a varsity cheerleader for the school and works as a professional creative makeup artist.

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