Every year there’s always a host of Mid-Major programs that completely wreck your bracket. This year will be no different as the gap between the high-level programs and the Mid-Majors has gotten smaller. Every year we have a handful of Mid-Major programs that get hot in their conference tournament, and by the time they reach the NCAA Tournament, they fully believe they can beat anybody in the country. Not only do those teams believe they can do it, but they also have the talent to compete with the best in College Basketball. It’s what makes the NCAA Tournament so beautiful and pure.
We start by heading to the Missouri Valley Conference, where Loyola Chicago is eagerly awaiting to show the world that 2018 was no fluke. Loyola Chicago heads into the NCAA Tournament riding high after an impressive Arch Madness run where the Ramblers won with ease. Loyola Chicago is a team that can beat you at the post with Cameron Krutwig. Then with the outside shot of the impressive guard play from Loyola Chicago.
Head Coach Porter Moser also knows what it takes to win in the NCAA Tournament after leading Loyola Chicago to the Final Four in 2018.
Loyola Chicago will open their tournament play on Friday with a matchup with Georgia Tech.
Next up, we talk about Rick Pitino and his Iona Gales program. Iona comes into the NCAA Tournament at 12-5 on the season and winner of the MAAC Tournament. Sure, Iona has only played 17 games, but would you like to bet against Head Coach Rick Pitino in the NCAA Tournament? I know any College Basketball with a brain wouldn’t, and that’s why Iona has found a spot on this list.
Iona will have their hands full with their first-round matchup with Alabama, but it’s also Rick Pitino. If there’s any coach in the country that can get his guys ready to play in the NCAA Tournament, it’s Coach Pitino. Alabama can’t afford to overlook the Gales, if they do, they’ll end up back on the bus to Tuscaloosa, and Coach Pitino will be on his way to the second round.
Lastly, keep an eye out for the OVC Tournament Champion Morehead State as they get ready to take on West Virginia in a high-powered matchup on Friday night.
Morehead State is a team that is a potentially terrible matchup for West Virginia. Morehead State rebounds the ball well, and they also score the ball inside at a high standard.
Morehead State comes into the NCAA Tournament winners of the last seven games, including two massive wins over Belmont.
All the NCAA Tournament action will get underway on Thursday with the First Four games and will conclude on April 5th at the National Championship game.