It’s that time of year again. The madness of college basketball has begun, but not without debate. With many notable snubs from the tournament, and other questionable seeds, the NCAA tournament has everyone struggling to fill out their brackets.
Much controversy has surrounded this year’s tournament field, especially considering who did and did not make it. The field was expanded to allow four extra teams, but that still was not enough for local favorite Virginia Tech. The Hokies got their fourth straight snub from the NCAA, despite finishing with a 21-11 record, having a much tougher non-conference schedule than years past, and a win over Number 1 seed Duke.Â The two losses to a terrible UVA team was what did it for the Hokies, who are off to the NIT for the fourth straight year.Â
The tournament is divided into four regions: East, South, Midwest, and West.Â In the Midwest region, Kansas got the number one overall seed, finishing the year with a 32-2 record and a Big 12 Championship. They are followed in the region by Big Ten Champion Ohio State with a number two seed and Georgetown with a number three.Â Look for both of these schools to give Kansas a lot of trouble in the tournaments toughest bracket.
In the East region, Kentucky, led by freshman John Wall, got the number one seed.Â Kentucky barely got by Mississippi State in the SEC Championship. They have an angry West Virginia team in the second seed behind them. WVU won the Big East Championship, but that still was not enough to give them a number one seed. Look for the Mountaineers to take that anger out on the court as they coast to the Elite Eight.
In the West region, the team that beat WVU out for a number one seed was division rival Syracuse. The Orange suffered a first round loss in the Big East tournament to Georgetown, and no team has ever lost their first round game of the conference tournament and came back to win a National Championship. Syracuse has a pretty easy road with just Kansas State, Pittsburgh, and Vanderbilt in their way. They should make the Final Four.
The ACC Champions Duke Blue Devils take the number one seed in the South Region.Â They are the favorites to win their region, which looks to be the easiest in the tournament. But also the most upset minded. Look for Purdue and Baylor to give the Blue Devils a lot of trouble in the Elite Eight, but with a coach like Mike Krzyzewski, a Final Four is always within reach.
This year’s tournament looks to be one of the most interesting in recent years. A lot of teams are on upset alert, and a Cinderella 11 or 12 seed could be lurking. Play begins on March 18 and will not conclude until April 5 in Indianapolis.