The winner of the NCAA Tournament will be…
Villanova. They are the highest scoring team in the NCAA and top 25 in assists. They will hammer down any opponent that steps in their way. With experience on their side and an excellent coaching staff, they will win another title this year. They will go against Loyola-Chicago in the title game and that’s where the cinderella story will end. Chicago has been too lucky and have not dominated a game except for a nine seed Kansas State. The number one seed Villanova will obtain yet another NCAA title.
Kansas vs. Duke will be recognized as the National Championship by me this year. The meeting of two of the most successful college basketball programs did not disappoint at all. Malik Newman ran baseline to baseline, drilling every corner three he took, and blossomed into a star in front of the world. Controversial calls tore the world in half, fighting the difference between a block and charge. Grayson Allen, the most polarizing Duke villain since Christian Laettner, played his final game of College Basketball. His shot at the end of regulation will remain infamous forever. Kansas finally got over its Elite Eight demons, and won 85-81 in a game that Coach Bill Self couldn’t help but say it was the best one he’s ever been a part of. Who won? Basketball fans. We witnessed one of the best college games of all time.
Michigan. They are good, but they’re not flashy. Sort of, in a way they are sneaky about how good they are. They will have to beat Loyola. Loyola has an amazing story and everyone loves an underdog, but they simply do not have the experience needed to succeed past the final four. Michigan is a team that people only know they’re good because they’ve made it this far, but I feel like they will be underestimated once they beat Loyola and make it to the Championship. Villanova will end up beating Kansas and will meet Michigan in the championship. The grit and fire that michigan plays with will be able to lead them to an NCAA title. They are tough. Wagner will have a big game against Loyola and will hopefully be able to be consistent and carry that over to the ship.
Loyola-Chicago. Not only are they proving to be a very good defensive/offensive team, they play with a passion that not every team has “the ultimate underdog.” Led by point guard Clayton Custer and shooting guard Ben Richardson- who has scored at least 20 points only two other times in four seasons at Loyola, has been great and will continue to play with energy and fire with this being his last year as a Wolf. Loyola has hit the hearts of the nation in the perfect underdog story and I personally believe that this story has a happy ending. Loyola-Chicago as your NCAA 2018 NATIONAL CHAMPS.
Michigan. With a defense first, offense second mentality, Michigan is one of the top defensive teams in the tournament. Their intensity on defense is what has put them on top this year, no. 6 in the nation on points allowed per game and no. 14 in defense efficiency. So far Michigan has held their opponents to 59 per contest this tournament. Head coach John Beilein is one of the best coaches in the country, his ability to make quick in-game adjustments has helped his team win many games this season. The Wolverines will face no. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago who are also a very good defensive team and have really came out of nowhere and set the tournament on fire. No one thought Loyola would make it this far not even Sister Jean who picked them to fall in the Sweet Sixteen, so I think what it will all come down to is experience. Coach Beilein’s experience and Michigan’s defense will put the Wolverines over Loyola and this momentum will push them to winning the NCAA championship.