Selection Sunday Recap

Let the madness begin! The Selection Sunday show took place yesterday, and we finally have the answers to the burning questions for rankings, and the most important question, would Gonzaga be the top overall seed, or would they be the top overall seed? Just kidding, that one was obvious to anyone with a pulse. So it was no surprise that they were given that top seed. What about the rest of the bracket, who got ranked where? Here's a breakdown of what happened with seeding.

1-seeds Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois, and Michigan.

  • Again no surprise that the undefeated Gonzaga squad held that top overall spot.

  • Same with the 1-loss Baylor team holding on to the second best 1 seed, not much else needs to be said about them that hasn't already been repeated ad nauseum.

  • With the late season surge from Illinois and their run in the Big 10 tournament that had them facing off against Ohio State, it was essentially a play-in game for the 3rd best 1-seed in the tourney. Illinois also managed to beat Michigan on the last regular season game of the season, which gave them that head-to-head win that the committee covets so much.

  • Rounding out the 1-seeds is Michigan. Juwan Howard's squad looked absolutely fantastic through 99.9% of their season, and were essentially guaranteed to make a 1 seed after dominating the best conference this season in the regular season. However, due to a late injury to Isaiah Livers, this Michigan team couldn't continue their dominance in the Big Ten tourney, and they were bounced by Ohio State. Look for the 1-seeds to cruise until the sweet 16 where things may get a little dicey for Baylor and Illinois as their brackets might have the most likely matchups to cause an upset.

2-seeds Alabama, Houston, Iowa, Ohio State

  • Nate Oats' Alabama team was the dominating force in the SEC this regular season, and they showed all of that dominance and more in the SEC tournament as well, becoming the unanimous SEC season champion (regular season and tournament champions) and in return the committee rewarded them with a well deserved 2-seed.

  • Houston also dominated their conference this regular season, losing only 3 times, and finishing ranked in the top 10, look for this hard-nosed team to cause some fits for teams late in the tournament.

  • Iowa, for much of the season a potential 1-seed, however despite the fantastic play from Luka Garza all-season, Iowa struggled in the middle of their schedule trying to develop a consistent number two behind Garza as Bohanan went missing from the field. With Wieskamp stepping into that second scoring threat role, this team was able to make a push late and get themselves into contention for a top 2 seed, don't be surprised if this team makes a Final Four push.

  • Ohio State looked to be a 1-seed until that fateful night in Ann Arbor where they started a 4 game losing streak that continued through the end of the regular season. However, they got themselves together and were able to make a run at the Big Ten Tourney Championship, coming up just short against Illinois in the final game.

3-seeds Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, West Virginia

  • Finishing second in the SEC, Arkansas turned a poor start to the season around, and showed they can score with the best of them, and were riding a 9 game win streak prior to being bounced against LSU in the SEC tournament. With that hot streak, look for Musselman's squad to cause a bit of problems for opposing defenses in the tourney.

  • Kansas, to say this one was surprising is an understatement. If you had asked me in December if Kansas makes it as anything other than a potential play-in team, I would have laughed, they just didn't look good at all. However, the HOF-er in Bill Self got this team going defensively, and that carried them into the Big 12 semifinal, before a positive test had them leave the Big 12 tournament.

  • Texas, the opponent that benefited from Kansas' positive test, has been a clear contender for a top 3 seed all season, as Shaka Smart has his squad hitting their stride offensively as they are sitting at 35% from 3-pointers and 51% from 2-point shots on the season. That type of efficiency kills in the tournament, as true shooting will show itself when they get into that Lucas Oil Stadium backdrop, where many teams have fallen due to the change in backdrop for their shooters.

  • West Virginia rounds out the 3-seeds, and Bob Huggins has reinvented his style and instead of deadly defensive pressure that would kill teams by half, they instead kill teams off with the second best offensive efficiency in NCAA D-1 this season. Add on that a 71% FT percentage, and this team has the weapons and coaching to win close games with either offense or defense.

4-seeds Florida State, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Virginia

  • Last year's ACC regular season champs, FSU looked like it had a point to prove. They did so with potential lottery pick, Scottie Barnes, carrying much of their load defensively, as offensively it is the Gray and Walker duo that leads the way for this efficient FSU attack that can drain it from distance at a high clip, shooting 40.3% from the 3-point line in ACC play.

