March Madness 2023: Predicting the Unpredictable

Mubarak Ware, Contributing Writer

March Madness—the highly anticipated “Big Dance”—is an annual college basketball tournament that kicks off typically in mid-March. During the tournament, a field of 68 collegiate programs from across the country will compete in a single-elimination, 7-round contest, to determine the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) National Champion. Tens of millions of spectators fill out brackets every year for the tournament and none have ever (verifiably) forecasted a perfect bracket before. To give a sense of how unpredictable March Madness is, there’s a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance of filling out a perfect bracket. Below are safe picks to make a deep run, underdogs, my favorite to win it all, and a potential Cinderella in this year’s tourney.


Houston boasts the best record in all of the NCAA and is locked in as the #1 seed in their  region. Although competing in a relatively lackluster conference, the pivotal games they did partake in prove they’re a force to be reckoned with. They rank top 3 in both defensive and offensive ratings and will be a safe pick to potentially win it all.

Under the Radar:

Duke is coming off of a 9-game winning streak and an ACC Tournament Championship to their already decorated resume—this team is playing their best basketball at the best possible time. The Blue Devils have a complete team brimming with NBA prospects, so don’t be too surprised if this perennial powerhouse makes a deep run into the tournament.

Miami will either be eliminated by the second round or find themselves knocking on the door of the Final Four, no in-betweens. Regardless, the U is propelled by their exceptional backcourt in Isaiah Wong and Nijel Pack and their top ten offensive rating. Miami’s late-game execution will make or break their March, but if all goes well, it’s very possible to see them sneak into the Final Four. 


Florida Atlantic University has only lost three games this season but finds themselves looking at a middle of the pack seed entering the tourney. The Owls haven’t necessarily faced any formidable opponents, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from taking them lightly. They’re great in almost every statistical category and can certainly bust some brackets.

Charleston also only lost three games this year and has already punched their ticket in with a conference championship. Coming into the tournament with a 10-game winning streak and a knack for rebounding and racking up shots will be difficult to deal with for any team.


Everyone loves a Cinderella story, and Oral Roberts University has all the tools to fulfill such a role. It wouldn’t be their first time, either. In 2021 ORU made it to the Sweet Sixteen, and a few players from that magical run are on their current roster. They look even better this year, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the slipper fit once more.

March Madness manages to captivate the palpable excitement from fans, insatiable passion from the players, and the inevitable heartbreak and triumph from all involved. 

2023’s tournament looks to be no different and in a competition that has absolutely no guarantees, you can be certain of one thing: this year’s big dance will be one to remember.

This article also appears in our March 2023 print edition.