March Madness: The Field is Set

Posted: March 12, 2012 in Basketball, College

March is one of the best months for sports. Although I am huge fan of the National Championship game for NCAA football and love the Super Bowl, March Madness is all of the best aspects of sports rolled up into a 3-week tournament. From Selection Sunday when the field is set, there are an abundance of highs and lows, blowouts and upsets, and defeats and victories. There are a handful of teams that are certainly disappointed to be sitting on the outside this year (Washington, Mississippi State, Drexel, Seton Hall and Northwestern), but the field is set and here are the thoughts about some of the teams…

First Four

  • Mississippi Valley State (21-12, SWAC)
  • Western Kentucky (15-18, Sun Belt): The only team to make the tournament with a losing record…automatic bid?
  • BYU (25-8, WCC)
  • Iona (25-7, MAAC): They have a chance to silence their critics.
  • Lamar (23-11, Southland)
  • Vermont (23-11, Amer. East)
  • California (24-9, Pac-12): How mad is Washington? California better prove something big about the Pac-12.
  • USF (20-13, Big East): Can they prove themselves yet again?

South Region

  • Kentucky (32-2, SEC): The tournament’s #1 until proven wrong.
  • Duke (27-6, ACC): Their inside game is only rivaled by their ability to shoot 3s.
  • Baylor (27-7, Big 12): This team has made a name for themselves over the past several years.
  • Indiana (25-8, Big 10): A strong start and finish diminish the challenges of their 4-5 start to 2012.
  • Wichita State (27-5, Missouri Valley): The Shockers are ready to shock some more critics with their prolific offense.
  • UNLV (26-8, Mountain West)
  • Notre Dame (22-11, Big East): They spoiled Syracuse’s perfect season. Who’s next?
  • Iowa State (22-10, Big 12)
  • Connecticut (20-13, Big East): Their opportunity is aided by the conference they play in.
  • Xavier (21-12, A-10): Experience could mean the difference of this team.
  • Colorado (23-11, Pac-12)
  • VCU (28-6, CAA): They ruined Drexel’s hopes of an appearance.
  • New Mexico State (26-9, WAC)
  • South Dakota State (27-7, Summit)
  • Lehigh (26-7, Patriot)

West Region

  • Michigan State (27-7, Big 10): The UNC game is in the past. Ohio State proved that.
  • Missouri (30-4, Big 12): Perfection out of conference and in the Big 12 Tournament. What’s next?
  • Marquette (25-7, Big East): These Eagles are truly Golden and are true fighters.
  • Louisville (26-9, Big East): Momentum is on their side.
  • New Mexico (27-6, Mountain West): This is one great offense.
  • Murray State (30-1, Ohio Valley): Is this the best seeding for a 1-loss team? Can they push themselves deep in this tournament?
  • Florida (23-10, SEC)
  • Memphis (26-8, C-USA)
  • Saint Louis (25-7, A-10)
  • Virginia (22-9, ACC): This is a team that plays it close to the chest.
  • Colorado State (20-11, Mountain West)
  • Long Beach State (25-8, Big West): A strong run in the conference helps to prepare them for something bigger.
  • Davidson (25-7, Southern): Benefits to the tournament include a weak conference and a little win over Kansas.
  • Norfolk State (25-9, MEAC)
  • LIU Brooklyn (25-8, Northeast)

East Region

  • Syracuse (31-2, Big East): No one expected the domination of the Big East to be without a stumbling block. They are poised for a run.
  • Ohio State (27-7, Big 10): Eyes are on Sullinger to elevate his team.
  • Florida State (24-9, ACC): This is a defense to be afraid of.
  • Wisconsin (24-9, Big 10): They have something to prove outside of their conference.
  • Vanderbilt (24-10, SEC): Are they the next Connecticut?
  • Cincinnati (24-10, Big East): These Bearcats can scrap with even the biggest foes (Syracuse).
  • Gonzaga (25-6, WCC)
  • Kansas State (21-10, Big 12)
  • Southern Miss (25-8, C-USA)
  • West Virginia (19-13, Big East)
  • Texas (20-13, Big 12): Did they deserve this chance?
  • Harvard (26-4, Ivy): Winners of this league have proven themselves in recent years.
  • Montana (25-6, Big Sky)
  • St. Bonaventure (20-11, A-10): Can they get a win over a bigger non-conference opponent?
  • Loyola MD (24-8, MAAC): Can they make something of their first appearance in 18 years?
  • UNC Asheville (24-9, Big South)

Midwest Region

  • North Carolina (29-5, ACC): How big with John Henson’s wrist be over the next few days?
  • Kansas (27-6, Big 12): This is a big squad with a big opportunity.
  • Georgetown (23-8, Big East): Can they break their cycle of losing in upset fashion?
  • Michigan (24-9, Big East): The Wolverines have been up and down all season and need to get their offense in order.
  • Temple (24-7, A-10): Can they channel their wins over Wichita State and Duke?
  • San Diego State (26-7, Mountain West)
  • Saint Mary’s (27-5, WCC)
  • Creighton (28-5, Missouri Valley)
  • Alabama (21-11, SEC)
  • Purdue (21-12, Big 10): Can the Boilermakers improve their 1-10 record against the top-25?
  • NC State (22-12, ACC): The Wolfpack may be stronger than record says (considering tough ref-calling in ACC Tournament).
  • Ohio (27-7, Mid-American)
  • Belmont (27-7, Atlantic Sun)
  • Detroit (22-13, Horizon): Opportunity is everything.

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