Friday, Aug 22, 2014 07:47 am est

Traditional powerhouses expected to lead in March Madness tournament

Posted on March 4, 2014 | by Charles Surette


When turning the calendar page to March, two things are readily apparent: both spring and the NCAA’s annual basketball tournament will soon be upon us.

With Selection Sunday looming on March 16, college basketball programs across the nation will look to finish their seasons on a high note with the hope of being selected as one of the 68 best teams in the country to compete for the National Championship. The winner of the Big Dance will earn the right to cut down the nets at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, marking the sport’s most celebrated achievement.

In a tournament known for upsets and Cinderella runs to the Final Four, this year’s tournament is likely to be dominated by traditional powers. Several teams are loaded with NBA-level talent, while others look poised to make deep runs as they hit their stride.

Leading the way is storied Kansas, Big 12 conference regular season champions for the 10th consecutive season. The Jayhawks are led by a pair of freshman standouts, forward Andrew Wiggins and center Joel Embiid, who are both expected to be selected in the top five of June’s NBA Draft. Wiggins has lit up Kansas with his scoring ability and athleticism, while Embiid, standing a full 7-feet tall, has terrorized opponents in the low post with his rebounding and shot blocking prowess. With both players expected to lead the way for Bill Self’s squad, Kansas will be tough to beat.

Not far behind are the Syracuse Orange, led by their own dynamic duo, point guard Tyler Ennis and forward C.J. Fair. Alongside Fair’s sound offensive game, Ennis has emerged as Syracuse’s best playmaker and late-game finisher, sinking clutch baskets and free throws to lead the Orange to a 25-0 start. Aided by Trevor Cooney’s three-point shooting, Syracuse is likely to enter the tournament with a high seed and is a heavy favorite to make another deep tournament run.

Not to be overlooked are the vaunted Duke Blue Devils and their leading freshman, Jabari Parker. Like Wiggins, Parker is a scoring wizard, capable of singlehandedly leading his team to victory against tough Atlantic Coast Conference competition. Beyond merely scoring points, Parker crashes the boards as well, averaging nearly nine rebounds per game in addition to his 18 points.  With the continued leadership of head coach Mike Krzyzewski and a supporting cast of Rodney Hood, Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon and Andre Dawkins, the talent-rich Blue Devils will look to overcome previous tournament misfortune to reach their 16th Final Four.

Although lacking in headline-grabbing talent, the likes of North Carolina, Florida and Arizona are sure to feature in the late rounds of the tournament as well. For all the talk of bracket-busting Wichita State, look for the tournament to be tilted in favor of college basketball’s old guard. With rosters stocked with impressive talent, college basketball’s perennial contenders are sure to lead the way to the Final Four in Arlington.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 4 print edition. Charles Surette is a contributing writer. Email him at


profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.