Stories You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Tiger Times

Stories You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Tiger Times

Stories You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Tiger Times

May 22, 2024

Most Chaotic March Madness Yet?


As we get closer and closer to the start of the NCAA Tournament, the excitement all around the country is peaking. Last year’s tournament lived up to the hype when 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson upset #1 overall seed Purdue in the first round. Now the question everybody is asking is, can it happen again?

The playing field seems to have leveled this year as every single team has at least 3-losses entering the month of March. There is no clear favorite this year unlike last year. This will make the tournament completely out of control. Every game will be must-see TV.

The Favorites


The defending champs have built on their National Championship season and have been one of the top teams all season. Senior Tristen Newton, a 6 ‘5 guard has been the star of the team. In the National Championship game last year he scored a team-best 19 points on their way to the ring.


In the Cougars first year in the BIG 12 they have exceeded expectations and are currently one of the best offensive teams in the country. Fifth-year Senior LJ Cryer, a transfer from Baylor University, is one of the most consistent shooters in the country averaging an impressive 40% from the field.


After last year’s disappointing finish, Purdue came back extra motivated for the new year. Senior Zach Edey won the Wooden Award for the best player in college basketball last year and is playing even better this year. 

The Elite


The Wildcats are representing the PAC-12 well in the conference’s final season. Caleb Love has been the best guard in the country averaging 19 PPG, the North Carolina transfer will be hard to stop for any team throughout the tournament.


One of the most prestigious programs in college basketball has another potential championship winning team. Big-man Kyle Filipowski strikes fear into ACC opponents with his mind-boggling reach and large stature. Come March we will find out if having a dominant center is still crucial to winning the big dance.


The first SEC team on this list is one of the more confusing teams in college basketball. With impressive wins over #10 Kentucky and #20 Illinois but losses to unranked Texas A&M, the Vols have to figure out how to stay consistent if they want to make a run in March.


This Jayhawks team has tons of talent on this stacked roster. Most of the starters played on the 2022 National Champion team. The difference maker is Michigan transfer center Hunter Dickinson. Dickinson controls the paint in every game he plays and possesses a surprisingly lethal ability to shoot the 3-ball.


Baylor has had a season of highs and lows. They started the season as the third favorite to win the BIG 12 and currently sit at fourth. A young team led by Freshman Ja’Kobe Walter and Yves Missi, the Bears will need to find consistency to make a run in the big tourney.

The Next In Line


One of the Big East’s best teams is the definition of borderline elite. With fantastic guard play from Tyler Kolek, Marquette will try to keep the NCAA Champion label inside the Big East.

Iowa State

Another BIG 12 team that can play with anybody in the country, Iowa State has been the biggest surprise of the season so far. With wins over Kansas and Houston, the Cyclones have proven they can play elite basketball.

North Carolina

There is one thing stopping North Carolina from being considered elite, Armando Bacot’s consistency. UNC lives through Bacot and when he struggles, the team struggles.


The Tigers opened their season with a tough loss to Baylor in an exciting matchup. Auburn has played tremendous fast-paced basketball all season and are one of the most entertaining teams in the country.


The final team in this category is also the final Big East team on this list. Creighton has tons of experience stemming from 7-footer Ryan Kalkbrenner and sharpshooter Baylor Schierman. Creighton will need these two heavy hitters this team may be able to make a deep run.

The Dark Horses

Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary’s has one of their best chances in a very long time to win their conference and secure an automatic bid. Aidan Mahaney, a talented young guard from Lafayette, California, leads the team in PPG and is the most important player on this team.

San Diego State 

The Mountain West conference is deep in talent this year and San Diego State is currently the highest ranked team out of the conference. Senior Jaedon Ledee is averaging the 18th most PPG in the country this season and is a complete mismatch for defenders at his position.


The Flyers have been consistently one of the top mid-major teams over the past decade. Junior NBA prospect Daron Holmes ll leads this high-flying team. With only five losses on the year, Dayton has one of the highest win percentages in the country.


Having an unusually down year, the Bulldogs have still managed to get into the top 25. Gonzaga will have to go through Saint Mary’s to win their conference and if they do they will be seen as a dangerous threat heading into the tournament.

South Florida

USF was projected by multiple analysts to finish toward the bottom of their conference and have surpassed every projection by entering the top 25 for the first time in program history. This South Florida team could be very dangerous come March Madness.

Final Predictions

Knowing that March Madness is the most unpredictable tournament in sports, I have trouble picking one of the favorites to win it all. For my final prediction I predict the final will be Tennessee vs Marquette and the 2024 March Madness champion will be the Dalton Knecht led Tennessee Volunteers.

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About the Contributor
Baylor Adams
Baylor Adams, Staff Writer
Baylor Adams is a freshman at Erie High School. This is his first year writing for the Tiger Times. He plays football and runs track.

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