We're just over a month away from the start of March Madness, and the favorites for the big tournament are already starting to take form. With another weekend of college basketball almost in the books, analysts are starting to revise their favorites to win the whole thing.
This past week, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas gave his updated ranking of teams, ranking them by tiers. But he only placed five teams in the tier of national championship contenders.
It should come as no surprise that Bilas has selected his alma mater Duke as his top selection. The Blue Devils have won nine straight games and swept ACC rival Virginia just a few days ago.
If you hadn't noticed before Tuesday, the comeback win against Louisville should seal it. This group is special. This is the best freshman class The Bilastrator has seen in his time in the game. From talent to maturity to athletic character to just plain competing, this group is on a different level. Duke might not win the whole thing, as the best team doesn't always win. However, this is the best team.
The reasoning for Duke is sound enough. Led by the incredible freshman duo of Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett, the Duke Blue Devils have steamrolled most of the competition. Their two losses have come by a combined six points.
The other four national title contenders were Tennessee, Virginia, Gonzaga, and Kentucky in that order.
The Vols got blown out by the Wildcats over the weekend; the Cavaliers' only two losses all year have been to Duke; and Gonzaga has reeled off 16-straight wins since losing back-to-back games in mid-December.
Suffice it to say, Bilas' former team has got some stiff competition in the NCAA tournament.