Man, what a season of college basketball it’s been. After an unprecedented amount of upsets throughout the season, March Madness also opened up with a bang. Highlighted by a truly shocking loss for a championship favorite Michigan State team, it was clear that this was a truly remarkable season.
Granted, as the tournament went on, the only team that continued with the upsets was Syracuse. However, they lost to North Carolina, a team that many felt could win the whole thing well before the season started, and is still standing in the final game. Headlined by double-double machine Brice Johnson, senior point guard Marcus Paige, along with Kennedy Meeks and many others, the top-seeded Tar Heels look to cap off a great season with their seventh NCAA basketball championship.
The only thing standing between Carolina and another title? The Villanova Wildcats. A perennial NCAA Tournament contender, Jay Wright’s squad has become notorious for choking every year. However, this year, with the leadership of senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono, as well as Kris Jenkins and Josh Hart, the Wildcats have gone through a murderer’s row of opponents this tournament, facing top ten teams like Miami, top-ranked Kansas, and then Oklahoma, winning by 23, five, and then by 44 in the FInal FOur against Oklahoma. Their defense is elite, and if they shoot 70% again, nobody can beat them.
In the end, I’ll admit that I like cinderella stories. Villanova may be a two-seed that was almost a one, sure. However, seeing how they’ve been perennial chokers since their stunning tournament championship as an eight-seed back n 1985, the fact that they’ve made it this far makes them somewhat of a great story. However, Carolina seems to be the team to beat. If Villanova plays like they did on Saturday vs. the Sooners, they’ll win. However, I see Carolina winning, in what will hopefully be a great game to cap off an insane year.
Prediction: Villanova 71, Carolina 76.