There is no Madness without a little Outrageousness
After yet another crazy season of college basketball, it's time for the annual culmination and coronation we all know as March Madness. Over the next couple of week, 68 teams from all over the country will eliminate each other one by one until only one team remains — and it may just be the greatest spectacle in all of sports.
Part of what makes it such a spectacle is the unpredictability of all of it. Win and move on. Lose and go home. One chance, no series. Literally anything can — and does — happen.
Outrageous Predictions for the 2018 NCAA Tournament
Only one No. 1 seed will make it to the Elite 8
Virginia gets stuck in a bracket with an Arizona team that looks unbeatable right now. If Xavier doesn't lose to Missouri in the second round, Gonzaga will knock the Musketeers out in the Sweet 16. Seton Hall is my LOCK to take down Kansas in the second round. That leaves Villanova, all alone as a top seed in the regional finals.
Not one No. 6 seed gets out of the first round
The committee didn't do any favors for the teams sitting in the No. 6 slots in the four regions. San Diego State is a bad matchup for Houston. TCU can't handle the guards from Syracuse. Watch out for those Bonnies to take down the Gators and look for the Miami Hurricanes to go cold against Loyola.
The Big East won't lose a game in the first round
For my money, the Big East has been the best conference in college basketball all season. Two of six entries from the conference are No. 1 seeds, so count Villanova and Xavier as wins. Creighton will run Kansas State off the floor with their wide-open style and the best defender in college basketball — Khyri Thomas. Providence will simply out-grind a Texas A&M squad not build to handle the physicality of the Friars. Seton Hall might have four future NBA players in its starting five, and that talent will be on full display against NC State. And finally, look for Butler to shoot the lights out against Arkansas.
Arizona wins the national championship
It's almost not fair. The Wildcats ran a marathon all season, paced themselves, went through some serious adversity and are just now hitting their stride. Oh — and they also have the single most dominant player in all of college basketball manning the post. Look for these Wildcats to play their heart out for their embattled coach, Sean Miller — all the while hopping on the giant shoulders of Deandre Ayton and coasting to a title. Bear Down!
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.