March Madness: The Most Unpredictable Tournament


Matan Davies and Gavin Su

An action-packed month of college basketball where anything can happen. An exciting time for college basketball fans and casual basketball fans alike. Everybody is constantly talking about it. Favorites become early exits, and dark horses make deep runs. This is March Madness, the 68-team single-elimination tournament, where the best college basketball teams compete to be crowned national champions. With the start of the tournament around the corner, and everyone making their brackets, let’s talk about what fans can expect with this year’s tournament.


If there is one word associated with March Madness, most would agree that it would be a bracket. The highlight of the tournament for most fans is the satisfaction of getting their bracket as accurate as possible. In the case that you do get every one of your picks correct in your bracket, you can receive a $1 billion prize. So when everyone is shooting at their chance to win $1 billion, here are some things to consider. The entire tournament consists of 68 teams that are spread across 4 divisions. Each of these divisions contains 16 teams that are seeded from 1-16 based on previous gameplay. For example, Gonzaga is the number one seed in their division as they have played phenomenal throughout the college season. Typically, it’s common for a lower-seed to defeat a higher-seeded team early in the tournament. Furthermore, the tournament consists of a total of 6 rounds with each matchup getting better as the rounds get further.



The tournament is very wide open this year, with many teams in the running for the national championship. Coming out of the regular season, the Arizona Wildcats, who went 31-3 on the season, look like real contenders. Led by sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona has won 9 of its last 10 games, including beating the UCLA Bruins in the Pac-12 championship. As always, the 26-3 Gonzaga Bulldogs are in contention for the title as well. They have also gone 9-1 in their last 10 games, and the inside presence they have with junior forward Drew Timme and freshman center Chet Holmgren make it very difficult for opponents to guard the paint. Whenever March arrives, never count out the Duke Blue Devils. With this being Coach K’s last season as head coach, Duke will give it all to win the tournament. Although they lost the ACC championship to Virginia Tech and have lost 6 games on the season, you can’t count them out with the amount of talent they have highlighted by freshman forward Paolo Banchero.


Star Players:

On top of trying to make a deep run in the tournament, March Madness is a time for college basketball players to showcase themselves to NBA scouts. With so much NBA-level talent, there are a few players who put themselves apart from the rest of the pack. The top recruit out of high school and projected 1st overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft is Gonzaga center, Chet Holmgren. He is averaging 14.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks on the season. At 7 feet, he is unstoppable to guard in the paint, and it makes it even more difficult that he can shoot from range, with a 41.2% 3-point percentage. Duke forward Paolo Banchero is also a highlight of the tournament, averaging 17 points and 7.8 rebounds. Auburn forward Jabari Smith is averaging 17.1 points, 7 rebounds, and a 42.8% 3-point percentage. Purdue guard Jaden Ivey is averaging 17.4 points and 4.9 rebounds. Although his team isn’t expected to make a run in the tournament, Bryant guard Peter Kiss is the leading scorer in college basketball, averaging 25.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.6 steals on the season.


Dark Horses:

One thing that is unanimous among March Madness viewers is the excitement for the emergence of a dark horse. A dark horse is a team that significantly exceeds our expectations and demonstrates outperformance. Although the dark horse is difficult to predict (as it is meant to surprise us), we have chosen our two favorite teams that we believe to become the dark horse of March Madness 2022. The Arkansas Razorbacks get overlooked as they are in a competitive division. However, their competitive division has not set problems against their scoring ability and defensive grit. The Razorbacks have also displayed an ability to perform against tough matchups with wins against Kentucky and Auburn. Surprisingly, the Razorbacks’ strongest argument is not their notable wins, but their confidence going into the tournament. Arkansas has gone 15-3 in their previous 18 games with all losses coming within a close score. “They’ve shown that they could upset big teams and with their confidence, they’ll make it far in the tournament,” says Leo Wetzstein ‘25, an avid fan. The North Carolina Tar Heels have inconsistency with performance against top teams. However, this will not affect the Tar Heels gameplay as they have been on fire in their previous games. In their last 15 games, they have gone 12-3 with a notable win against Duke. In what will go down as one of the most popular basketball games in which coach Mike Krzyweski played his final home game, the Tar Heels were able to pull out a win with a score of 94-81. This upset is thanks to the Junior Forward, Armando Bacot. Bacot has put up stats of 16.5 points and 12.5 rebounds and has distinguished himself as a top player in the tournament. With Bacot healthy, the Tar Heels can shoot to make a strong run in the tournament. 


The March Madness 2022 tournament will be a moment to remember as it will be full of exhilarating gameplay with the best players in the country facing off to win it all. Whether it’s seeing a team that everyone doubted or even the favorites win the tournament, the NCAA has shown time and time again that March Madness is one of the greatest shows in sports each year.