The 2019 March Madness tournament has kicked off on a high note, but that is nothing compared to what is to come. Most of the major teams are still in the shadows waiting for their time to shine.
There is no telling what the outcome will be, but analysts, fans, bookies, and practically everyone concerned have their sights set on three teams in particular: Duke Blue Devils, Gonzaga, and North Carolina. Here is a review of each of these teams.
Duke Blue Devils:
Image source: goduke.com
The Duke Blue Devils are the public’s favorite team to win the 2019 tournament. They have performed exemplary in the regular season and promise to up their game for the tournament.
The Blue Devils have scored 15-9 against the spread and 22-2 straight up thus far. They have won a majority of their past games albeit they suffered embarrassing losses to the most unlikely teams. The team has played without its favorite player, Zion Williamson, for the regular season but he makes it back to the court just in time for the tournament, which is a great advantage considering that he is the most talented player on the team.
To put it in perspective, Duke scored more than 80 points just once without Williamson on board but six times with him on the court. RJ Barrett is also expected to put on a show. Both players are so good and formidable that the NBA has them up for consideration and this tournament may just be their chance to prove their worth, so they will be bringing their best game.
image source: herosports.com
North Carolina has come up for discussion just as much as Duke. There is no question that the team will make the final four if public sentiment is anything to go by – the team also has what it takes to do so. However, some fans are also optimistic that the Tar Heels have what it takes to beat the Duke Blue Devils and take the trophy home.
North Carolina has performed quite well for the 2019 regular season. It has scored an average of 72.9 points. It also has an efficiency rating of 95.5 points per 100 possessions. However, its defense is a bit wanting as it comes in 42nd place countrywide. Coupled with other statistics, the Tar Heels rank among the top teams nationally.
Even more interesting is the fact that the Duke Blue Devils went head-to-head against North Carolina during the ACC semifinals and lost. Perhaps this is why North Carolina’s coach compared Duke’s best place, Williamson, with his 6-years-old son (and just upped the stakes and excitement against the match everyone will be looking forward to).
image source: spokesman.com
Gonzaga is another public favorite which actually has what it takes to come out on top. It has a good standing with all the major platforms: Associated Press ranks it among the top 25 teams nationally while BPI estimates that it has a 62% chance of making it to the final four, which puts it in a position to fight for the trophy.
Gonzaga’s stats are also quite good compared to the competition. For starters, it has better teamwork than both Duke and North Carolina – it has four players who have worked together to score double figures in 22 of 23 games, which is an incredible achievement. It has also faced 96 opponents and outshot 83 of them. It also ranks high when it comes to balance, power, consistency, and efficiency. These good ratings also rub off on the team’s turnover ratio, scoring margin, and shooting.
It is also interesting that Gonzaga also beat the Duke Blue Devils in December for this regular season, and they just might do it again.
You cannot afford to miss any of the matches involving these three teams and especially those that pit them against each other. As such, ensure that you make time to stream the 2019 March Madness tournament live.