– The Midwest Region could be called the NCAA Tournament’s Blue Blood Bracket.
The Musketeers will likely face the victor of No. 8 seed Missouri and No. 9 seed Florida State as the Tigers will be a team to watch thanks to the status of star freshman Michael Porter Jr.
‘NOVA NO. 1: Villanova (30-4) is the No. 1 seed in the East Region, a familiar position for the Wildcats.
Watching No. 3 seed MI will be fascinating since they had the long layoff after the Big Ten Tournament victory.
Villanova, the second one-seed and winners of the Big East’s automatic bid, is the top seed in the East and will open play Thursday in Brooklyn against either NEC champion LIU Brooklyn or Big South champion Radford. Michigan State, the Big Ten regular-season champ, meets Bucknell on Friday in Detroit.
The two conferences with the most teams in the tournament are the ACC with nine, and the SEC with a conference-record eight teams in the tourney this year. Cincinnati’s about a four-hour drive from Nashville. They demonstrated that in their most recent two games, a win and a loss to the same Alabama team. K-State’s head coach Bruce Weber held him out in hopes that he could play in the championship game if the Wildcats managed to get by KU.
The wins over No. 2 seed UNC, No. 6 seed Florida, No. 5 seed Clemson, No. 6 seed Miami and No. 8 seed Virginia Tech were huge in the Noles sliding into the tournament. Still, he may be able to help Alabama notch one surprise elimination before the team bows out of the Big Dance.
The inclusion of the Sooners, who lost eight of their last 10 to finish 18-13, raised some eyebrows.
“We look at the entire body of work”, Rasmussen said.
MI re-gaining its late-season form means they could be a darkhorse Final Four team.
“They run good stuff”, he said. Under Bennett’s watch, Virginia has become a perennial powerhouse in college basketball again. The quadrant’s bottom half features second-seeded Duke, a perennial championship contender, and third-seeded Michigan State (29-4), among college basketball’s most balanced teams.
We’re also told the committee values how teams are playing of late, coming into the tournament, a better distillation of their true selves. The quality of competition.
The Wolverines and Grizzlies will square off Thursday in a first-round game at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kan.
History suggests that a Michigan State-Duke matchup in Omaha would be bad news for the Spartans. The Bonnies had won 13 straight games before that and their season resume also includes wins over fellow NCAA Tournament teams Syracuse and regular-season splits with Rhode Island and Davidson.
Oklahoma State went 19-14 and 8-10 in the tough Big 12.
The Pac-12 Tournament Champion Wildcats used a strong second half to knock off the USC Trojans with a 75-61 victory in the championship game. They led the league in offensive rebounding. If the Tide can guard the Hokies outside the arc, it is a winnable game for the Tide.