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Tomorrow, every college basketball fan’s favorite annual event kicks off. March Madness runs March 19th through April 8th, and yesterday, the tournament’s brackets were released with the names of all 68 participating teams. Here’s everything you should know if you plan to get involved in March Madness this year.
Who Did And Didn’t Make March Madness
Alabama and Texas racked up, respectively, 15 and 16 losses during the regular season. Neither team made it to March Madness — yesterday, on Selection Sunday, the NCAA tournament selection committee opted to exclude them. Before either of these teams was left out, though, UNC-Greensboro found itself excluded, which surprised some. Saint Louis and Oregon, which will both play in March Madness, won their conference tournaments against all expectations. Likewise, although Florida had the same number of losses as Alabama did, it was selected to play in March Madness.
The Four No. 1 Seeds: What People Are Saying
Top spot-earner Duke includes team member Zion Williamson, whom some sports commentators are already predicting will carry his team to the tournament’s victory. During regular-season games in which Williamson spent more than 30 minutes on the court, the Devils beat fellow No. 1 seeds North Carolina and Virginia.
For every bit of praise that commentators throw on Duke and Williamson, others have pointed out that Gonzaga’s offense is the best in college basketball. These commentators have suggested that this team could carry Gonzaga to its first-ever March Madness victory. That said, North Carolina’s most recent win was just two years ago, and two of its current players may well find themselves on NBA teams within the next couple of years.
Where doubt lies among the No. 1 seeds is with Virginia. The Cavaliers have a history of losing earlier than expected in March Madness when it has had a top seed. That said, both their offense and defense are top-notch, and the percentage of three-pointers that they successfully make is astounding.
The Other Seeds: How Well Were They Chosen?
With every Selection Sunday comes criticisms of the NCAA tournament selection committee’s seed choices. Arguments already made include that Cincinnati should have been a higher seed, Florida State should have been a No. 3 seed instead of Louisiana State University or Prudue, and Seton Hall and Syracuse were seeded, respectively, too low and high. Criticisms haven’t been limited to just seeding concerns, of course: some have said that grouping Duke and Michigan State in the same region is completely unfair to the latter team, since the former is a No. 1 seed.
The First Four: Before The Madness Truly Begins
Starting tomorrow, four games will be played to determine which teams will face Duke, Maryland, Gonzaga, and Buffalo. On March 19th, Fairleigh Dickinson will compete against Prairie View A&M for the opportunity to play against Gonzaga, and the winner of Belmont versus Temple will face Maryland. Then, on March 20th, North Carolina Central will face North Dakota State, and the winner of that game will face Duke; as well, the winner of Arizona State and St. John’s will face Buffalo.
What do you think of the March Madness bracket unveiled yesterday? Let us know in the comments!