Top 10 March Madness Teams That Could Take it All Home

March 13, 2018

With the nation’s best college basketball teams vying for glory in a winner-takes-all, single-elimination tournament, it’s time for hoops fans like us to prepare our hearts, minds and souls for March Madness. One team will survive this athletic gauntlet and prevail against the odds. If you need some help filling out your bracket, here’s our top 10 list of schools with the best chance to take it all home.

1. University of Virginia

31048 UVA Men’s Basketball vs South Caro by bsabarnowl, on Flickr
31048 UVA Men’s Basketball vs South Caro” (CC BY 2.0) by bsabarnowl

As a team that’s spent a good amount of time ranked number one this season, UVA is a logical pick. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though—in the heat of tournament play, any team can fall (even in the first or second round).

2. University of North Carolina

Marcus Paige Last Shot at UNC by jweatherlyneal, on Flickr
Marcus Paige Last Shot at UNC” (CC BY 2.0) by jweatherlyneal

As the tourney’s defending champion, UNC has a real chance to ride the wave to another title in 2018. The Tar Heels have been a consistent top 10 team this season, so back-to-back championships are not out of the question.

3. Villanova

Georgetown vs Villanova by justinknabb, on Flickr
Georgetown vs Villanova” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by justinknabb

Every March, it seems the Wildcats find their way into Final Four conversations. The 2016 champs hope to ride the coattails of their recent success deep into this year’s tourney. On the other hand, Villanova went 21 years between national titles so, perhaps, we’re in the beginning stages of another dry spell for the ‘Cats.

4. Kansas

_MG_0875 by rrescot, on Flickr
_MG_0875” (CC BY 2.0) by rrescot

Another easy pick here, and one team that should be pretty high on your bracket already. As a nationally competitive program every year, we’ll have to see just how deep the Jayhawks go this month.

5. Auburn

Auburn Arena by hyku, on Flickr
Auburn Arena” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by hyku

We’re having flashbacks to last season. As an unlikely SEC power this year, Auburn could be the next South Carolina. Keep an eye on these guys—the Tigers could provide hoops fans with the Cinderella story of a lifetime.

6. Clemson

CU vs. GaTech by Sweet Carolina Photography, on Flickr
CU vs. GaTech” (CC BY 2.0) by Sweet Carolina Photography

Football may not have panned out as well as the Tigers hoped this year, but the basketball team’s on-court success could make up for that. Having been consistently ranked in the top 25 this season, Clemson can’t—and won’t—be counted out easily.

7. Gonzaga

USD Toreros vs Gonzaga Bulldogs 02-02-13 by SD Dirk, on Flickr
USD Toreros vs Gonzaga Bulldogs 02-02-13” (CC BY 2.0) by SD Dirk

The Bulldogs made a statement last season—after going toe-to-toe with UNC in last year’s championship game, Gonzaga fell just short of glory. Wait and see what this program is capable of as things heat up this month.

8. Rhode Island

DSC_0051 by Jeffrey P. Horne, on Flickr
DSC_0051” (CC BY 2.0) by Jeffrey P. Horne

Not many people associate Rhode Island with basketball. Heck, most people probably forgot about Rhode Island altogether. But their success on the court this season is not something to overlook.

9. New Mexico State

DSC_9734 by Beaverbasketball, on Flickr
DSC_9734” (CC BY 2.0) by Beaverbasketball
New Mexico State is nowhere near the top of anyone’s brackets, but this team has had some impressive victories in its first year under coach Chris Jans, including a win over 6-seed Miami and another over fellow 12-seed Davidson. This is New Mexico State seventh NCAA appearance since 2010 and, if the Aggies can defeat Clemson in round one, they could go all the way.

10. Duke


Finally, there’s Duke. Coach K has put together another powerhouse squad that’s ready to make a statement. However, if you think the Blue Devils look good this year, wait until you see what Duke has on tap for next season.

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