Selection Sunday paves the way for upcoming March Madness games


The 32-team field was announced on Sunday, meaning fans can now fill out brackets.. Photo courtesy of CBS Sports

Weston Corak

The NCAA March Madness brackets were released on Sunday. Anticipations were very high, as fans and teams wanted to see the mashups that would happen. With teams jumping all around in ranks all year, this March Madness could be unlike any other. Some of the biggest takeaways are the recent historic occurrences and the possibility of some unusual upsets in the coming games.

No. 1 Seeds:

There are four different regions in terms of seeds: the South, the Midwest, the West and the East. Alabama (29-5), the overall No. 1 seed, will headline the South region. They will face the winner of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi/Southeast Missouri State University on Mar. 16th. In the Midwest, Houston (31-3) took the top seed and will face Northern Kentucky (22-12) Mar. 16th. Kansas (27-7) took the No. 1 seed in the West and will face Howard (22-12) on the Mar. 16th. as well. Finally, in the East, Purdue (29-5) took the top seed and will face off against the winner of Texas Southern/Fairleigh Dickinson University.


The first team to miss out on the tournament was Oklahoma State. Others include Rutgers, Clemson and North Carolina. North Carolina was runner-up in last year’s bracket; not making it to the tournament is historic, as they are the first team ranked No. 1 in the preseason to miss out since the field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The last teams to make it to the tournament will be the winners of Mississippi State/Pittsburgh and Arizona State/Nevada games.

Historic Storylines:

There were some historic storylines that occurred yesterday, including Michigan State’s head coach, Tim Izzo, having the most consecutive tournament appearances by a coach; he had 25 NCAA Tournament appearances. Beating Yale in the Ivy League Tournament, Princeton secured its first spot in the tournament since 2017. Memphis (26-8) was able to pull the upset over Houston in the AAC Tournament, securing them as the No. 8 seed in the East. They will play Florida Atlantic (31-3). Alabama secured their eighth SEC Tournament title in 15 appearances, after beating Texas A&M 82-63. The team has the second-most amount of appearances, behind only Kentucky. Also, Duke secured the fifth seed in the East. It’s the first time the Blue Devils have been less than a four-seed since 2007.

Possible upsets:

The upcoming games will bring a series of underdog teams to watch out for in the first round. No. 12 seed Drake (27-7) will play the No. 5 seed in the Midwest, Miami (25-7). Drake’s starting five consists of older players, with an average of 23 years old. Their youngest player is 20-year-old Tucker DeVries, who was able to win Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, shooting 39% from behind the arc. This team also has a record of protecting the ball well; their point guard, Roman Penn, has a 3-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Drake’s experienced team could have a shot at upsetting the Hurricanes on Friday. The West Virginia (19-14) Mountaineers will have to keep up their offensive efficiency if they want a shot to upset Maryland (21-12), as West Virginia only averages 76.3 points per game. Vermont (23-10), ranking top 25 in the country in both assist-to-turnover ratio and three-point accuracy will face off against Marquette (28-6) on Friday in the East. Facing a poor defensive team in Marquette, Vermont could be a team set up for an upset if they can keep up their offensive consistency. No. 9 seed Illinois (20-12) will play another No. 9 seed, Arkansas (20-13), on Thursday. Nothing particularly stands out for this Illinois team offensively, but the defense has shown strength. They rank among the best teams in the nation in adjective defensive efficiency. The Razorbacks struggle from the three-point line, being very inconsistent. Illinois needs to keep up its defensive consistency in order to have a shot in this game.

The First Four games start on Tuesday and continue into Wednesday. After that, the First Round games will commence.