  • Oklahoma State have been riding the projected top pick in the NBA Draft, Cade Cunningham, all-season. Guaranteed he'll always be the most talented player on the court in every matchup, however it's how well his team can play around him that will dictate whether they can avoid a potential sweet 16 exit or not.

  • Purdue was sneaky good this season on both offense and defense, as they finished top 5 in both categories in the Big Ten. With their version of the “Two Towers” with 6'10” Trevion Williams and 7'4” Zach Edey, not many teams will be ready to handle that size down low, and will easily give them the opportunity to grind out games if they can win the turnover battles.

  • Virginia is still technically the defending national champions as they never played the tournament to crown a new one last season, however this is a team far removed from their national championship pedigree. Sure they won the regular-season ACC title, but it was only due to winning percentage as they, along with most of the ACC, had such an imbalanced schedule with all of the positive cases wreaking havoc during the season and the tournament. There's no telling how they will actually perform in the tourney bubble, but it's safe to say that the Cavs will be relying on balance and depth for their success.

5-seeds Colorado, Creighton, Tennessee, Villanova

  • Colorado possibly could've snuck into the 4-seeds had they not lost to Oregon State in the PAC 12 Championship game. Hampered by a league schedule that resembled more of a mid-major conference level of play rather than a P5 conference level, much of their success was unheralded, or shrugged off as a by product of a down year for the PAC 12. Look for the Buffaloes to try to prove the naysayers wrong and make a deep run.

  • Creighton is the definition of team ball, scoring on 57% of their assisted FG attempts on the season. With everything this team has done, and the recent distractions from Greg McDermott's racially insensitive remarks, they appeared galvanized in the Big East tournament, and a team with a reason to win is always a dangerous team in March.

  • Tennessee looked like they should be the top SEC team and possibly a number 2 seed through much of their season. However they could never string together a run of results in SEC play, and finished the season on an 8-7 run. Hard to gauge how much they're ready for this tournament, but on their day they are a matchup issue for any team in the tournament.

  • Villanova rounds out the 5-seeds, and while coaching will never be the issue for Jay Wright's Wildcats, injuries have come up recently to bite them. Out for the season is Collin Gillespie, their top defensive threat that made opposing offenses nervous and turnover prone, which is a huge blow for Wright's defensive game plan. Not to be worried though, the offense has picked up in Gillespie's absence, and will look to pull Villanova into a possible second-weekend appearance.

6-seeds BYU, San Diego State, USC, Texas Tech

  • BYU is not an easy out as a 6 seed, as they were the only team to take Gonzaga to halftime with the Zags losing by double-digits this season. Led by 7'3” Matt Haarms, this team looks to wreak a little havoc in Indy.

  • San Diego State took the MWC championship, and in doing so extended their win streak to 14 games, scoring 77 or more in 8 games, so if they find themselves in a close game, expect to see some fireworks as they are not afraid to shoot and shoot often.

  • USC is riding the Mobley brothers to this 6 seed, with Evan, the potential #2 pick, leading the way for their offense. The Mobley's are no slouch defensively as they have helped lead USC to a top 5 ranking on opponents FG% inside the arc at 42.4%.

  • Mac McClung has had a resurgence since landing in Lubbock from Georgetown. However this Texas Tech team only manages to hurt themselves, blowing leads and being 1-2 possessions away from pulling out wins against major conference opponents 4 different times. With that said, if McClung and squad can pull it together in crunch time, they may be the 6 seed to advance to the second-weekend.

7-seeds Clemson, UConn, Florida, Oregon

  • Clemson took a break from ACC tournament play, losing to Miami in the opening round, however they had already assured themselves of a place in the tourney by then. Look for a heavy dose of pick-and-roll offense revolving around Aamir Simms.

  • UConn is living and dying by James Bouknight and his 19.4 PPG. If he can stay healthy, this team can become a nuisance.

  • Keyontae Johnson is back on the sideline following his collapse and subsequent hospitalization in December, however he's purely there for moral support. This is a team led by Tre Mann, and will spend most of their time shooting from inside the arc and running Mann off screens to get him open looks, probably not bound for a long tournament appearance, but a remarkable story, as many teams would've fallen apart facing better odds.

  • Oregon training staff and Dana Altman have been every bit of their Nike research and sports medicine money. This team has been a rotating injury ward, all while still managing a Pac-12 regular-season title.

