By Ethan Kahn

With “Selection Sunday” just days away, the race to clinch a spot in the tournament begins. Some teams have punched their ticket, while others are eagerly waiting. Here are my top 25 teams going into selection sunday and championship week.

25. St. Mary’s

24. VCU

23. Syracuse

22. Notre Dame

21. Creighton

20. Wisconsin

19.UCLA

18. St. Louis

17. Arizona

16. Pittsburgh

15. New Mexico

14. Oklahoma St.

13. Marquette

12. Kansas St.

11. Florida

10. Michigan

9. Michigan St.

8. Miami (Fl)

7. Ohio St.

6. Georgetown

5. Kansas– I really like this young Kansas team led by Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey (both MVP candidates). Kansas ranks in the top 30 in Pts per game, rebs per game, and asts per game. They also rank in the top 25 for field goal percentage. Kansas once had an 18 game winning streak this year including wins against Ohio St, Kansas St., Oklahoma St, Texas and Baylor. Coach Bill Self has led this team to multiple final fours and I am convinced he can do it again.

4. Gonzaga– Coming off a victory against Matthew Dellavadova and the St. Mary’s Gaels, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have punched their ticket in the tournament and likely to be a 1 seed. Gonzaga is ranked #1 in the most recent poll, but remember, they have not had the toughest schedule. John Wooden award candidate Kevin Olynyk, knows how to lead this team and can lead them to a trip to the final four.

3. Louisville– The Cardinals have won their last 7 games and 10 of their last 11, and have the momentum going into the Big East Tournament. Rick Pitino really knows what he is doing with this squad. They average 73.5 points a game and have one of the best defenses led by PG Peyton Siva, SG Russ Smith and PF Gorgui Dieng. We all know that Louisveille has the ability to do real damage, as they did last year in the tournament.

2. Indiana– The big 4, Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, Christian Watford, and Jordan Hulls, are all elite players that can do a lot of damage for Indiana. Head Coach Tom Crean, is doing a great job with this team. Coming off a hot win vs. Michigan, Indiana won the Big Ten title for the regular season. Plus wins against Georgetown, and 2 wins vs. Mich St. help too.

1. DukeР Yes I am a Duke fan, but with Ryan Kelly back, and the Duke offense playing better than ever, they are one tough team to bring down. Averaging 78.4 points a game, there is no real star on the team as everybody contributes. With some nice recent wins against Virginia, Miami and North Carolina, Coach K will lead this team far in the NCAA Tournament.

Notes: Watch out for Ohio St, Georgetown and Oklahoma St.

Busts: Gonzaga, Michigan, New Mexico, St Louis, VCU, Butler, Michigan St.

Sleepers: Oklahoma St, Kansas St, St Mary’s, Marquette, Pitt, Syracuse (many people are hating them but watch!)

 

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