March Madness predictions: first round features great matchups



Loyola of Chicago’s Lucas Williamson (left) heads to the basket as Drake’s Tremell Murphy (right) defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament Sunday, March 6 in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

By DeOndre Saunders, Sports Reporter

March Madness will begin on Tuesday, and the top 68 teams in college basketball have been selected.

Here are predictions on teams’ fates in the tournament:

Best matchups

The best matchup in the first round will be North Carolina vs Marquette.

The Tar Heels have one of the best centers in college basketball in Armando Bacot, who is a dominant player. 

The Golden Eagles have had a good team all season and have a great scorer in freshman forward Justin Lewis.

The second best matchup will be Ohio State vs Loyola Chicago.

The Buckeyes have a great player in junior forward E.J. Liddell, who can lead them to victory with his three-level scoring.

The Ramblers are a well-coached team and are known for the determination and hard work they leave on the court. 


The team that is most overlooked is Murray State. 

Murray State went 18-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference and won its conference title. The Racers had an overall record of 30-2 this season and were ranked the 21st best team in college basketball.

The Racers will prove that they are being overlooked and make a surprising Sweet 16 appearance. 

Who wins it

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are the favorite to win it this year as they are ranked the number one team in college basketball.

Freshman center Chet Holmgren is a big asset to the Bulldogs, averaging 13.2 points and 9.6 rebounds. Holmgren is a candidate for Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year and he is ranked to go number one overall in the 2022 NBA Draft according to ESPN

Holmgren isn’t the only valuable asset to Gonzaga; junior forward Drew Timme is, too. Timme averages 17.5 points and he is a good defensive player.

Gonzaga will win because of their talent and excellent coaching staff.