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Making predictions about March Madness is a tall task. It's a notoriously unpredictable time of year in sports, but that's what makes the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament one of the most exciting sporting spectacles around. It seems like every year, without fail, there are upsets, blowouts and underdogs making Cinderella runs at glory. 

College Basketball NCAA Tournament Predictions 

Duke Makes Deep Run 

The 2019 college basketball season has been filled with parity. The one team that seemed to rise above the pack, Duke, now has big-time questions surrounding star forward Zion Williamson after he sprained his knee. Even with Williamson's future at Duke in doubt, the Blue Devils should still be primed for a long tournament run, featuring star scorer R.J. Barrett and Hall-of-Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski.


Virginia Suffers Another Early Exit 

Fellow projected No. 1 seed Virginia may not be as lucky. Look for the Cavaliers to follow up their historic 2018 first-round loss with another underwhelming outing in the NCAA tournament. 

While UVA has remained a model of consistency over the past few regular seasons, the team's methodic style of play has not translated well to the unpredictable nature of the NCAA tournament. The Cavaliers rank 10th in the country in 3-point percentage at 39.2 percent, but they don't crack the top-130 in 3-point attempts per game. Virginia could be the first top seed eliminated this year if it ends up matched up with an underdog like Wofford, who is third in the country in 3-point percentage at 41.4 percent with a much higher volume, taking 26.3 three-pointers each game. 


Undervalued Kentucky Shines 

Meanwhile, another projected No. 1 seed has managed to fly far under the radar this season. It is disingenuous to call a John Calipari-led Kentucky team an underdog, but it does feel like a lot of people wrote them off after they were shellacked by Duke on opening night despite being favored. 


In the time since then, a lot has changed for the Wildcats. They have won 13 of their last 14 games (including wins over UNC, LSU, Tennessee, and Kansas) and have been dominant, posting an average win margin of 14.2 over that stretch. The Wildcats' resurgence has been in large part due to sophomore forward P.J. Washington, who has averaged 15.22 points per game (PPG) and 7.93 rebounds per game (RPG), while playing stellar defense. 


They look ready for another deep run in March. 

Murray State Makes Cinderella Run 

The Racers of Murray State could be the biggest Cinderella. The Racers hail from the Ohio Valley Conference, which isn't a historical powerhouse, but they do feature one of the most exciting players in college basketball, Ja Morant.

Morant is averaging 24.4 PPG and 10.3 assists per game and has carried Murray State to first place in the Ohio Valley Conference and a 24-3 overall record. Morant is liable to catch fire at any moment and he should have a huge impact in March - who knows, maybe he'll even spur on the next legendary mid-major Final Four run.


Houston Surprises People 

Houston is ranked No. 9 in the nation, but no one talks about it. That should change in the tournament. It gives up only 60.3 points per game on average this season, fifth best in the nation, and that defense could be the difference for them in March. 


Yale Will Earn Upset 

If you're looking for an Ivy team to make a run in the tournament, look at Yale. The Bulldogs average 81 points per game (28th in the nation). They did lose twice to Harvard this season, but if they get by them in the conference tournament, they could give teams problems. 



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