The NCAA Division I Males’s Basketball Event rolls to its Candy 16 spherical this weekend in Indianapolis, and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES needs to play alongside in an effort to seek out the very best matchups.
What follows is solely for enjoyable, and it ought to be obtained that approach. INDYCAR.com aligned the groups nonetheless competing for the nationwide championship with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver set to start the season Sunday, April 18 with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama offered by AmFirst at Barber Motorsports Park.
Let’s leap it up between crew and driver.
No. 1 SEEDS
Gonzaga: This has lengthy been thought-about the crew to beat for the reason that season started, and in our INDYCAR world, the favourite shall be reigning sequence champion Scott Dixon. Sure, Dixon has six extra season titles than the yearly sturdy Zags, however Gonzaga and Chip Ganassi Racing’s lead driver are No. 1 till confirmed in any other case.
Baylor: Scott Drew’s Bears have earned the correct to be on the event’s prime seed line regardless of by no means successful a season title. The identical is true for Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner offered by Gainbridge who has twice completed within the prime three of the season standings.
Michigan: Just like the Wolverines, Crew Penske’s Simon Pagenaud is a one-time season champion with proficient teammates and a deep roster. Juwan Howard’s crew is nice sufficient to win all of it; so is Pagenaud’s.
No. 2 SEEDS
Alabama: The Crimson Tide play quick – they scored 96 factors in Monday’s rout of Maryland — and are poised for a spot within the Elite Eight, possibly even the Remaining 4. Sound acquainted? That bears a robust resemblance to Crew Penske’s Will Energy, whose 62 profession poles ranks No. 2 within the historical past of the game. Energy is equally a superb guess to complete within the prime 4 of this INDYCAR season.
Houston: Within the Phi Slama Jama days of the Nineteen Eighties, Houston was pretty much as good as any crew within the nation, but it surely by no means gained an NCAA event regardless of two runner-up finishes. INDYCAR has a driver with an analogous background. Helio Castroneves, who now drives for Meyer Shank Racing, has gained 30 races, 50 poles and has completed second within the championship 4 occasions with out capturing the crown. Can Houston and/or Castroneves win this 12 months’s Huge One? Sure.
No. 3 SEED
Arkansas: Coach Eric Musselman’s crew used late-game playmaking Sunday at Hinkle Fieldhouse to beat Texas Tech, 68-66. Takuma Sato of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing used comparable late heroics in final 12 months’s Indianapolis 500 offered by Gainbridge to carry off Scott Dixon.
No. 4 SEED
Florida State: The Seminoles had a terrific season final 12 months, though they didn’t get the prospect to compete for the event crown amid the beginning of the pandemic. Once more this 12 months, it is a younger crew to be reckoned with. Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta suits each classes in INDYCAR (third in final 12 months’s standings and 20 years previous till Tuesday).
No. 5 SEEDS
Villanova: Like Jay Wright’s Wildcats, Crew Penske’s Josef Newgarden has two current INDYCAR championships and looms because the powerhouse nonetheless overshadowed by others. However make no mistake: The perennial Huge East champion and Newgarden are solidly within the hunt for 2021 titles.
Creighton: The Bluejays are one of many NCAA event’s most enjoyable groups, with deep-shooting guards Marcus Zegarowski and Mitch Ballock. Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward is equally small in stature however getting bigger by the season in INDYCAR, and he may take down the giants of his sport as Creighton may Gonzaga on Sunday.
No. 6 SEED
USC: Graham Rahal, a famous Ohio State fan, may not want to be linked with one other faculty soccer blueblood, however each the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver and people Trojans from SoCal compete nicely above their respective seed.
No. 7 SEED
Oregon: Like Oregon, Tony Kanaan is a one-time season champion – the Geese within the first NCAA event (1939), the Brazilian in 2004. Each have worn quite a lot of inexperienced and are aggressive in all seasons.
No. 8 SEED
Loyola (Chicago): The Ramblers have the traits of Sebastien Bourdais: former nationwide champions who don’t get the credit score they deserve. Additionally, each win rather a lot with much less. Bourdais’ previous six INDYCAR wins have include smaller groups. He’ll drive for AJ Foyt Racing this season.
No. 11 SEEDS
UCLA: The Bruins gained seven consecutive NCAA tournaments beneath John Picket (1967-73), and Jimmie Johnson gained 5 consecutive NASCAR Cup Collection championships for Hendrick Motorsports (2006-10). Each have Alabama on their minds. UCLA faces the Crimson Tide on Sunday; Johnson’s first INDYCAR race would be the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 18 at Barber Motorsports Park, a highway course in Birmingham.
Syracuse: Just like the Orangemen, Ryan Hunter-Reay is an annual risk to win the championship and in a single case gained it. Coach Jim Boeheim’s crew captured the NCAA event in 2003; Hunter-Reay gave Andretti Autosport one other INDYCAR title in 2012.
No. 12 SEED
Oregon State: The Beavers are one of many surprises of the Candy Sixteen. Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay is perhaps the shock of the INDYCAR SERIES season, a potential first-time race winner.
No. 15 SEED
Oral Roberts: Just like the Eagles – solely the second 15 seed to succeed in the Candy Sixteen — folks may quickly be asking, “The place did Scott McLaughlin come from?” (The reply to the latter: the Australian V8 Supercars sequence, which Crew Penske’s latest INDYCAR SERIES driver gained every of the previous three years. ORU performs within the Summit League, which most U.S. sports activities followers equally don’t comply with.)