Barrera's Pre-Bracket Breakdown


Photo Cred: elderresearch.com


Yes! Two years I’ve waited for this moment...March Madness is back!!


For those of you who follow me on Twitter (mbarrera1323), you know I am a College Basketball Junkie! Whether it’s Michigan or Washington State, I cannot get enough of the NCAA. With that said, this is by far my favorite sporting event, and it is my pleasure to breakdown this year's bracket for All About the Birds! I will be touching on a few teams here, as well as sprinkling in some of my gambling tidbits along the way. Over the last 4 weeks (since 2/16) I am 65% (66-35-2) on CBB bets. I certainly entered this tournament on a good note!


Let’s get to It.


The Favorites

If you watched any CBB this year, then you know that the top two teams in the country were Gonzaga and Baylor. The Zags enter the tourney as undefeated WCC champs. Additionally, Jalen Suggs is an elite guard with a certain future in the NBA. Baylor did stumble slightly out of their Covid shutdown, but the Bears shouldn’t be taken lightly. They play in arguably the toughest conference in the nation, and Jared Butler, similar to Suggs, is a joy to watch. What makes both teams special is their uncanny ability to “turn It on” when needed. There are arguments for who is the third/fourth best teams in the country, but Zags and the Bears are clearly top 2.


My Number 3 - Fighting Illini

If Luka Garza wasn’t dominating this year, I think there would be a stronger case that Ayo Dosunmu is the Big Ten player of the year. Ayo was really playing well up until his recent injury, but Illinois didn’t skip a beat. They beat Wisconsin and Michigan without him, and then handled OSU when he returned. Kofi Cockburn is also a monster inside, and the Fighting Illini are entering the Tourney playing very well. They’ve had a few moments of concern early on, but Illinois should certainly be a team to fear. I think they could make the Final Four, if not the Title game.


Playmaker

Every year we look for that next “Kemba Walker” to come in and steal the show. The first name that should come to mind is Cade Cunningham from Oklahoma State. The projected #1 pick and Big12 player of the year led the Cowboys to an impressive season, as they fought punch for punch with their conference foes. They’ve also had a strong run in the Conference Tournament and knocked off top-seeded Baylor. Besides Cunningham, Issac Likekele is another elite talent for OK State who can compliment Cade on any given night. On a betting note, this team thrives as an underdog, as they are 75% ATS as dogs, but 63% overall. I cannot wait to see how far this group can go!