Opinion: March Madness returns with eyes on Big 10


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March madness after a year off has returned in full force!

Ethan Spozarski, Multimedia Editor

A year ago, with the cancelation of the 2020 March Madness tournament, many fans and players were disappointed. Now a year later the stage is set, safety protocols are in place, and fans are ready for some college basketball. 

Here are the top teams going in, and some underdogs to consider: 

You can’t talk about college basketball without covering the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who won their Western Conference championship game against BYU.  They are 26-0 on the season and lead all of college basketball by making 55 percent of their field goals. They are 11th in the country in free-throw points made with 429. And they average 92.1 points per game, which leads the nation. 

And 1,944.1 miles away, the Baylor Bears are a No. 1 seed from the Big 12 conference. The Bears average 84.4 points per game, which ranks third in the NCAA. They are the best three-point team in college basketball, making 42 percent of their shots. They also average 31.1 field goals per game. 

This is the first time Baylor has been a No. 1 seed in the tournament. While Baylor has played some great basketball this year, they did lose to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tournament semifinals, 83-74. 

Heading over to the Big 10, the Michigan Wolverines are in the top 10 in most categories from their conference. They are the top seed in the East.

The University of Illinois, which won the Big 10 championship, took the No. 1 seed in the Midwest. Illinois leads in five of the statistical categories and are second in points per game in their conference with 78.6. 

Over the past few years, this tournament has not been prone to upsets. In the South Region, look to 12th seed Winthrop, which plays in the Big South conference and has gone 23-1 this season. They led the Big South conference in field goals, field goals attempted, free throws attempted, and seven other categories. 

The Liberty Flames are another underdog to look at. They are seeded 13th in the Midwest. They are in the top 10 in all their conference stats, and have gone 23-5 on the season. 

So as fans are three days out from the beginning of March Madness, they should expect nothing less than the iconic tournament they love.