8-seeds Loyola Chicago, LSU, UNC, Oklahoma

  • Returning to the big dance after their insane run to the Final Four in 2018, Sister Jean and the Ramblers are ready to make more noise from an 8 seed this time. Boasting the most efficient defense in the nation is what this team will hang their hat on and will be what propels them to success in this tourney.

  • LSU beat Arkansas in the SEC tournament, and made it to the championship game before losing to Bama. If they can continue their improved defensive performances, it'll be up to Cam Thomas and a highly efficient offense to get them through some of these tougher games.

  • UNC was a team that had to just put it's head down and grind all season. Roy Williams managed to take that effort and grind, mix it with his impressive pedigree, and surprise! UNC made the tournament and they made it as an 8 seed.

  • Oklahoma is living and dying by the 3pt shot, and if Reaves and Manek can continue to hit it at a high clip, they could prove to be an issue, however if the football stadium backdrop proves to be an issue again, this might be a quick tournament for Oklahoma.

9-seeds Georgia Tech, Mizzou, St. Bonaventure, Wisconsin

  • Getting hot at the right time is the goal for every team in the tournament, and there's possibly no hotter team than Georgia Tech right now, this team has all the potential to surprise some teams and make a deeper than expected run in the tournament.

  • Mizzou on the other hand, has all of the potential, yet we haven't seen it in a long time, and if that continues, I'm sorry Mizzou fans.

  • St. Bonaventure lands at a 9-seed for the simple fact they are from the A10 conference. The way they played should have them in a 5-seed around the Nova's of the world, however here they are at 9 and they are ready to torture their 8 seed matchup.

  • Wisconsin fell apart late and finished 2-6 over their last 8 games, hopefully this safe, non-turnover prone team gets it together for a potential run in the tournament.

10-seeds Maryland, Rutgers, VCU, Virginia Tech

  • Maryland is definitely a beneficiary of being apart of the Big Ten conference, as that SOS and resume looks much better vs that competition considering how average the Terps have played all season.

  • Rutgers is also a beneficiary of the Big Ten being the best conference this season as they find themselves here at the 10 seed despite finishing their regular-season 3-9 and shooting less than 32% from 3pt this season.

  • VCU, unlike the previous two 10-seeds mentioned, are well deserving of this spot, they got on a run late finishing 7-2, and a top-10 defensive efficiency ranking to boot.

  • Virginia Tech didn't have the best season in the ACC, but it was good enough for Young to win ACC Coach of the Year, and he did lead his team to an early season win over Jay Wright's Nova team as well, so they are capable of some magic on their day.

11-seeds Drake/Wichita State, Michigan State/UCLA, Syracuse, Utah State

  • It's a shame Drake and Wichita State are playing each other in the first 4 game, as both teams had excellent seasons, and likely deserved the outright spot over Syracuse, the winner of this play-in game has the potential for an upset in their match up vs the 6 seed however.

  • Meanwhile, Michigan State and UCLA play the other First 4 game, and while I believe the other two teams have a shot at upsetting their 6 seed, I don't see either MSU or UCLA making it past their 6 seed match ups.

  • Syracuse and Boeheim did enough to warrant a birth in the tournament, but that is it. How they snagged one of the outright 11 seeds over Drake or Wichita State, I'm not totally sure. Utah State was a powerhouse in the MWC regular-season, and if it weren't for San Diego State's win in the MWC championship game,

  • Utah State could be a much higher seed, and one reason for their success is 7-footer Neemias Questa, and his impeccable defensive presence.

12-seeds UC Santa Barbara, Georgetown, Oregon State, Winthrop

  • UCSB has only lost one game since December 28th, and are a 12 seed. If you want to look for a potential Cinderella, here's a prime candidate for you.

  • Georgetown stole a birth from someone else as they won the Big East title in nothing short of remarkable fashion. Patrick Ewing was on the hot seat and people were claiming problems inside this locker room at the start of this season, and they have silenced the doubters by just getting to the tournament as they were sitting at 9-12 a the start of the Big East tournament.

  • Oregon State is another thief, and they were definitely an impostor in their Pac-12 Title run. Deciding which Oregon State is the fake is the real issue, they shot only 33% in Pac-12 play, but during the tourney they connected on 44% of their long shots, which Beaver squad we get is going to be the ultimate question.

