March Madness: Who’s in, who’s out of the NCAA basketball tournament
The NCAA basketball's biggest tournament, aka March Madness, is upon us. The top four seeds announced Sunday: Ohio State, Duke, Pittsburgh, and Kansas. But with 68 teams in the NCAA basketball event, it's anyone's guess who will make it to the Final Four.
College basketball fans, March Madness has officially arrived.Skip to next paragraph
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This year's 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket revealed Sunday was full of emotion for all those involved — hopefuls, automatic bid winners, and those denied a spot among the 68 teams competing.
Ohio State snatched the overall top seed after clinching a Big Ten Championship with a decisive victory against Penn State early Sunday. But the Buckeyes, who earned the No. 1 seed in the East Region, will face what many consider this year’s most competitive pool. Joined by Kentucky, which was named the SEC Champion on Sunday after a blowout win against Florida, Big East powerhouse Syracuse, and ACC regular-season champion North Carolina, the East will prove a tough, stacked road to the Sweet Sixteen and beyond.
While the East is certainly daunting, the Big East conference’s sheer presence in the Tournament is equally overwhelming. With 11 total spots in the NCAA Tournament and a No. 1 berth in the Southeast Region for Pittsburgh, all eyes on the Big East. Only five teams in the entire conference didn't get an invite to the Big Dance, causing both expectations and doubts to soar. While Pitt took the Big East’s regular season title, Connecticut and its star guard Kemba Walker sailed through the tournament for the conference title. And the Huskies weren’t alone in impressing the nation with competitive tournament play as Notre Dame, Louisville, and Syracuse all came through in hard-fought games.
Returning national champions Duke are the front runners in the West Division, as Sunday’s ACC Championship rout of North Carolina earned the Blue Devils a No. 1 seed. But there's plenty of power beyond Duke in the play of Texas, UConn, and San Diego State. And the final No. 1 position for the 2011 bracket was awarded to Kansas.