If the previous few weekends of convention championships signified something, it was how a lot Insanity might be packed into this March. We have been blessed with buzzer-beaters, upsets, and an infinite quantity of Grasp Class performances. From Rhyne Howard and Kentucky’s upset win over South Carolina within the SEC Championship to Miami’s historic run within the ACC Match, there’s so much to preview, and SLAM’s acquired you coated.
There are just a few new adjustments this time round, although:
For the primary time for the reason that match’s inception in 1982, the NCAA has determined to characteristic the historic March Insanity branding for the 2022 match, whereas the elevated 68-team pool might be seeded for the primary time this Choice Sunday on March 13.
The primary 4 video games of the match will happen on Wednesday and Thursday of this week whereas the primary and second rounds start on Friday and run by means of subsequent Monday the twenty first.
The Heavy Hitters
This yr’s No. 1 Seeds: South Carolina, Stanford, NC State and Louisville are stacked to the brim with expertise, as we take a deep dive into how the heavy hitters acquired to the primary spherical of the match.
Led Daybreak Staley, the Gamecocks (29-2) are outfitted with an array of expertise, together with the frontrunner for Nationwide Participant of the Yr, Aliyah Boston. The Gamecocks will make their 18th nationwide match look since ’82 by means of the Greensboro Area. All through the 2021-22 season, the Gamecocks have remained favorites to chop down the nets in Minneapolis. Regardless of struggling solely their second loss (29-2) on the season to Kentucky within the SEC match last, South Carolina leads the nation with 11 wins over ranked opponents, going through off in opposition to the winner between Howard (20-3) and the Incarnate Phrase Cardinals (13-16).
The Stanford Cardinal (28-3) cruised their technique to their second-straight Pac-12 championship with wins over Oregon St., Colorado, and Utah, behind the match’s Participant of the Yr in Haley Jones. With 6-4 convention Defensive Participant of the Yr and the Pac-12’s main rebounder Cameron Brink commanding the paint, the Cardinal are coming off of a 20-game win streak heading into the Spokane Area. First, although, they’ll must care for enterprise in opposition to No. 16 Montana (22-12).
The ACC has been one of many strongest conferences top-to-bottom this season—boasting eight groups from the convention making the massive dance—as each NC State and Louisville spherical out our heavy hitters. The Wolf Pack added to what’s already been a historic season after securing the No. 1 seed within the ACC match for the primary time in 32 years. Led by first-team All-ACC heart Elissa Cunane, NC State makes their twenty seventh nationwide match look.
This record is nowhere close to wanting star-power, and that’s the place Hailey Van Lith and Louisville (25-4) spherical out our heavy hitters. Ending second behind NC State within the ACC, the Cardinals are set to make their first nationwide match look since 2019. They’re set to match up in opposition to No. 16 Albany (23-9) within the first spherical.
Greatest Not Be Sleeping
They is probably not the highest-seeded groups, however you simply can’t be caught sleeping on the subject of Kentucky, Miami, DePaul, and the Michigan Wolverines.
Coming off of the stellar play of All-SEC First Group ahead Rhyne Howard and standout Dre’una Edwards, the Kentucky Wildcats upset the No. 1 seed South Carolina Gamecocks in historic vogue for the SEC Championship, this system’s first since 1982. Driving a 10-game win streak into the Bridgeport area, the No. 6 Wildcats had a sub .500 report lower than a month in the past, and but, they’ll enter the primary spherical of the match with presumably essentially the most momentum within the match. However first, they’ll must undergo Princeton (24-4) to maintain on dancing.
The Canes have been synonymous with upsets throughout March, beautiful Louisville within the ACC quarterfinals courtesy of Future Harden’s buzzer-beating turn-around jumper and Notre Dame within the semis. The No. 8 Miami Hurricanes (20-12) arrive within the Greensboro area after advancing to this system’s first-ever ACC Championship sport.
The No. 3 Wolverines (22-6) enter the fold within the Wichita area with a first-round matchup in opposition to the No. 14 seeded American Eagles (23-8). Their resume consists of high quality wins over Baylor in late December—this system’s first win over a top-five workforce—Maryland in January and Iowa in early February. Led by projected top-five decide within the 2022 WNBA Draft, Naz Hillmon, the Wolverines might be seeking to make historical past as soon as extra in March.
Whereas they completed fourth within the Huge East, the Blue Demons earned high quality wins over Kentucky and Northwestern. Led by double-double machine Aneesah Morrow, the convention’s Freshman of the Yr, DePaul (22-10) will match up in opposition to No. 11 Dayton.
Video games You Can’t Miss
In any case 68 groups have been seeded on Choice Sunday, the opening spherical matchups are set. Right here’s some video games that you simply’ve acquired to tune into this weekend.
Pictures through Getty Pictures.