Today’s the day! At 6:00 p.m., the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee will unveil the 68 teams (well, 60, plus 8 that still have a chance) that will play for the men’s basketball championship.It’s starts with the four No. 1 seeds, then the brackets that will become an office obsession over the next four days.
Here’s a blank bracket from CBS if you’re a purist who likes to write the names in yourself.
Notice that the official CBS bracket doesn’t have spots for the “Round 1” games. Just the winners. That’s because despite what the NCAA says, these are “play-in” games, not actual tournament games. No one who plays in them (and loses) will ever feel like they’re a true part of the NCAA tournament.
5:51: First (probably wrong) prediction: No 1 seeds: OSU, Kansas, Pitt, Notre Dame. Big East will be rewarded for being deepest conference. Duke crushed the Tar Heels today, but still didn’t win regular season title.
5:59: Almost there….
6:01: Overall No. 1 seed is Ohio State of course.
6:02: Watch CBS try to spin the extra play in games as a good thing.
6:04: Ohio State gets East Region. Kansas gets Southwest. Pitt in Southeast, Duke gets the West.
6:05: Conference tournaments made the difference for Duke and Notre Dame. Duke got a title this week, the Irish didn’t.
6:06: I miss the old Midwest Region.
6:06: Too much talking from the CBS crew. Just show us the games…..
6:07: COMMERCIAL …. Then the East Region….
6:08: Stewart Mandel of SI tweets: “In the end, there actually will be bubble suspense b/c the teams vying for the last 3-4 spots are all equally unworthy.”
6:10: EAST teams: OSU (1) vs. Play in (UT-San Antonio/Alabama St.), George Mason (8) vs. Villanova (9), West Virginia (5) vs. Play In (UAB vs. Clemson for the 12 seed), Kentucky (4) vs. Princeton (13), North Carolina (2) vs. Long Island (15); Washington (7) vs. Georgia (10); Syracuse (3) vs. Indiana St. (14); Xavier (6) vs. Marquette (11)
6:14: Guy from West Virginia just did the robot on live TV.
6:15: Surprises? Nothing major. Georgia a 10 seed? 3 Big East teams indicate they’re getting their full 11 team slate in.
6:18: WEST REGION: Duke (1) vs. Hampton (16); Michigan (8) vs. Tennessee (9); Arizona (5) vs. Memphis (12); Texas (4) vs. Oakland (13); San Diego State (2) vs. Northern Colorado (15); Temple (7) vs. Penn State (10); UConn (3) vs. Bucknell (14); Cincinnati (6) vs. Missouri (11)
6:19: Bucknell will be the popular sleeper pick in your office pool. Has Temple ever not been a 7 seed?
6:20: Craziest first round matchup? Penn State vs. Temple. The Selection Committee either really loves or really hates Pennsylvania.
6:26: SOUTHWEST REGION: Kansas (1) vs. Boston (16); UNLV (8) vs. Illinois (9); Vanderbilt (5) vs. Richmond (12); Louisville (4) vs. Morehead St. (13); Notre Dame (2) vs. Akron (15); Texas A&M (7) vs. Florida State (10); Purdue (3) vs. Saint Peter’s (14); Georgetown (6) vs. Play In: USC/VCU (13)
6:31: Michigan State fans (a.k.a. Your Editor) suddenly very nervous. This will be a loooooong commercial break.
6:35: Will Leitch notices that his alma mater, Illinois, has to play against former coach Lon Kruger and if they win, get another former Illini head coach in Kansas’ Bill Self.
6:36: SOUTHEAST REGION: Pitt (1) vs. Play In (UNC-Asheville/Ark-Little Rock); Butler (8) vs. Old Dominion (9); Kansas St. (5) vs. Utah State (12); Wisconsin (4) vs. Belmont (13); Florida (2) vs. UC Santa Barbara (15); UCLA (7) vs. Michigan St. (10); BYU (3) vs. Wofford (14); St. John’s (6) vs. Gonzaga (11)
6:38: Notable Omissions: Colorado (who beat Kansas St. 3 times!); Virginia Tech, Alabama (who beat Georgia twice!) and St. Mary’s
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