This will be the March Madness, the madness of American basketball

Opening jump between two college teams during the 'March Madness'.

Opening jump between two college teams during the ‘March Madness’.

This year the NCAA yes it will celebrate the traditional ‘Madness of March’ (March madness) despite the effects of the pandemic. The event began to live this week in the basketball university when the official calendar of the 68 teams who will fight for the national title, with the teams of Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois Y Michigan as heads of series. A year after the tournament was canceled for the first time in history, the tables that will end with the Final four of Indianapolis in an unusual tournament in the last 26 years.

In this edition, and for the first time since 1995, the tournament will miss two of the most traditional teams in college basketball such as Duke Y Kentucky. The former end a streak of 24 consecutive appearances and the ‘Wildcats‘ of Kentucky are out of the tournament for the first time since John calipari will take the reins of the team in 2009.

The Division I basketball NCAA is composed of 350 universities across the country divided into 32 regional conferences or leagues. In addition, there are also seven teams coming up from the Division II. Therefore, 68 teams chosen for March madness are made up of 31 champion teams of tournaments (the Ivy league decided not to play the conference season) and the 37 best non-champion teams.

The favorites

The ‘Bulldogs‘ of Gonzaga they arrive undefeated to the tournament and as champions of the Conference of the West Coast, in addition to being also chosen as the number 1 of the tournament in betting. They will play against the winner of the confrontation of “First four” Come in Norfolk State and Appalachian State, who are looking for one of the last four places in the main draw that have yet to be filled. Although Bulldogs have received some criticism for their defense and foul problems, they have shown that they are untouchable when they reach their best offensive level, with Kisper as the scoring leader (19.2 points / game).

The Gonzaga boys, a steamroller this season. USA TODAY

Illinois Fighting Illini heads the division Midwest Regional and features one of the most feared duos in college basketball, the guard Ayo Dosunmu and the pivot Koki Cockburn, which have allowed them to achieve a 12-1 record. If your defense works well in the perimeter zone, Illinois has the weapons to fight to be, not only in the Final four, but also fight for the title.

Dosunmu and Cockburn, the duo that has taken Illini Fighting on the fly. NCAA

Other candidates like the ‘Bears’ of Baylor, with the best shooters from outside the perimeter and great defense, lead the southern region and, they are favorites to reach the final to four if they do not meet before with an opponent that limits the trick of the triples. The ‘Wolverines‘ of Michigan they also arrive as number one in the East region, where if they advance they could meet the Hoyas of Georgetown, who directs the legendary expívot Patrick Ewing, who before arriving at the NBA gave them a national title to later be elected number one by the New York Knicks.

“We are sure today that we are moving forward to start Thursday with a full field of 68 teams,” he stressed. Mitch Barnhart, president of the selection committee of the NCAA. Despite several positives for Covid-19 During the competition, it will be played in the ‘bubble’ of Indiana with the main headquarters established in Indianapolis and the rest in surrounding areas, where the first round matches scheduled for Friday and Saturday of this week will be played.

The “First four“, the four games that define the last four classified to close the main draw, which will be played on Thursday, March 18th.

The organizers have established six different fields where the matches will be played. The Lucas Oil Stadium, stadium of the Colts, has been the venue chosen to dispute the next 5th of April the grand final that defines the new college basketball champion, two years after the victory of the university of Virginia.

The NCAA will also allow a 25% of amateurs for the men’s tournament in each round. “The capacity of the event will include all participants, essential staff and family members of student-athletes and coaches from each participating team and a small number of fans,” reported the college league. Everyone must follow the sanitary protocol of the competition, using a mask and avoiding breaking the ‘bubble’.


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