Staff shares their March Madness picks

The single largest college basketball tournament known as March Madness is almost among us. This is the tournament where, literally, anything can happen.

From a broken leg mid play, to an amazing upset at the final buzzer, March Madness is one of the most exciting sports events in the country. Multiple professionals along with 40 million amateurs will attempt to choose which team is the best of the best.

In my opinion, the Oregon Ducks are this year’s best of the best. With only four losses and the Pac-12 player of the year, Dillon Brooks, the Ducks look like the best contender this year. Yes, Lonzo Ball for the UCLA Bruins is an amazing freshman, but the spotlight on Ball during the tournament can be very bright. This is Lonzo’s first tournament and that can be a lot of pressure on the 19-year-old.

Personally, I believe that Oregon will win the tournament due to

not relying on an all star player. Oregon has five returning players who were in last year’s tournament. Of the 14 players for Oregon, only four of them are underclassmen while UCLA has eight underclassmen out of 15 total players. This gives Oregon an advantage with more experienced players.

Oregon is now 3-1 against the ranked top 25 teams while UCLA is 3-2. If these teams were to meet, it would be a best of three contest with the winner going even further into the tournament.

Oregon’s Chris Boucher leads the Pac-12 in blocks with 2.6 per game. Jordan Bell, in fourth place, has had 2.1 blocks per game. Bell

and UCLA’s TJ Leaf are tied first in the conference for a field goal percentage of 63 percent.

All of this talk is a bit controversial, but I believe that a Pac-12

school will win the tournament this year. Whether it is Oregon,

UCLA or even Arizona, this year’s tournament is going to be

just as exciting as the others before it.

In the history of March Madness, Oregon has only

won one National Championship in 1939 while UCLA

has won 11, the most recent being in 1995.

As the tournament begins, Pac-12 fans will be

hoping that their teams will bring the

championship home.