It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Michael Johnson

Kentucky's John Wall puts up a shot against Florida in NCAA men's basketball action at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, on Sunday, March, 7. (Courtesy of Charles Bertram/MCT)

It is the time of the year, when Cinderella stories can come true and college students and alumni gather to cheer their college basketball teams on. This time of the year is called March Madness.

Whether people are sports fans, or not they gather around a TV to see the NCAA Tournament because magic happens every year. The excitement of a small school beating a big school, or the kid who was cold the whole game but hits the game-winning shot.

Of course there are the favorites in this crazy tournament and usually one underdog story. For example, this year there are three teams that have the best chance to win it all.

The first team that everyone seems to hold in pretty high esteem is Kentucky.

First, they have the best player in the NCAA: the well-known freshman John Wall.
Wall, from Raleigh, N.C., averages 17 points per game and shoots 46.2 percent from the field, which is a pretty deadly percentage for a freshman.

Not only is this team stacked with the best player, but they have one of the best head coaches in John Calipari.

Needless to say the Wildcats have a high chance of winning. However, the other two teams favored to win, Duke and Kansas, are not so bad either. They don’t have the one individual star that stands out like Kentucky, but they all excel in team play.

For the last couple of years, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has been all about offense heading into recent NCAA Tournaments. But this year, the Blue Devils seem more focused on defense.

For the first time in years Duke has true size in the paint. Brian Zoubek is a 7-footer that rebounds anything that comes his way, averaging 7.3 boards a game. Also, Kyle Singler is known for his offensive scoring at 17.5 points  per game but grabs seven rebounds a game.

Furthermore, the Blue Devils as a team are averaging 6.9 steals a game and holding teams to 27.9 percent from the three-point line. And judging by the way Duke shut down their rival North Carolina 82-50, it looks like Duke is ready for another championship run.
Lastly, Kansas is the most stacked team out of the two. They are good from top to bottom. On offense they are shooting 40.9 percent from the three-point line and 48.8 percent from the field.

Defensively, the Jayhawks bring the pain, averaging 6.4 blocks and 8.4 steals a contest. However, what separates this team from the pack more than anything else is their experience. Five players from the 2007-2008 championship team are still on this season’s roster.

Nevertheless, these are the favorites to win but there is always the underdog. This year the team coming in hot is the Washington Huskies. They are coming off winning the Pac-10 Tournament and are firing on all cylinders.

They are led by three players: point guards Isaiah Thomas and Venoy Overton, and forward Quincy Pondexter.  With these players leading the way, they could be the team cutting down the nets at the end of March.

So, who knows what will happen in March, but it will be an event to see.