The Heavy Hitters: Gonzaga, Arizona, Kansas, and Baylor


This part is featured in SLAM’s 2022 MBB March Insanity Preview. Right here, we check out among the groups which were dominant all through the season. This part is featured in our Ladies’s March Insanity Preview. Faucet in right here.

The Canine Home – Gonzaga Bulldogs (26-3)

Merely put, this Gonzaga workforce is totally different. They’re led by an unlikely duo โ€” a mustache-donning junior from Texas and a seven-foot unicorn freshman from Minnesota. That duo is Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren, who’re each John R. Picket Award candidates.

Timme, the 2022 WCC Participant of the 12 months, averages 17.5 factors and 6.3 rebounds per sport. He’s made it clear that he desires to win all of it,

“I got here again [to Gonzaga] to win a championship and get higher,” he mentioned. “That’s all I’m targeted on.” 

Holmgren averages 14.2 factors, 9.6 rebounds, and three.6 blocks per sport, good for fourth within the NCAA. He tasks to be a top-three choice within the upcoming NBA Draft as a consequence of his distinctive talent set for his bodily stature at such a younger age.

Nonetheless, it’s not solely the Timme and Holmgren present. In any case, you don’t lead the nation in factors per sport (87.8) with simply two elite gamers. This Bulldogs workforce has a number of threats. Sophomore Julian Strawther is an excellent participant, averaging 12.3 factors and 5.5 rebounds per sport whereas capturing the lengthy ball at a 39.6 p.c clip. Strawther’s backcourt companion Senior Andrew Nembhard averages 11.7 factors, 5.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per sport. Then there’s the sharpshooter Rasir Bolton who’s capturing a ridiculous 46.7 p.c from deep.

This Bulldogs workforce is well-rounded and harmful. They’ll tackle No. 16 Georgia St within the first spherical.

Prime of the Pac – Arizona Wildcats (31-3)

It’s not usually {that a} first-year head coach leads a workforce to be so dominant in faculty play. Arizona’s Tommy Lloyd has finished simply that in his first season as a Division I coach. In fact, Coach Lloyd didn’t placed on a jersey himself, however he was in a position to direct some top-tier expertise in the fitting path. Two gamers come to thoughts in the case of Lloyd’s teaching means.

Pac-12 Participant of the 12 months and a possible excessive lottery decide within the upcoming NBA Draft Bennedict Mathurin and Pac-12 Defensive and Most Improved Participant of the 12 months Christian Koloko.

Mathurin โ€” a product of the NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico Metropolis โ€” averages 17.1 factors and 5.6 rebounds per sport, whereas Koloko averages 12.1 factors, 7.1 rebounds, and a pair of.7 blocks per sport. These two are the first anchors on this well-rounded Wildcats workforce with few weaknesses. Different enormous contributors are Azuolas Tubelis (14.5 factors, 6.4, and 1.1 steals) and Kerr Kriisa (10.1 factors and 4.9 assists).

Within the opening spherical, this dynamic Arizona workforce will face the winner between Bryant and Wright State.

Flying Above the Competitors – Kansas Jayhawks (28-6)

The hard-nosed Kansas Jayhawks workforce is able to make a run at a title. The lead man for the Jayhawks is Massive 12 Participant of the 12 months Ochai Agbaji, who’s presently projected to be a lottery decide within the upcoming NBA Draft. Agbaji averages 19.7 factors and 5.1 rebounds per sport whereas capturing 40.5 p.c from three-point vary.

Except for Agbaji, Kansas additionally has homegrown Christian Braun (14.6 factors, 6.3 rebounds), Jalen Wilson (10.9 factors and seven.0 rebounds), and David McCormack (10.1 factors and seven.0 rebounds). This workforce is loaded with a roster of skilled gamers, with nine-time Massive 12 Champion Coach Invoice Self on the helm, seeking to win their first NCAA crown since 2008.

Within the first spherical, this examined Kansas workforce will face the winner between Texas Southern and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

Leaving the Den – Baylor Bears (26-6)

At the moment of yr, inexperienced is related to St. Patricks Day. Nonetheless, the Baylor Bears will want no ‘Luck of the Irish’ to compete deep into this yr’s NCAA event. The defending Nationwide Champions will look to repeat their success, with their loaded offensive unit on the forefront.

Baylor has a formidable seven gamers that common eight or extra factors per sport, showcasing their well-rounded offensive prowess. Whereas Baylor places up 76.5 factors per sport as a unit, they’re led by just a few standout gamers. Massive 12 First-Crew choice James Akinjo averages 13.4 factors, 5.6 assists, and a pair of.1 steals per sport, whereas his backcourt companion Adam Flager averages 13.4 factors, 3.0 assists, and 1.1 steals per sport. LJ Cryer is averaging 13.5 factors per sport largely as a consequence of his elite 46.8 p.c clip from deep.

The defending champions will face No. 16 Norfolk St within the first spherical.

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