Skip To Main Content

March Madness Predictions: Winners, Sleepers, & Cinderellas

March Madness Predictions: Winners, Sleepers, & Cinderellas
Gus Aspillaga, '25, Benjy Pastor, '25, & Elliot Rosen, '25

March Madness 2023
March Madness is a College basketball tournament that takes place in March. It has the 64 best basketball teams in the country going up against each other in 4 brackets of 16 with each team fighting for a national championship. Gus, Benjy, and Elliot will be giving their predictions.

Benjy’s Winning team
Believe it or not, Purdue has not made a run to the Final Four since 1980! To make matters worse, the Boilermakers have never won the Big Dance! But that changes this year. Purdue is led by star Junior Center Zach Edey, as well their Freshman superstars Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith. Despite their rough end to the regular season, the Boilermakers have proven that they can compete with the best of the best, notching key early season wins against #6 Gonzaga, unranked Marquette (who is now ranked #6 in the nation) and #8 Duke. I

Elliot’s Cinderella Story Team:

Last season we saw #15 seed, St. Peter’s, made it all the way to the Elite 8. This year, I am going to predict the Cinderella Story team. In my opinion, Colgate has the best chance of making it far in the tournament. The team had a regular season record of 25-8 and finished first in the Patriot League regular season standings. The team went 17-1 against conference opponents and ended up winning the Patriot League tournament, clinching a March Madness appearance. Everyone in Colgate’s starting lineup averaged more than 10 points. One major thing to look out for is how hot the team is at the moment. Colgate is on a 9 game winning streak currently and has shown no signs of stopping. Colgate will make it far in the tournament.

Elliot’s Sleeper Team:

Last year we saw North Carolina, the #8 seed, make it all the way to the championship game. UNC was slept on by many people as they were a projected first or second round loss. Texas A&M is that team this year. According to ESPN Bracketology, A&M is a projected 7 seed. Like I said before, it is important to look at how hot the team is currently, and the Aggies are coming off a win against #2 ranked Alabama. The team has won 8 of their last 9 games. There is a really good chance that they take home the SEC tournament title and go on to make a huge run in March Madness. When you are filling out your brackets, make sure you have the Aggies as an upset team. 

Elliot’s Winning Team:

It has been a tough last couple of years for many people. We has seen #2 and #3 seeds lose in the first and second round of the tournament every year. We have seen #1 seeds lose to #16 seeds. All these upsets have made it very hard to pick our winner. Well look no further as I have read the script for this March Madness tournament and the winner is going to be Kansas. Yes, they are going to win back to back years for the first time in a while. They have the most Quad 1 wins out of any team in the league. They have proven time and time again why they are the best team. With a lot of star power, this team has every right to win it all. Watch out for Kansas!

Gus’s Cinderella story:

Like Elliot said we have seen some insane Cinderella stories. Most recently with #15 St. Petes going to the elite 8 making history in the process. Looking at the current bracketology, the Cinderella story I have is UC Irvine. You truly never know what team is gonna show up and in the current bracket UC Irvine finds themselves as a #14 seed. They are currently slated to face the #3 seed Kansas State. They are 23-10 and #1 in the Big West. Looking at their schedule this season they played 2 ranked teams in the regular season, and the first was #21 Oregon in their second game by the way who they beat 69-56, and #24 San Diego State who they lost to by 3 points 72-69.

Gus’s sleeper pick:

Last year there were 3 teams in the elite 8 that were seeded 8 or lower. UNC #8 who made it to the national championship. We had #10 seed Miami making it to their first Elite 8. Along with those 2 previously said #15 St. Petes. This year as my sleeper pick I’m going with Pitt. They are incredibly underrated as they were 1 game short of being co-champions in the ACC. Currently the Panthers find themselves as a 11 seed which in my opinion is crazy. Pitt has been really good all season and was on and off in the 20’s on the AP poll. So don’t sleep on the Panthers. Along with that Pitt has a very experienced roster as their starters have a higher average age among their starters (22 years, 9 months) than the OKC Thunder starters (22 years).

Gus’s Winning Team:

You never know who is going to win each year. But since 2015 the winner has been either a #1 seed or a #2 seeds. The last instance being in 2014 when #7 Uconn beat #8 Kentucky. Using that this year I think the winner of this year's March Madness will be the UCLA Bruins. I think the Bruins will hang up their 12th banner from March Madness further extending their lead on #2 Kentucky with 8. For me something that I feel truly matters in march madness is form and the ability to make a free throw. UCLA are the #2 teams in the country with a record of 28-4 being #1 in the Pac 12 and they haven't lost a game since January 26 against USC 77-64.