March Madness! It’s my favorite time of the year. The culmination of the college basketball season. Over the next 2 ½ weeks that’s all big time sports fans will be talking about. Just about every bar and restaurant in the country will be showing every game on TV! Here is the rundown……
This year, it all starts with No. 1 overall seed Florida in the South Region. The Gators haven’t lost since December, ran the table in the SEC regular season and captured the conference championship with a 61-60 win over Kentucky on Sunday. Florida will face the winner of Albany and Mount St. Mary’s — the Great Danes and Mountaineers will meet in the First Four in Dayton.
But just because the Gators are the top seed overall doesn’t mean they can coast into the Final Four. The South is a particularly tough region this year, also featuring No. 2 seed Kansas, No. 3 seed Syracuse and No. 4 seed UCLA. The Bruins, who could meet Florida in the Sweet 16, upset Arizona on Saturday night for the Pac-12 championship. Arizona is also #1 seed. This is a very strong bracket!
Of course and as expected, the Wichita State Shockers got a No. 1 seed after finishing the season 34-0 and winning the Missouri Valley Conference. They are placed in the Midwest Region and could potentially face 2012 national champion Kentucky, provided the Wildcats get by Kansas State.
The Virginia Cavaliers are also a No. 1 seed. They probably clinched that spot by topping Duke earlier Sunday for the ACC title, beating out Villanova, Michigan and Wisconsin. But if the Cavaliers are going to advance to the Elite Eight in the East Region, they’d likely have to beat either Cincinnati or Michigan State. My favorite team? Yes, the University of Virginia. My son Bryan graduated “UVA” and they are one of the hot teams going into the tournament.
The defending champion Louisville Cardinals didn’t get a No. 1 seed this time, and actually may be undervalued as a No. 4 seed in the Midwest. The Cardinals will face Manhattan in the second round, then potentially Saint Louis in the third round.
The Cardinals’ seeding may be the biggest surprise in the bracket. With the way they finished, some expected them to go as high as a two seed. On the other end, BYU as a 10 seed out West was also a surprise. The Cougars, who were a bubble team, ended up in the NCAA Tournament with relative ease, while schools like Green Bay and SMU were left out.
Here’s the “bracketology! The tournament starts on Tuesday with the First Four round, but the real madness begins on Thursday. Do you have a favorite team……tell us about them!