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.
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The Jayhawks will top the Southwest Division, where Notre Dame, Purdue, and Louisville all have the ability to go to the Final Four. And let's not forget about BYU’s dominance of recent headlines thanks to Jimmer Fredette and an honor code scandal, along with Florida’s potential, and even the return of last year’s underdog favorite, Butler.Skip to next paragraph
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Snubs and Surprises
Although the addition of three more spots helped shrink the infamous NCAA Tournament bubble, this year’s selection was not without its share of upsets, snubs and surprises.
After a trip to the Big Ten Championship for the very first time, Penn State played its way off the maybe list and into the Tournament for the first time since 2001 with a No. 10 seed in the West. Also playing its way in, Georgia was likewise awarded a No. 10 spot, though in the East Region, much to the surprise of the Alabama faithful.
The Crimson Tide joined Colorado on the list of bubble teams denied a chance at playing for a national title. Although Alabama defeated Georgia twice in regular season play, huge conference losses to Florida and a fall to Kentucky in the SEC Tournament ultimately kept the Tide off th8s year's bracket sheets. Similarly, the Buffs were shocked with a snub after a season filled with three wins against No. 5 seed Kansas State and a victory against Texas to boot.
With just four ACC teams in the tournament, Virginia Tech and Boston College were also sent packing to the NIT by this year’s committee. The Hokies were denied a spot after nabbing a major regular season upset against the Blue Devils and beating Florida State, after a controversial Seminole basket was called back in the ACC Tournament.
While this year's NCAA Tournament features obvious favorites, and jilted teams, if the past is any indicator of the future, the biggest upsets and shocking turns are yet to come. With automatic bids awarded to teams with enormous potential like Belmont, who many consider a Cinderella story in the making, and Bucknell, a team that hasn’t lost a game since January, we really don't know who will be in the Final Four come April.