March Madness is perfect sports ending

After a hellish year of waiting and waiting, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship finally started again with yesterday’s Selection Show.

March Madness is, without any doubt, my favorite time of the sporting year. Forget the Super Bowl. Forget the World Series. Forget even the Lower-Oakland Roller Derby Championships. The Madness is on top.

It is the one place to see young athletes play with the utmost passion and desire to advance. Watching your bracket crumble as an underdog knocks out your top team is bittersweet, because even though your chances at winning that office pool are over, unpredictability is what March Madness is all about.

The tournament garners such prestige and excitement across the nation that it has become suggested as a way to resolve the college football season and, in my opinion, should be the way the NBA championship goes as well.

But with 64 teams in the tournament, it can become difficult to know who to watch. There will be roughly 189 hours of basketball to watch over the next couple weeks, and most of it will be wild. There will always be a 12 seed upsetting a five seed, a one seed does not lose to 16, and there will be at least one Cinderella looking for a glass slipper.

So with all the hubbub and confusion, here is my list of what I think will be the most exciting teams to watch in the tournament.

Syracuse

The Orangemen started off the preseason barely ranked at 24. Since then, they have dominated their way to being a one seed with a 28-4 record, topping seven top-13 teams along the way. They are one of the country’s most exciting teams, chock full of wild assists and fast-paced play. Probably their key asset is their ability to run the transition game. If North Carolina proved anything last year, it is that a fast-paced, well-run transition game will destroy opponents, and the Orangemen do just that.

Ohio State

The Buckeyes may only be 5-5 against ranked opponents for the season, but do not let that convince you they are not legit. The Bucks have a shallow bench, and in the past, that has ruined tourney-bound teams, but with the experience and raw talent OSU sports, they could make a big run. Evan Turner is arguably the best player in the country, and with David Lighty and Jon Diebler backing him up, the sparks will fly and OSU will surprise people. OSU has a weak postgame, so it will be interesting, but if there is one good thing about basketball, it is that size doesn’t always matter.

Kentucky

The Wildcats have been virtually unstoppable this season, posting a 32-2 record and 6-1 against ranked opponents. After winning their 26th Southeast Conference Title, the Cats have shown their claws. Freshman John Wall has led the Big Blue the whole season, and his play in the SEC tourney has shown he doesn’t intend to stop anytime soon. UK has a tough tourney schedule going up against the likes of Wisconsin, West Virginia and Clemson, so they should have some interesting games, and be sure to watch for them in the Big Dance.

Baylor

The Baylor Bears are coming in at 25-7, with a dismal 2-3 record against ranked teams. However, coming out of the Big 12 Conference will have prepared them for a rigorous tournament schedule, out of one of the weaker-looking regions. If they can keep up on rebounds, which has been an issue, and get big games from LaceDarius Dunn and Ekpe Udoh, the Bears could roar their way to the Final Four and beyond.

Kansas

The Jayhawks started off the season at the number one spot and held it for an impressive 14 games. They come in with a 7-1 record against ranked teams, and they know how to run. They are a quick team, and have experience with their senior guard, Sherron Collins. Kansas has a rich history of basketball prowess and I guarantee they mean to keep it that way. As the overall number one seed in the tournament, they have a big target on their backs. Watch their tournament run with interest; it won’t disappoint.

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