  • Winthrop, a 12-seed. This one bothers me, I get that they are in the Big South, but they only lost 1 game. 1 loss and they are a 12 seed. This team reminds me of a Mike D'Antoni run and gun offense, with the efficiency of a Bulls Era triangle offense. This team could cause a problem with teams as long as they don't get drawn into a game of bully ball with a bigger team.

13-seeds Liberty, UNC Greensboro, North Texas, Ohio

  • Liberty finished the season 15-1 en route to becoming the Atlantic Sun regular-season and tournament champions. The perfect embodiment of falling in love with the 3, this team shoots 48% of all shots from 3pt range, and is still able to hit at a 39% clip.

  • UNC Greensboro features Isaiah Miller, a guard who can put it up in bunches while taking the ball away from the other team (2.6 Steals/game). He reminds you of what Ja Morant was doing in college at Murray State, given a breakout performance and potential upset, Isaiah Miller could climb up the draft boards in March.

  • North Texas is a throwback team, playing inside-out ball and hanging their hats on their defense, they are ferocious and if they have the right matchups lookout.

  • O-H...oh wait sorry wrong Ohio team. This Bobcat's team is led by Jason Preston, who led Ohio to an almost upset of Illinois before falling to the Illini by two points in November.

14-seeds Abilene Christian, Colgate, Eastern Washington, Morehead State

  • This season was one to remember for the Southland champs, as Abilene Christian shot a whopping 61% from inside the arc this season, and their full court Virginia-esque press has tortured every opponent they've employed it against, be on the lookout if you have Abilene Christian in the first round.

  • Colgate were the Patriot League champions, and unfortunately live and die by their 3 ball, if it's not falling the Raiders will not be having an enjoyable time in Indianapolis.

  • Eastern Washington clawed their way to the tournament birth. After starting 3-6 they were able to go 13-1 to finish their regular-season, and then go on to beat everyone en route to taking the Big Sky tournament championship, and the automatic bid it brings.

  • Morehead State is riding a wave right now, only having lost 1 game since December 21st. On top of that they are rocking a 6'10” freshman in Johni Broome who is shooting 64.2% on shots in or around the painted area.

15-seeds Cleveland State, Grand Canyon, Iona, Oral Roberts

  • If I told you a team in the tournament forces 1 turnover every 5 trips down the court from their opponent, while holding their opponents to under 30% from 3, where would you have them ranked? Top-10 seed, maybe a top 5-seed? Nope it's Cleveland State, the Horizon League champions sitting as a 15-seed.

  • GCU is here for the first time, and to be honest, it won't be the last. Bryce Drew has this Antelopes team rolling at the right time, and they took the WAC championship, and boast the best defensive ranking in the WAC. Look for Midtgaard to give their opponents trouble with is 7-foot tall self.

  • Pitino is back! Never thought I'd say that any time soon, but here we are as the Rick Pitino led Iona team took the MAAC crown. Pitino joins Lon Kruger and Tubby Smith as the only coaches to lead 5 different programs to the NCAA tournament.

  • Oral Roberts has something no one else does, the nation's number one scorer, Max Abmas (24.2 PPG). He didn't just have good games against mid-majors, arguably his highest outputs came against P5 teams, scoring 18 against Mizzou, 28 against Wichita State, and 33 against Cade Cunningham and Oklahoma State. Abmas will be the focus for this team, and if they do anything in the tourney, expect his name in big bright lights at the top of the box score.

16-seeds Appalachian State/Norfolk State, Drexel, Hartford, Mount Saint Mary's/Texas Southern

  • Appalachian State and Norfolk State will be playing in the First 4 to see who has the esteemed pleasure to face off against Gonzaga, and while it's been a fantastic job by both squads to get to the tournament, I foresee it being done for both squads by the end of the day Saturday.

  • Drexel is being led by T.J. Bickerstaff, yes the nephew of Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff, but unlike the Cavs, this team shoots from 3 and they shoot at a high clip from 3, hitting 52% from 3 in their current 5 game win streak.

  • Hartford hangs their hat on defense and being physically unrelenting. This team might be the most in shape team of the tournament, and they boast the best turnover/possession number in the America East Conference, however it may all be for not in their 1st round matchup.

  • Rounding out our First 4 play in games, we have Mt. St. Mary's versus Texas Southern, and while we may have all heard of “The Mount” for their success on the Gridiron, them pulling through and taking the Northeast Conference tournament was a bit of a surprise. On the other side, Texas Southern is on a roll, and has won 14 of their last 15, with 50% of those wins being double-digit victories.