by The Milton Measure on Thursday, March 8th, 2012
As the regular season comes to a close, teams and fans across the country eagerly await the beginning of the NCAA March Madness tournament. Selection Sunday is March 11 and teams are entering their conference tournaments hoping to secure a position in the 2012 bracket. The season concluded with typical dominance from teams like Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas and Duke. However, Kentucky and Syracuse in particular seemed to separate themselves from the pack.
Both teams had astounding record of 30-1 and demonstrated week in and week out that they were a force to be reckoned with. Neither team is a stranger to the tournament, and both posses the necessary attributes to make a run at a national championship. Additionally, Duke, led by star player Austin Rivers, has an immense amount of individual talent. This, coupled with Coach Krzyzewski consistent ability to lead his team to victory, makes Duke a team to keep an eye on in this year’s tournament. Along with these teams, the nation also saw some tremendous play from teams like Creighton, Wichita State, and Murray State. Though not the biggest names in college basketball, it should surprise no one if one of these teams makes a run towards the title.
Last year’s defending champions, the UConn Huskies, certainly have not shown themselves to be the same team that they were last year; however they have had moments of greatness. When UConn plays to their full potential as a team, they appear to be at the top of the Big East conference, but when the lack the necessary cohesion that a successful basketball team requires, they look like one of the worst teams in the conference. This lack of consistency separates them from the team they were last year.
When looking at teams about to enter the tournament, it is important to consider the difficulty of playing in a particular conference. On the forefront are the usual Big 10, Big 12, ACC, and the Big East. However, the Big 10, Big 12, and Big East separated themselves from the ACC. In head to head match-ups, the ACC seemed to fall short to the other three conferences. From there, which conference is better is up for debate, but what is for certain is that every team from these conferences is talented and has what it takes to establish themselves in this year’s tournament.
As always, this year’s tournament should be a source of tremendous individual play, fantastic coaching, upsets, and much more. Though there are many of the same great teams out there, there are also a number of lesser-known programs that have legitimate shots at making a run for the championship. As the country eagerly awaits the beginning of this tournament, one should expect a great month of basketball in the near future.
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