College Basketball Gearing Up for March Madness

Let the Madness begin; well after the Super Bowl

We're still about 2 months away from March Madness beginning. The brackets will be announced on St. Patrick's Day. In the meantime, there is some good basketball being played this year at the collegiate level, and a little bit of controversy to go with it. In the AP top 25, the top 5 seeds are Duke, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia and Gonzaga. But the Coaches poll has the top 5 as Virginia, Duke, Tennessee, Michigan and Michigan State.

The good thing about college basketball as opposed to college football is in basketball, 64+ teams will all get a shot at the playoffs, so the seedings don't matter as much as in football, where only four teams make the playoff. Virginia is 13-0 this year. Last year, they were infamous for being the first ever (136 tries) #1 seed to lose in the first round when UMBC beat them, and by 20 points no less. Meanwhile, Michigan is 17-0, and as storied as a college basketball program as they are, this is the best start to a season in that program's history.

Duke remains the top AP team with an 80-78 three-point buzzer-beater victory over #13 FSU last weekend. Tennessee, who is ranked 3rd in both the AP poll and the Coaches Poll, had a convincing win at Florida Saturday. Their only loss came to the then #2 Kansas Jayhawks. Fast forward to this coming Saturday, and the big game will be Duke hosting Virginia. Virginia won last year by a couple points, but I think the Blue Devils are the better team this year. This will be the first in a home-and-away for these two teams.

They'll play again February 9th at Virginia, and I think each team wins their home game. While the line is not out yet for this game, Duke has a 62% chance to win outright according to ESPN, and the styles of these two teams lends itself to a low-scoring game. They'll tip-off at 3:00 pm PT Saturday from Duke's Cameron Stadium.