Jun 23, 2017



SPORTS

Sports staff predicts Final Four, National Champion

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With March Madness starting Tuesday and the full bracket for the NCAA Tournament released, The Cavalier Daily’s Sports staff took a shot at picking their Final Four participants and National Championship winner.

Mariel Messier, Sports Editor

East: Duke

West: Gonzaga

Midwest: Kansas

South: UCLA

Champ: UCLA

Duke has the offensive firepower of Jayson Tatum, Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen. Gonzaga has the possibility of facing No. 2 seed Arizona in the Elite Eight, who they defeated earlier this season. Kansas will rely on their talented backcourt to propel to a run. Lonzo Ball and company could launch UCLA deep into the tournament.

Rahul Shah, Sports Editor

East: Duke

West: Arizona

Midwest: Michigan

South: UCLA

Champ: Duke

Duke and Arizona — both conference tournament winners — are clicking at the right time. Lonzo Ball will carry UCLA to a Final Four. Michigan knocked off the top two seeds to win the Big 10 tournament. Duke, the preseason number one, has the talent and experience to be the last team standing.

Jake Blank, Senior Associate Sports Editor

East: Duke

West: Arizona

Midwest: Kansas

South: Kentucky

Champ: Duke

While only the Jayhawks are a No. 1 seed, I believe these are the most talented teams in each region. Additionally, with the exception of the Jayhawks, all are playing their best basketball at the right time. The Blue Devils are unbeatable when they play their best, and I think they're the best bet to survive a brutal East region.

Alec Dougherty, Senior Associate Sports Editor

East: Duke

West: Gonzaga

Midwest: Kansas

South: Kentucky

Champ: Kentucky

Arizona will challenge Gonzaga in the West, but the inside-outside duo of Nigel Williams-Goss and Przemek Karnowski will be too much to handle for the pack line again — they lit up St. Mary's version of Tony Bennett's defense in the WCC title game. Besides that, I'm expecting the Player of the Year candidates to carry their team's in tough matchups — Tatum, Kennard, Monk and Fox will stay hot after tournament title pushes.

Emily Caron, Sports Feature Writer

East: Villanova

West: Notre Dame

Midwest: Kansas

South: Kentucky

Champ: Villanova

Villanova and Kansas hold their No. 1 seeds for a reason — it’s doubtful that they will falter before the Final Four. Villanova also has a title to defend, which is added incentive. Notre Dame is an underdog, but they impressed during the ACC tournament. Kentucky ... well, they’re young — but they’re talented and they’re fast.

Robert Elder, Sports Columnist

East: Duke

West: Arizona

Midwest: Kansas

South: North Carolina

Champ: Kansas

From Justin Jackson to Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina’s balance should scare anyone. However, its Tobacco Road rival, Duke, has the most talented roster in the country, which will carry it to the championship game. But in Phoenix, Frank Mason III and the Kansas offense will ultimately prove victorious.

Ben Tobin, Assistant Managing Editor

East: Duke

West: Arizona

Midwest: Michigan

South: UCLA

Champ: Duke

As the ACC Tournament proved, nobody can stop a hot Duke team. Arizona will make it out of an incredibly weak West region, Michigan will be this year’s Cinderella and UCLA has the talent to outlast the giants in its region. But, Duke is peaking at the right time and will give Coach K yet another championship.


Published March 13, 2017 in M Basketball, Sports









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