Good afternoon, BBN! The long awaited return of March Madness inches closer every day—each time I flip on a CBS basketball game and hear the jingle (the baa-baa-ba-BA-ba-BA-ba-BAA!) I want to count down the days until Selection Sunday again.
Nine days. 6:00 p.m. It’ll be great.
Let’s dive into the last Roundup of the regular season, starting with the big winners: the Illinois Illini.
Biggest Winners: Illinois
The Illini (which is harder to spell than it looks), are on fire right now, living up to every ounce of the preseason hype. Not convinced they’re legit? They just smashed Michigan Tuesday night by 20+ points without Ayo Dosunmu. Jaw-dropping. They also won at Wisconsin last Saturday, making it a week with two top-25 wins. They’ll probably be the favorite to win the Big Ten Tournament, which might be the most anticipated conference tournament in a long time.
Here we go—the ‘Cats last stand. Fortunately, Kentucky’s not in the bottom four of the standings, so they’ll get a bye to the 2nd round. Currently they are projected to be the nine seed, meaning they’ll most likely play Mississippi State, Ole Miss, or Georgia in their first game. Obviously Saturday’s South Carolina game can change that, but more likely than not they’ll face one of those three teams.
If they reach the quarterfinals, they are almost assured of playing...Alabama (gulp). That will be a toughie, but their second meeting was close most of the way. Still, that will be a game where their backs are against the wall.
If they beat Alabama to reach the semis, they’ll probably play Florida or Tennessee, which is good news since they’ve beaten each of those teams this year. Then, if somehow they reach the championship game, they’d play for their tournament lives against...Arkansas.
They better bring their best to Nashville.
Flashback: Cats beat Gators in season finale with EJ Montgomery tip-in
Here’s hoping this Saturday’s regular season finale is as good as last year’s.