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Will Villanova repeat as National Champions? by John Schrup

March madness is one of the craziest times of the year for college basketball fans. Basketball enthusiasts from around the world dial in for three weeks of the most intense games in all of basketball. People take off work, watch from their offices and even schools play the games in their cafeteria. “At my high school, March madness was being played all throughout the day in the cafeteria,” said Sophomore Travis Roberts.

To say the least, March madness is a big deal and the champion of the tournament will forever be glorified in the college basketball world. March madness is known for airtight games that go down to the buzzer and huge upsets. Last year Villanova was the no.3 seed and in the discussion to contend for the championship. Although major contenders, Kansas and North Carolina were the favorites to win the NCAA National Championship. In an epic buzzer beater championship game, Villanova when on to beat North Carolina making them the 2015-2016 NCAA basketball Champions.

Similar to last year, the Villanova Wildcats are not the number one ranked team and this year their even one spot back from last year at the number four ranked team to win the Championship. Villanova has star power, shooting, size, the ability to play small and a fantastic coach. The loss of leaders and impact starters Daniel Ochefu and Ryan Arcidiacono leave a gap in the lineup and with their absence the question now becomes, can the Wildcats have the consistency in this year’s tournament to surpass the top three ranked teams in Duke, Kentucky and Kansas.

” Vegas has Duke with the highest odds at 7-1 to win the championship this year. . . I think they have three guys that are going to be drafted in the first round,” said Freshman Stephen Baity. With their tremendous talent and coaching lead by coach K, Duke has every possibility to become national champions. Villanova and Duke will face off in the elite and 8 assuming both will make it that far.

The second team that’s a major contender to Villanova is Kentucky. Kentucky is another team that is projected to produce three first round draft picks. With Kentucky’s youth, speed and athleticism they can hang with any team. Kentucky and Villanova would face off in the championship which would be an epic battle of experience versus youth.

The third team that could potentially get in the way of Villanova’s repeat is Kansas. Kansas is another team with multiple players projected to go in early in the NBA draft and have a ton of talent throughout the lineup. Kansas who went 29-2 in the regular season, would face off against Villanova in the National championship if they both make it that far.

The major difference between Villanova and the teams ranked in front of them is the confidence that the eight returning players have of being last year’s National Champions. “When you win a championship you have a chip on your shoulder and you have that confidence that you believe you can beat every team you play.” said Senior Joe Laherran. With Villanova’s depth in their bench play, Josh Hart one of the highest scorer in all of Division 1 basketball and Kris Jenkins the same guy who sank the game winning shot in last year’s championship, the Wildcats have the swagger and talent to potentially repeat as National Championship.

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