3 fast takes from the recent week of sports: March Madness themed


It wouldn’t be March without a few early-round upsets – It wouldn’t be March Madness without Cinderella’s messing up brackets left and right, so we should obviously be ready for some upsets in the early rounds. You could go with JaQuori McLaughlin and the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara to take down a Creighton team without their head coach, Doug McDermott, or you could go with an Ohio team that took one of the best teams in the country, Illinois, to the wire. If it were up to me, I would either go with Winthrop to beat an ailing Villanova team or Colgate to knock off Arkansas. Winthrop comes into the Big Dance an impressive 23-1 team with an unorthodox 6’7 point guard named Chandler Vaudrin and eleven more guys they can switch in and out for the whole game to keep their whole team rested. Putting the two teams side-by-side, their in-game signature styles are fairly similar, as Colgate runs just as much or even more than Winthrop. Choose whoever you want, but both of those teams are the safest upsets to bet on in my eyes.

Georgia Tech: the itch you can’t scratch – Call me dumb and way too giddy for a Cinderella story because I actually have a feeling deep down that Georgia Tech will upset Illinois. Not only does Georgia Tech have both the ACC Player of the Year, Moses Wright, and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Jose Alvarado, but they also defend the ball like no other team in the nation. If you don’t believe me, look no further than their 25-forced turnover against Florida State in the ACC Tournament Championship game. Their stingy 1-3-1 dynamic defense is arguably the most annoying defense to go up against because of their length and ability to switch between the 1-3-1 and 2-3 baits offenses into awkward plays.

The possible pity bids – Hypothetically, teams that would usually watch the tournament from their couches’ could still punch their ticket to the Big Dance this year. Due to the new phenomenon of replacement teams, Louisville, Saint Louis, and Colorado State all have to be ready to replace any team if COVID contact tracing happens to take them out. To set the scene, imagine COVID being its annoying self and crushing the National Championship aspirations of teams like Houston or Oklahoma State. Then, imagine Louisville, a team understandably left out, picking up the torch in the sweet sixteen for either Houston or Oklahoma State. There are an endless amount of scenarios and hypothetical bracketologist dreams on the horizon when a replacement team might need to step in. In the month college basketball becomes the main act on stage, it doesn’t get much better than this.