This will be your 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion


Aaron Valadez, Reporter

With four teams left in the 2022 NCAA March Madness tournament, let’s take a look at the remaining teams and their chances of taking home the coveted title. The two sides of the bracket are as follows: 1 seeded Kansas versus 2 seeded Villanova, and 2 seeded Duke versus 8 seeded UNC. In the following I’m going to break down the team’s performances so far in no particular order, and predict how I think March Madness will end. 

First up, the Jayhawks. Kansas, led by guard Remy Martin with 16ppg thus far in the tournament, has a lot of potential after blowing out 10 seeded Miami a few nights ago. They have solid players who shoot from a high percentage and reliable scorers such as Ochai Agbaji. The 21 year old shooting guard led Kansas this past regular season scoring 18.9 points per game with 5.2 rebounds, and recently put up 18 points versus Miami. He was also named a top 5 finalist for the Wooden Award this year.  This team finished number one in the regular season for a reason. 

However, the Wildcats are solid as well. They are led by reliable point guard Collin Gilespie who averaged roughly 15 points and 3 assists per game in the regular season and has proved time and time again that he is one of the few reliable guards in the tournament on both ends of the floor. Guard Justin Moore and forward Jermaine Samuels have also played excellent ball in this tourney thus far, but Moore injured his achilles in the final minute of the last game versus Houston. 

Now looking at both teams, Kansas has yet to give us a full good 40 minutes of play and Villanova is very weak in their team’s depth. Villanova, like Kansas, has played too many “close calls”. With weak depth and narrow victories, despite their great free throw play, I have Kansas advancing. 

Next up, let’s take a look at the 2 seeded Blue Devils. Well for starters, they have a potential top 3 NBA draft pick in Paolo Banchero. This 6’10 forward from Italy is a beast. He has shot 8-15 from three so far this tournament and can beat anyway to the basket off the dribble. Followed by a star studded team with the best offensive efficiency of any team, they also have already defeated two top defenses in the tournament. Duke is dangerous. 

So lastly, there is the 8 seeded North Carolina Tar Heels. They have defeated already teams such as #4 UCLA and #1 Baylor (in OT). They also have the best rebounder in the Nation (16 per), who is arguably their best player because of how well he spaces the floor, in Armando Bacot. They also have three other 20ppg capable players in Caleb Love, RJ Davis, and Brady Manek. So, essentially they’re an offensive juggernaut. 

Now, who do I have taking this one? Well, I think this game will be close, but I got Duke taking it simply because we know as of yet they can’t be shut out offensively, and they want to get head coach Mike Krzyzewski his final national title in his final postseason. And so if Kansas does face Duke in the championship game, I expect Paolo Banchero and company to take home the win. He has not only lived up to his massive hype, but he has maintained it throughout this postseason and with motivation to win one for his coach, and help from his league best offensive squad, I think Duke comes out on top overall.  

But that’s just my opinion. Who do you got this year?