Churchwell takes on March Madness

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With the NCAA Basketball tournament just getting underway, Odyssey Online staff writer Caedmon Churchwell gives his predictions on the tournament.

Today marks the beginning of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, where 64 teams compete for the trophy that marks them champions of college basketball for the 2016-2017 season.

This year the bracket is dominated by the ACC with nine teams in the bracket  — no surprise there. After winning the ACC conference championship last week, Duke is coming into the tournament as a No. 2 seed in the East bracket.

Duke and UNC are two big favorites in the ACC across the country to make the Final Four if not win it all, but don’t count out Notre Dame, runner-up in the ACC championship. ND has three seniors in their starting lineup who have quite the experience in the tournament after making the Elite Eight the past two years.

Another team to watch out for is Iowa State, the No. 5 seed in the Midwest, which just beat a very strong defensive-oriented West Virginia club in the Big 12 Championship.

Kansas, No. 1 seed in the Midwest and a team that has been in the Top 5 in the AP polls for the majority of the season, is just coming off a big loss to a mediocre team, TCU, in the quarterfinals of the Big 12, which was a huge disappointment. WIth high expectations across the country, I expect Kansas to fall short early in the tournament this year.

My last standout team is UCLA, which boasts Lonzo Ball, a freshman prodigy with illusive passing skills, size and shooting. Ball is the full package and no team in the draw is stopping UCLA with him at point guard.

My very risky underdog Final Four is as follows: Notre Dame, Duke, UCLA and Iowa State. I have Duke winning the Championship over UCLA.

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