Jason Atherton, Edgewater High School’s head varsity basketball coach, shares some of his predictions for this year’s March Madness tournament and tips for bracket selections.
On Selection Sunday, which is scheduled for March 12, the field of college basketball’s top 68 teams will be revealed and basketball fans across the country will be making their March Madness brackets in the hopes of winning big.
Jason Atherton, the head varsity basketball coach for Edgewater High School, recently gave some insight about what to look for in each team. He says top teams like Villanova, Gonzaga, Louisville and Kansas are loaded with talent and experience and they also have strong coaches.
“The draw they receive will be very important in terms of location, especially for a school like Gonzaga,” he says.
For Atherton, blue blood teams like North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky and UCLA have the talent and coaching experience to make a deep run although Kentucky is difficult to judge because the team relies mostly on freshman. He predicts that UCLA has a chance with young point guard Lonzo Ball.
“If I had to guess, then at least three of the Final Four will come from those eight teams,” he says.
Atherton also notes to watch out for the University of Florida and Florida State University as sleeper teams. While they don’t have much tournament experience, they have deeply talented teams. “If they get hot at the right time, they could make some noise,” he says.
Here are some tips from Atherton for making your bracket:
1. Match-ups are important. Understand how teams play versus different types of defenses both at home and away.
2. Keep an eye on teams that get hot at the end of the year and in conference tournaments.
3. Coaching is important when you get into the Sweet 16 and beyond. Most teams that make deep runs have experienced coaches.
4. Most of the big upsets happen on the first weekend, so don’t get crazy with taking a 12-16 to the Final Four.
5. Just go with your gut and don’t make any changes at the last second.