Jackson Hongtong: The Blue Devils Back on Top

by Jackson Hongtong ’21

This time is what sports fans wait for all year, March Madness. Millions are doing their research in hopes to try and do the impossible of getting the perfect bracket. Last year’s March madness had North Carolina taking the championship over Gonzaga, in a battle of two number -one seeds. This year has a controversial bracket with regions like the Midwest that has three teams that have a good chance to make a deep run or maybe even win the tournament. Nevertheless, this year is filled with great talent and teams that’ll make this March an exciting one.

In the Round of 64, I have a few upsets consisting of Loyola-Chicago (11) upsetting Miami (6) in the South region, South Dakota State (12) over OSU (5) in the West region, New Mexico State (12) upsetting Clemson (5) in the Midwest because of their absence Donte Grantham, and St Bonaventure (11) beating Florida (6) in the East region. Into the next round, I have only two upsets, St. Bonaventure beating Texas Tech (3) and West Virginia (5) beating Wichita State (4). I have in the sweet sixteen Arizona (3) upsetting the overall best team in the tournament UVA (1), in a close contest. UVA recently just lost the ACC sixth man of the year ,Deandre Hunter, who will be out for the whole tournament, making UVA title chances lower. Arizona is led by top prospect Deandre Ayton who averaged a double-double throughout the season, which is the reason why I have them in the championship. Another team I have going far is the red-hot Michigan (3), who are coming off a Big Ten championship win with only one loss in their last twelve games. I have them upsetting Xavier and UNC to slide into the Final Four. They surprised many last year and this year will be the same.

My final four contains Arizona, Michigan, Duke, and Villanova (1). I believe that that Duke and Arizona will win and go to the championship game. Duke has no doubt one of most talented starting fives’ with freshman prodigies Marvin Bagley iii, Wendell Carter Jr., and 4-year player Grayson Allen who all averaged double digit points per game this season, which is why Coach K’s Blue Devil’s is my pick to win it all this year.