By Jack Aler ‘19

High stake wagers, calculated masterminds and the luckiest of individuals all make up this great month of glory. March Madness is possibly the greatest championship in the history of sports.

Duration makes this event beautiful. Day 1 of the tournament is just as entertaining, if not more, as the championship game.

Every year, this tournament comes with high temptations, which may be what makes everything all the more interesting. What Chicago kid would care if Rhode Island went far in the tournament? The answer is any kid with a bet on the line.

So, my goal is to inform all of potential bracket makers and breakers.

March Madness is actually approaching really fast, yet we are still over a month from tip off. Some teams are showing wonderful promise however, being that they are a little more than halfway through their season.

There are a lot of predictions, but everyone should be aware of the current scary #2 seed – Duke. Duke is made up of high school phenom Zion Williamson (who is basically a young Lebron James) as well as many other young talented players.

The thing about Duke is everyone knows they are good. Tournament history shows a negative trend here. Last year, a lot of people were astonished by the #1 Virginia seed losing to #16 seed UMBC. Another stunner was #2 seed Michigan State losing to #15 seed Middle Tennessee in the first round, two years ago. The point is, do not trust the heavy favorite.

Junior Jimmy Maguire is staying with the trend, much like most of America. He said, “I think Duke will win because of their depth and the ability to execute perfect fast breaks. They have size for scores in the paint and Zion is unstoppable.”

Senior varsity basketball player Jeremy Kelley also thinks Duke will win. Jeremy said, “Duke has 3 of the top 5 recruits and they were able to stay close with an undefeated Virginia team earlier this year.” Jimmy and Jeremy are not wrong, I just have my suspicions.

With a more bold pick, Junior Connor Leibforth thinks current #19 seed Iowa will qualify for the tournament and end up winning. He said, “Their offense is very strong and their defense is even better. They are underrated right now but they will be victorious.”

I respect this unpopular choice yet Iowa is in the Big Ten, which is very competitive. They will face many challenges in the next few months but it is possible for them to succeed.

For all of the sports gurus reading this right now, I know you want to hear my pick. I have one major pick this year. Nevada is going to the Final Four.

Hear me out.

Nevada is 9-0 at home and 18-1 overall as of January 22. Nevada has experience as well. They went to the Sweet 16 last year, so they know how to compete in big games. Most of their roster is made of veteran juniors and seniors. They are mature and know how to play clutch basketball, which is most important for this month.

No matter what teams compete, this tournament always provides a fun competitive atmosphere entertaining for all.;/g/11f5bxxss_;3;/g/11ckvf54fz;rn;fp;1;;