UConn obtained screwed in March Insanity draw, and 9 different reactions from males’s NCAA bracket launch

We’ve a bracket, and now we’ve three days to speak about it. Let’s begin instantly.

Listed below are 10 instant ideas on this yr’s discipline of 68:

1. It … variety looks as if UConn obtained a uncooked deal?

Broadly pegged as the most effective crew within the nation for the higher a part of this season, Connecticut is seeking to turn out to be faculty basketball’s first back-to-back nationwide champion since Florida pulled off the feat in 2006 and 2007. After rolling to the Huge East match championship this week in New York, the Huskies have been rewarded with the NCAA match’s No. 1 total seed.

However how a lot have been they actually rewarded?

The No. 2 seed in UConn’s East Area is Iowa State, a crew that many truly believed had an opportunity to be a No. 1 seed. If that didn’t occur, then certainly they’d be considered the most effective or second-best No. 2 seed. Not in response to the choice committee, which made the Cyclones the match’s No. 8 total seed.

UConn additionally finds itself in a area that options two of the opposite three groups from final yr’s Last 4, and the Huskies might face each of them earlier than the regional last.

Florida Atlantic made a run to the nationwide semifinals final yr as a 9-seed. Now they’re again with just about the very same crew a yr later, and can begin their run instantly beneath UConn as an 8-seed. San Diego State, the crew that knocked the Owls off on the buzzer, can also be in the identical beginning spot they have been as yr in the past after as soon as once more being assigned a 5-seed.

Tossing No. 3 seed Illinois and No. 4 seed Auburn into the combination signifies that the highest 4 seeds within the East Area are all energy convention match winner.

With out query, that is the area with probably the most momentum.

2. The South Area feels just like the chaos area

Pleasant reminder: Each single Last 4 however one since 2012 has featured at the very least one crew seeded No. 7 or worse. Since 2011, a complete of 12 groups seeded seventh or worse have crashed the season’s last weekend.

If there’s one other one this yr, don’t be stunned if it comes out of this area.

Prime-seeded Houston has been rock strong for many of this season, however is coming off of an eye-opening (in all of the incorrect methods) 69-41 loss to Iowa State within the Huge 12 match title recreation. Second-seeded Marquette performed the whole Huge East match with out star level guard Tyler Kolek, who additionally missed the ultimate three video games of the common season with an indirect harm. Third-seeded Kentucky epitomizes the outdated cliche of “can beat anybody within the match and lose to anybody within the match. And fourth-seeded Duke has been so upset by its play in its final two video games, that Blue Satan gamers reportedly went the notorious “gamers solely assembly” route after their fast return house from the NCAA match.

You might hate the groups within the decrease half of this bracket, however don’t be stunned if one performs its approach to Phoenix.

3. Virginia? Gross.

The committee had a possibility to offer us appetizers on Tuesday and Wednesday that includes each America’s darling Robbie Avila and Indiana State in addition to St. John’s and Rick Pitino. As a substitute, we’re getting Boise State vs. Colorado and Colorado State vs. … Virginia.

The Cavaliers completed 54th within the NET Rankings, decrease than three of the primary 4 groups unnoticed of the sector of 68.

However the NET is only a grouping instrument, you say. What issues is the way you fared in opposition to groups with excessive NET rankings, not essentially what your individual NET rating is.

Virginia went 2-7 in Quadrant I alternatives.

However you possibly can’t fear about numbers like that when a league just like the ACC is so down, you say. Momentum and the attention check have to come back into play in some unspecified time in the future.

Virginia 4-5 over its final 9 video games and hasn’t overwhelmed one other crew that’s within the NCAA match discipline since Feb. 3.

However the NET is only one metric, you say.

Virginia is at present No. 69 on Ken Pom. That’s 44 spots decrease than St. John’s, 26 spots decrease than Oklahoma, and 24 spots decrease than Indiana State. Hell it’s three spots decrease than Princeton.

They might do injury popping out of Dayton (somebody all the time does), however the Cavaliers don’t belong on this yr’s discipline.

4. Don’t be stunned if the 15/2 pattern dies this yr

A 15-seed has upset a 2-seed in every of the final three NCAA tournaments, however there’s motive to consider the pattern will hit a brick wall this week.

Solely 10 No. 1 seeds received their convention tournaments this season, making the energy on the backside of this yr’s bracket lower than it has been in latest seasons. A crew like 19-3 Saint Peter’s, who received the Metro Atlantic Athletic Convention because the league’s No. 5 seed, would virtually actually be a 16-seed in most seasons. This yr, nevertheless, they’ll look to duplicate their 15-seed magic from the 2022 dance, after they turned the primary 15-seed ever to play in a regional last .

5. Deliberately or not, the committee gave us a variety of “outdated buddy” matchup potential

Iowa State head coach T.J. Otzelberger will face his old-fashioned, South Dakota State, within the first spherical.

