The winner is..Miami
Miami, aside from an impressive run in the ACC knocked off teams like Utah and Butler in their out of conference schedule. They check a lot of boxes of a team that can go far led by senior game manager Angel Rodriguez, and his complementary scorer Sheldon McClellan putting up 15.8 points per game. They have size with Tonye Jekiri, Kemari Murphy and Ivan Cruz Uceda. They also have the coach in Jim Larranaga, who took George Mason to the final four back in 2006. Since then he has been building up the U, has taken them on some runs and has arguably his best chance yet to make that run.
Wouldn’t be surprised if.. Cal made the trip to the final four.
Cal has a lot of talent, arguably one of the most talented teams in the country. They’re two most talented players however are Freshman which gives a lot of room to be volatile. They struggled to close out Utah in the Pac 12 semi-finals which gives you pause that they may not be ready for the moment. However, they match up reasonably well with Kanas, and if they can get to the second week, they have a decent shot at least making the elite eight. From there it depends on the matchup, and again their volatility may hurt them. They do however have the coach. Cuonzo Martin can be remembered for making a sweet 16 appearance with an 11-seed Tennessee in 2014, and with this talent has Cal where they never have been before. If Tyrone Wallace, their senior can keep the young guys out of foul trouble and playing their best they can beat most teams in the field.
Sleeper watch: Wichita State.
Talk about a chip on your back. We all remember Fred Vanvleet, Ron Baker and Evan Wesley as the young up and coming undefeated Shockers led by Cleanthony Early. Now we have the grown up team that lost to Kentucky in 2014, Notre Dame in the sweet 16 in 2015, and has to play in the play in game. It may serve them well because they have not played in about a week, but at the same time this is a team with limited size and depth. They finished the season 22-4 after losing Fred VanVleet due to injury, and are potent if they get hot, but a road of beating Vanderbilt, Arizona, Miami, Villanova, and Kansas or Cal would just be remarkable. They may not have that much, but may open the lane for Kansas and Cal by knocking off Miami on the bottom of the bracket.
The winner is..Miami