With the sweet sixteen starting up Thursday, the NCAA tournament is narrowing down its competitors to the cream of the crop of college programs. And although any team can win in the madness of March, pressure shifts towards the one seeds to go on a championship run against some of the hottest teams in basketball.
Back in the round of 32, Baylor’s overtime loss to North Carolina marked the first one seed to go down. The national champion’s defeat was a surprise, but I am sure more upsets of similar caliber are on the horizon.
In this article, I will list my rankings of the three remaining one seeds, including one I think will win the entire tournament.
3. Kansas Jayhawks
Out of the three one seeds still in March Madness, the one I believe is most on upset alert this weekend is the Kansas Jayhawks. Bill Self’s squad won the Big 12 tournament in 2022 and can rely on a plethora of players scoring points for them, most notably Remy Martin and Ochai Agbaji. Kansas took care of Creighton with a seven-point win in the round of 32, and now looks to take on Providence in the Sweet 16.
The Friars are no team to look past, as they dominated Big East play all regular season, and have won the first two tournament games by a combined 37 points. Providence currently sits at 7.5 point underdogs, but I would not be surprised to see this game much closer than expected.
2. Gonzaga Bulldogs
The number one overall seed in the tournament, the Gonzaga Bulldogs remain the odds-on favorite to win the NCAA tournament. This year, Gonzaga is trying to avenge the title loss they suffered at the hands of Baylor a year ago.
While future top three pick Chet Holmgren steals the headlines, this team relies on the offensive output of Drew Timme more than anyone else. The big man is already on his way to having another dominant March Madness run, Putting up 25 points and 14 rebounds in a win against Memphis in the round of 32.
Guard Andrew Nembhard continues to be one of the best players in the entire country, and is depended on to space the floor for the West Coast Conference champions.
Going forward, I do have faith Gonzaga will take down a very good Arkansas team, which features great players such as JD Notae. It will be a real test if Gonzaga does square off against the winner of Texas Tech and Duke, as either team has the talent to win a national title this season.
I do believe Gonzaga is a great team and still has games to win in this tournament, but I do not believe they’re the team to win the championship.
1. Arizona Wildcats
The Arizona Wildcats are not only my pick for the best one seed in March Madness, but they’re also my pick to be the last team standing as NCAA champions. The winners of the Pac 12 conference, Arizona is an exceptional, deep team that is led by two future 1st round picks.
There may be no better player in college basketball than Benedict Mathurin, who is coming off a 30 point outing against TCU in the Round of 32. The explosive guard had multiple clutch baskets down the stretch and is locking up a top-five selection in this year‘s draft with his tournament performance. His partner in crime Christian Koloko is an exceptionally big man who can do it all on the court. He is a double-double machine and also bold out against TCU putting up 28 points and 12 rebounds.
Arizona does have a tough path to the Final Four, but I believe it is something they can handle. The Houston Cougars are not your normal five seed in the tournament, as the AAC champions went 27-5 and have been on a warpath in their first two games.
Michigan and Villanova also remain in the region, but I believe all three teams are significantly worse than this number one seed. And while it is likely they face another one seeds in the final games, I believe neither Kansas nor Gonzaga will be able to take the Wildcats down.