Updated: Apr 6, 2022
If you’re like me and everyone else this weekend, your bracket is toasted harder than Eli Apple in the Super Bowl. It’s the end of the first weekend of March Madness, which means we have officially reached March Sadness season boys. Maybe your team was upset in the first round by a 15 seed, or you lost on a last-second buzzer-beater that just didn’t drop, or maybe your team made it past the first round only to have their next opponent shoot 46 fucking free throws in one game. These losses don’t have to ruin the tournament for you, so don’t you worry. There are still 16 teams left, and here is at least one reason to root for each of them, from the 1 seeds to this year's Cinderella story.
This Arizona team showed some vulnerability against a scrappy TCU team on Sunday night, but they proved they got that dawg in them, which is what they’ll need to keep winning as they go on.
The easy answer here is Drew Timme because he and his mustache make Gonzaga must-see TV. However, Chet Holmgren is a top 5 pick and one of the most interesting players to watch in the country due to his unique size.
Kansas is one of the most consistent teams in the country, you always know what you’re going to get with them. They have a chance to do what no Kansas team has done since 2008, and they’ve looked good so far. If you love safe bets, this is your team.
Duke Blue Devils
Duke is a hard team to root for if you ask most college basketball fans, but it’s Coach K’s last year, and I can’t think of a more storybook ending for one of the best to ever do it than a National Championship.
Jay Wright always fields a team with guys that have high motors and a ton of grit, and Collin Gillespie is the perfect embodiment of that. Considering he’s been in college about as long as Coach K, it would be cool for him to go out the same way he came in, with a win in the Natty.
Let’s be honest, unless you live in West Lafayette, Indiana, there’s no reason for you to root for Purdue. Fuck Purdue. All jokes aside though, everyone knows that Jaden Ivey is the most electrifying player in the country, but did you know his mom is the women’s head coach at Notre Dame, who coincidentally is also in the Sweet 16?
Texas Tech Red Raiders
This is my favorite team to watch in the tournament so far. I’m a sucker for good defense, and Tech is all about the D. If you like teams that light up the scoreboard, look elsewhere, but if you want a team that plays hard and locks down on defense, the Red Raiders are the team for you.
The Muss Bus has left the station, and if you like a team that just wins, it’s time to hop on. It might not have been pretty, but the Muss Bus isn’t for the faint of heart.
I’ll be honest, Providence might be the most boring team left in the tournament for me, but they do have the most interesting-looking mascot of the bunch, if you’re into that.
One year removed from a final four run, the Bruins are back and still one of the most exciting teams in the country. If you love iso ball and big-time shot makers, UCLA is the team for you.
With Bruce Pearl and Auburn eliminated, Houston’s Kelvin Sampson is now the most exciting coach left in the tournament, and probably the only one willing to take their shirt off on TV.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Roy Williams left some massive shoes to fill in Chapel Hill, and in his first year, Hubert Davis has the Heels getting hot at the right time. If you love a trendy pick, UNC could be your team.
If you’re into analytics and patterns, Miami might be your team. They remind me of last year’s Baylor team with veteran guards and good defense, which could make them a very dangerous team.
Iowa State Cyclones
Another typical Big 12 defensive team, the Cyclones are the second-best story left in the tourney. A team that went 2-22 last season that has turned it around and is now in the Sweet 16 makes them an easy team to root for.
Speaking of turnarounds, how about that PR turnaround for Juwan Howard? Weeks after getting suspended for punching a Wisconsin coach, he’s consoling opposing players and taking the Wolverines to the Sweet 16 again. Hunter Dickinson is also such a fun player to watch.
St. Peters Peacocks
The Peacocks are America’s team right now. The latest Cinderella story isn’t afraid of anyone, and they proved that by beating Kentucky and Murray State back to back. I mentioned earlier that Arizona had that dawg in them as a 1 seed, but St. Peters has that Cerberus energy baby, let’s go cocks!
I've gone back and forth on who I'm going to root for, but ultimately, Shaheen Holloway won me over with this press conference. This St. Peter's team has swag, and as if I needed another reason to root for them, they get Purdue in the Sweet Sixteen. But what about you? Who will you be rooting for in the Sweet Sixteen and beyond? Let us know down in the comments as well as your favorite moments from the tournament so far!
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