The NCAA March Madness Tournament Is Here!

The NCAA March Madness tournament is here, and the games start tonight!

Starting in the West region, the favorite to make the Final Four is Gonzaga. The team is the most efficient offense in college basketball and closed the season strong with a pair of comfortable wins over the second-best team in the WCC, Saint Mary’s. Additionally, the Bulldogs have experience with their top five leading scorers all being juniors or seniors, and none of their rotation players being freshmen. The team's biggest question is whether UCLA will be able to make a run despite the injuries to Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Jaylen Clark and top-tier shot-blocking presence Adem Bona.

In the Midwest region, Houston is the best team in college basketball, even if the selection committee didn't recognize it. They are the top-ranked team in Kenpom, T-Rank, and the NET ratings, and tied for the best record in college hoops at 31-3. The team's biggest question is what an interim coach can do. Texas Tech made the NCAA championship game in 2019 under head coach Chris Beard, who was hired away by Texas last year. However, Beard was fired in January after an arrest on a domestic violence charge, leaving the Longhorns' tournament hopes in question.

Moving to the East region, it's a toss-up between Michigan and Alabama to make the Final Four. Michigan, with its strong coaching and solid performance in conference play, could make a deep run, but the team has been struggling with injuries. Alabama, on the other hand, has one of the most dominant offenses in college basketball, but its defense leaves something to be desired. One of the biggest questions in the region is how well the 16th-seeded Mount St. Mary's will do after winning the play-in game against Texas Southern.

Finally, in the South region, Baylor is the team to beat. It has the second-most efficient offense in college basketball, is well-coached, and has a deep bench. The biggest question in the region is how Ohio State will do without senior guard CJ Walker, who has been out with a hand injury.

Throughout the tournament, there are a number of interesting subplots to watch, including double-digit seeds that could make a run, injuries that could derail teams, and the impact of interim coaches. It's sure to be an exciting few weeks of college basketball as the top teams in the country battle it out for the title of NCAA champion.