I’ve grown up with basketball from the earliest times of my life. Even though I was never any good, I played intramural basketball for St. Patricks for a number of years. The fast paced nature of the sport made me have an affinity for it, and to this day I love watching it. The NBA has always been my go-to, but with my own involvement in the college process, I have—like college football—decided to start watching college basketball, and I haven’t been disappointed. I started off with watching some of the teams of the schools I am currently applying to, and eventually made it to March, which was such a fun experience. March Madness is a basketball tournament that happens every year after the regular season. Similar to the college football playoffs, these university teams play each other until the championship game, which decides the no. 1 spot in the whole league. Last year, there were some notable teams in the Men’s Division—Gonzaga, Oregon, Southern California—that made the cut, but also some surprising ones too—St. Peters, Creighton, and North Texas. In the Women’s Division, the most notable teams of the season were UConn and University of South Carolina. Kansas and UNC played it out in the Men’s Division, with the Jayhawks winning out while Stanford beat Arizona in the national championship game.
Considering my year of watching experience, it’s only right that I share my predictions for this upcoming season. I believe that (Men’s Division) UNC will absolutely come back and crush it. Although they lost starter Brady Manek due to his graduation, they still have some talented picks like Caleb Love and Armando Bacot that have been on the team consecutively. Having these two starters gives UNC a major advantage as they already have prior knowledge on how to get to a championship game. Not to mention that last season, UNC put in a tremendous effort, and I can’t be wrong in thinking that they’ll play even better this year to make sure they take home that trophy. As for Women’s Basketball, I believe UConn will still be quite prevalent but not as much as they have been before. The team’s winning streak was ruined last year after their semifinal loss. Their star player Paige Bueckers is currently injured with a tear in her ACL, which means that she’ll be sitting out this entire season. This will be a huge loss to the team and might possibly be enough for them to lose most of their bets. Stanford’s team chemistry and ball handling seems to be one of the strongest out of the whole league, and it seems that they’ll try their best to make that trophy theirs once again.
When the college football season ends, I will make sure to change out of my Syracuse football shirt and into a Purdue basketball jersey. Whatever happens, I know that my interest for basketball will certainly be “maddening.”