March Madness is back as the full NCAA Tournament bracket was officially revealed on Selection Sunday.
The time for debating about bracketology and who is on the bubble is finally over. Selection Sunday has arrived and March Madness is back in an Indiana bubble after a one-year absence thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
The selection committee officially released the full NCAA Tournament bracket tonight with the Gonzaga Bulldogs leading the way as the top overall seed. Mark Few’s team went undefeated in the regular season and is the heavy favorite to cut down the nets in Indianapolis on April 5.
The Bulldogs will be joined on the top line by Baylor, Michigan, and Illinois in what may be the deepest group of top seeds in years. The Fighting Illini have proven to be especially dangerous down the stretch, ripping off 14 wins in their final 15 games, including a pair of victories over the Wolverines and Ohio State, which is on the two-line.
The bubble battle ended up getting influenced by bid thieves out of the Big East (Georgetown) and Pac-12 (Oregon State), knocking out Louisville and Colorado State, the first two teams out of the field. They, along with Saint Louis and Ole Miss, are on standby as replacement teams that can be activated until 6:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday if a team already in the field runs into enough issues with the coronavirus that it cannot participate.
The NCAA Tournament kicks off on Thursday with the First Four, highlighted by matchups between Michigan State and UCLA as well as Wichita State and Drake. All four games will take place in one day as the first two rounds will be played from Friday until Monday.
Sweet 16 action kicks off on Saturday, March 27 and continues the following day. Elite Eight matchups will consist of primetime doubleheaders on Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30. The Final Four will be held on Saturday, April 3 with the national championship game tipping off on Monday, April 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
March Madness First Round Matchups by Region
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 Norfolk State/Appalachian State
No. 8 Oklahoma vs. No. 9 Missouri
No. 5 Creighton vs. No. 12 UC Santa Barbara
No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 13 Ohio
No. 6 USC vs. No. 11 Wichita State/Drake
No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 14 Eastern Washington
No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 VCU
No. 2 Iowa vs. No. 15 Grand Canyon
No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 16 Hartford
No. 8 North Carolina vs. No. 9 Wisconsin
No. 5 Villanova vs. No. 12 Winthrop
No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 North Texas
No. 6 Texas Tech vs. No. 11 Utah State
No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 14 Colgate
No. 7 Florida vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech
No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts
No. 1 Illinois vs. No. 16 Drexel
No. 8 Loyola Chicago vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech
No. 5 Tennessee vs. No. 12 Oregon State
No. 4 Oklahoma State vs. No. 13 Liberty
No. 6 San Diego State vs. No. 11 Syracuse
No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 14 Morehead State
No. 7 Clemson vs. No. 10 Rutgers
No. 2 Houston vs. No. 15 Cleveland State
No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s/Texas Southern
No. 8 LSU vs. No. 9 St. Bonaventure
No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 12 Georgetown
No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 13 UNC Greensboro
No. 6 BYU vs. No. 11 Michigan State/UCLA
No. 3 Texas vs. No. 14 Abilene Christian
No. 7 UConn vs. No. 10 Maryland
No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 15 Iona
For more NCAA basketball news, analysis, opinion and features, check out more from the FanSided college basketball section to stay on top of the latest action.