Oregon head coach Dana Altman might face his old-fashioned, Creighton, within the second spherical.

Prime-seeded North Carolina could possibly be on an Elite Eight collision course with No. 2 seed Arizona, a crew headlined by former Tar Heel star guard Caleb Love.

6. Purdue and Tennessee on a “consider it after I see it” collision course?

There may not be two packages in faculty basketball that America likes to doubt extra in March proper now than Purdue and Tennessee.

Purdue hasn’t been to a Last 4 since 1980. Up to now three years, highly-touted Boilermaker groups have seen their season finish by the hands of a 13-seed, a 15-seed, and, after all, a 16-seed.

Tennessee is extensively considered the most effective faculty basketball program to have by no means made a Last 4. The Volunteers are led by Rick Barnes, who’s simply 1-12 all-time in NCAA match video games in opposition to better-seeded groups.

Possibly the committee is determined for one of many two to flip their March narrative on its head, as a result of they’ve each been assigned to the Midwest Area.

In the event that they meet within the regional last, the successful fan base will get the cathartic second of a lifetime, whereas the loser is resigned to “it’s simply by no means going to occur” standing for one more 12 months.

7. The Committee didn’t take care of the Mountain West

Heading into final yr’s NCAA match, the Mountain West had been a woeful 3-15 within the NCAA match since 2015, and had despatched only one crew to the match’s second weekend over that very same time span. Since 2016, the convention had been 1-11 in first spherical video games, and was coming off a 2022 match the place it turned simply the third convention in NCAA match historical past to complete 0-4 or worse in a single March Insanity.

Whereas Nevada, Boise State and Utah State all as soon as once more went one-and-done within the Huge Dance, San Diego State virtually single-handedly saved the league’s rep by making a run all the best way to the nationwide title recreation.

It will appear as thought the committee wasn’t overly swayed by the Aztecs’ heroics 12 months in the past.

As anticipated, the Mountain West did place six groups within the discipline of 68, however the place they have been positioned raised various eyebrows.

Boise State and Colorado State, two groups practically each Bracketoloigist had safely within the discipline, have been two of the final 4 groups to earn at-large bids and can begin their match runs in Dayton. Mountain West match champion New Mexico was dealt an 11-seed, confirming that the Lobos wouldn’t have been within the discipline in the event that they hadn’t earned an auto-bid. SDSU earned the identical No. 5 seed they got a yr in the past, whereas common season champion Utah State and its glowing 27-6 file was resigned to the 8-line, two rungs decrease than most had projected. Broadly projected to be a 7-seed, Nevada was given a 10-seed.

If the Mountain West makes noise within the weeks forward, it’s going to come back from some groups probably successful a number of video games because the worse-seeded squad.

8. Nor did it take care of the Huge East, exterior of the league’s prime three

The Huge East is the second-best convention in America in response to just about each metric in existence.

It produced the match’s No. 1 total seed in UConn, a No. 2 seed in Marquette, and a No. 3 seed in Creighton.

And that’s it. Significantly. No different groups from the second-best convention within the nation have been deemed worthy of inclusion within the NCAA match.

Seton Corridor was the second crew unnoticed of the sector (behind Oklahoma), whereas neither Rick Pitino’s St. John’s Crimson Storm or the Windfall Friars have been highlighted as one of many first 4 groups excluded.

I think about Val Ackerman may have issues to say shortly.

9. The 12/5 upset pattern ought to return with a vengeance

In 32 of the final 38 years, at the very least one 12 seed has superior out of the primary spherical of the match. During the last 15 years, 12 seeds truly personal a extremely respectable total file of 25-35 in opposition to 5 seeds.

This wasn’t the case a yr in the past, as all 4 No. 5 seeds escaped the trendiest of all stylish first spherical upset picks, and two of them (San Diego State and Miami) truly superior all the best way to the Last 4.

This yr’s 12-seed line is stacked.

UAB is loaded with skilled expertise and may rating with nearly anybody. James Madison (31 wins) and McNeese (30 wins) are two of simply 4 groups within the nation to have hit the 30-win mark already. And Grand Canyon is true behind them with 29 wins, has been to the match in three of the final 4 years, and has a star guard in Tyon Grant-Foster.

At the very least considered one of these groups is successful this week.

10. Gonzaga extending its Candy 16 streak may be very a lot on the desk

Gonzaga has been to eight consecutive Candy 16s, the longest lively streak within the sport and the third-longest streak ever behind solely Duke (1998-2006) and North Carolina (1981-1993).

Whereas the Zags drawing McNeese within the first spherical is actually no cakewalk, they do doubtlessly get a fourth-seeded Kansas crew within the second spherical that’s coping with accidents to each of its All-Individuals (Kevin McCullar and Hunter Dickinson).

Mark Few’s crew is a few strains larger than most Bracketologists thought they’d be, and so they appear to have gotten a reasonably pleasant draw in addition.

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