The 2023 NCAA Tournament will begin this week as 68 teams embark on a path that leads to the Final Four in Houston.
There are a wide variety of teams with different strengths and quirks that got them to the big dance in the first place. If you’re looking for teams to watch for pure fun and entertainment value, we got you. We’ll provide some of our favorites below.
Most fun teams to watch in 2023 NCAA Tournament
No. 3 Gonzaga
Gonzaga once again enters an NCAA Tournament with a high seed and is looking to finally check off the one milestone that has eluded it by winning a national championship. Like in year’s past, the Bulldogs enter the tourney with the most efficient offense in the country and plays at a near breakneck pace. Led by Drew Timme and Julian Strawther, they are lighting up the scoreboard and averaging a nation-high 87.5 points per game.
The difference between previous years and this one is that their defense has slagged down from being elite to merely good, and that has led to them being involved in several shootouts this season. That could make for some fun, high scoring games should the Zags make a run and if they gain the upper hand, it could force more defensively inclined teams out of their comfort zone.
Gonzaga will open the West Region against No. 14 Grand Canyon on Friday at 7:35 p.m. ET on TruTv.
No. 6 TCU
If you’re looking for a team that likes to get up and down the floor and score in transition, the TCU is the squad to hitch your wagon to.
The Horned Frogs led the nation in fast break points this season by a considerable margin, averaging 18.81 a game. That’s more than two points than the No. 2 team in that category Marquette, who averaged 16.35. With star guard Mike Miles Jr. leading the scoring efforts, the team also played at one of the fastest tempos in the nation, averaging 16.4 seconds per possession length. If you’re playing this TCU team, you will run and be forced to keep up.
TCU will open the West Region against either Arizona State or Nevada on Friday at 10:05 p.m. ET on TruTV.
No. 7 Missouri
Perhaps you’re looking for a team that is extremely aggressive on the defensive side of the floor. Look no further than Missouri, who lead the nation in turnover margin and have a turnover percentage of 24.3%.
A huge part of the Tigers’ quick turnaround under first-year head coach Dennis Gates can be attributed to penchant for creating turnovers and taking the ball the other way. D’Moi Hodge averaged 2.6 steals per game, good for fifth in the nation, while the team as a whole averaged 10.3. Mizzou may give up its fair share of points in this tournament, but it is going to take advantage of mistakes and turn them into easy buckets on the other end.
Missouri will open the South Region against No. 10 Utah State on Thursday at 1:40 p.m. ET on TNT.
No. 12 Oral Roberts
Remember when Oral Roberts upset two-seed Ohio State and made it to the Sweet 16 two years ago. Well this year’s team is even better and has a chance to create some Cinderella magic yet again.
The Golden Eagles are entering the tournament on a nation-high 17-game win streak and carries with them a fast-tempo offense ranked 23rd in adjusted efficiency. Much of that has to do with senior guard Max Abmas, who introduced himself to the nation during that 2021 run and is looking to put on another show. He is the top scorer of all teams heading into the tournament, averaging 22.2 points per game and has received adequate help from forward Connor Vanover and guard Issac McBride. Those players could make the team the darlings of the tournament once again.
Oral Roberts will open the East Region against No. 5 Duke on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. ET on CBS.