It’s Selection Sunday today, which means after the slew of conference championship games scheduled for today, we finally get to see how the March Madness brackets will stack up. It’s been a thrilling season so far but everything comes down to today’s selections, as 68 teams will hear exactly what they want to hear while the rest are left heartbroken and wondering what they could have done better to have made the big dance.
But before the brackets are officially announced later tonight right here on Fansided, let’s take a moment to see how things are stacking up after the conclusion of most of the conference tournaments from this past week. These aren’t the final brackets, but they are as close as they can get without being official, so let’s take a look.
No. 1 Seed:
The Hoosiers may have lost out on a Big Ten title by getting ousted by Wisconsin on Saturday but that hardly hurt their chances of locking up a No. 1 seed in the Midwest bracket. The biggest surprise in this bracket might be the Minnesota Golden Gophers snagging a No. 10 seed and potentially taking on North Carolina. Minnesota is a bubble team with a semi-impressive resume but right now it appears as though they are in. Another bubble teams that look like they’ll punch a ticket for the Midwest bracket is Oklahoma, who may end up benefiting from some conference games going their way this weekend as well. In terms of how easy it may be for Indiana to escape this bracket as is, they may run into trouble in the Elite Eight if either VCU, Florida or Georgetown crawl out of their end of the bracket.
Duke did themselves no favors down the stretch of the season in losing to Maryland twice when it comes to winning the No. 1 seed. Kansas ran away with the big 12 and they boast more wins over top schools than Duke, so Kansas is all but certain to lock up the No. 1 seed in the region. Duke will have to take a backseat on the second line of the bracket, but from there things begin to thin out a bit. The South bracket feature two true bubble teams as La Salle and Middle Tennessee are right now looking to square off in the play-in round to see who will get the No. 12 seed. Kansas is a team that thrives in March, and if they get hot they may run all the way to the Final Four with little resistance. But problems could arise right away in the third round of they get Big 12 foe Iowa State, who love to play the upset victor. Michigan may cause problems as well but in terms of the bottom half of the bracket, Duke presents only a mild threat while teams like Pitt, Temple or Cal will need to get hot if they want to get into the upset conversation.
With the No. 1 seed locked up for Louisville, the drama may begin with Butler and Villanova in the first round. Villanova is only technically a bubble team but they’ve pretty much secured their place in that big dance. But they represent a classic 10-over-7 seed matchup and could cause problems for Butler, ho returns to the tournament after missing the dance last year. Another bubble team to get in is Saint Mary’s, who got some much needed help over the weekend and is sitting pretty as one of the last teams in the tournament. Louisville’s road to the Final Four runs into some bumps if they play UCLA or Wisconsin in the Sweet 16, and could be given some problems by Miami, Michigan State and Villanova in the Elite Eight.
If it stacks up as such, this could be our most topsy-turvy region of them all. Gonzaga is the No. 1 seed, which should really tell you all you need to know. They’re not a dominant basketball team, they literally lucked their way into the No. 1 ranking in most polls due to the number of losses they have. Gonzaga is historically inconsistent in the big dance and the teams that fill out the region won’t go down easy. Gonzaga could very well be the first No. 1 seed eliminated and may not even make it out of the first weekend as Oregon, Illinois and Kansas State all look to be teams that have upset written all over them. Ohio State is the No. 2 seed but Syracuse will no doubt be favored to make a deep run in the region and may even be a Final Four pick for a lot of analysts out there. We love March for it’s upset madness and the West is shaping up to be the region where all the best heartbreaking moments occur as it’s truly anyone’s race, right down to teams like Ole Miss, Memphis and Saint Louis.
Be sure to stay tuned to Fansided.com all day long on Selection Sunday as we will be bringing you live, up-to-the-minute results of the conference championship games as well as a live bracket with the final March Madness results.