A lot of time goes into filling out a March Madness bracket because of the quality games and uncertain results. To create a winning bracket, you need to research to find potential great teams and some teams that don’t look great. Tons of upsets each year leave some brackets no way to bounce back. So here are a few teams to caution.
The Missouri Tigers started the year well with big wins against Illinois, Oregon, Tennessee, Alabama, and Arkansas. They were in the top twenty-five until early February. Since then, the Tigers have won two out of their last seven games and have dropped to seventh in the Southeastern Conference. Because of their recent play, Missouri will be a mid-range seed. Don’t let their quality wins early fool you when filling out your bracket, as you should stay far away from this Missouri team.
Since late January, the Wisconsin Badgers have fallen in the rankings. With losses against Ohio State, Illinois twice, Michigan, Iowa, and Purdue. Yet, the Badgers are ranked pretty well in projected March Madness brackets. Usually, teams turn to conference play as an opportunity to increase their chances for the tournament.
Wisconsin has shown that they can’t beat these Big Ten teams. The team they will play in the tournament will bring their A-game because it’s their only shot. They will have the mindset that this Wisconsin team is vulnerable and can easily lose. Keep an eye out for Wisconsin’s first-round game.
Unlike the teams above, the Villanova Wildcats are still a capable team. They finished first in the Big East conference. The reason that they made this list is for precautionary reasons. Last week, guard Collin Gillespie suffered a season-ending MCL tear, and more recently, last night, guard Justin Moore also suffered a severe ankle injury.
Villanova is still a capable team, with Jeremiah Robinson-Earl taking charge and Jay Wright’s excellent coaching. But with a weak guard rotation, don’t get confused and think that this is the same Villanova team fans have seen all year.
Alabama Crimson Tide
2020-2021 has been such a crazy year that even a football school like Alabama is also a top basketball school this season. In the final AP rankings, Alabama ranked sixth and finished first in the Southeastern Conference, even with losses against Clemson, Stanford, Western Kentucky, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas.
The Crimson Tide are in a challenging position for their conference tournament, with red hot Arkansas looking like the top team in the conference. Alabama succeeds with shooting threes.
But there is also a downside to this. As someone once told me, they live and die by the three. Because of this style of play, Alabama is a risky team to trust.
One thing a team doesn’t want is coming into March on a losing streak. The Oklahoma Sooners have lost their last four games to end the regular season, with a bad loss against an 8-19 Kansas State team.
Oklahoma has been able to keep up in the Big 12 all year, which has kept them in the AP top twenty-five rankings for most of the season. Guard Austin Reaves is the team’s only consistent scorer.
The keys to a successful March Madness team are to have the whole team contribute and play their best basketball. The Sooners don’t have it in them based on their recent play.