sports gazette

Five things to watch out for on Selection Sunday

Published: 12 Mar 2017

Selection Sunday is finally here, and although most of the field is set, there are still some teams on bubble watch, trying to avoid Dayton and searching for that coveted one seed.

Who gets snubbed?

Right after the bracket is released, the first topic to be discussed always seems to be which team was undeservedly left out of the tournament. According to bracket matrix, USC, Kansas St, Rhode Island and Wake Forest are listed as the last four at large teams in, with Syracuse and Illinois St as the first two teams out.

Syracuse finds themselves in a similar position as last year when they, along with the selection committee, received a lot of criticism for their inclusion in last years tournament. As undeserving as they may be, don’t be shocked to see them included in the final bracket.

Will there be any last minute bid stealers?

The bubble teams have been very fortunate this conference tournament season. There has not been any team winning a conference tournament they were not supposed to, thus getting an automatic qualifier to the tournament. With that being said, bubble teams will be cheering for VCU to beat Rhode Island in the Atlantic-10 final. Rhode Island may very well still make the tournament as an at large bid, but they are the last potential “bid stealing” team.

Who ends up in Dayton?

Though these teams should be safely in the field, there is still a chance they could end up stuck in the middle of Dayton, Ohio for a play in game, or the “First Four” as the NCAA dubs it.

The previously mentioned last four in are the current holders of these play in game spots, but teams like Providence, Vanderbilt, Xavier, Michigan St. and Marquette will all be sweating it out during the selection show, hoping they manage to avoid a road trip to Dayton.

Who gets the last number one seed?

Villanova is a lock for the number one overall seed, and deserving or not, Kansas and Gonzaga will probably end up on the number one line as well due to the nature of the college basketball season this year.

This leaves one spot left for five different teams. North Carolina has been in discussion for the number one seed all year, but after Duke beat them and went on to win the ACC tournament, they are more vulnerable to giving up that spot. Other teams vying for the coveted one seed are Oregon and Arizona, both playing in the Pac-12 championship, and Kentucky, who will look to take care of business against Arkansas in the SEC final.

Who gets a matchup nightmare?

In theory, the higher seed should be the better team and expected to win their first few games in the tournament. However, a few lower seeded teams create matchup nightmares for higher seeded teams.

One of these teams is Marquette, and although they are projected to be in the 10 to 11 seed range, they lead the nation in three point field goal percentage, at an astounding 43%. On their day Marquette can beat any team in the country, as shown when they beat number one Villanova back in January.

“Death, taxes, Tom Izzo in March.” Nobody should ever rule out Michigan St. when it comes to the NCAA tournament. The Spartans have had a poor season by their standards, but so long as Tom Izzo is coaching, they will always be a threat to make a run.

The selection show starts at 4:30 EST, 9:30 GMT. We will be live tweeting the events of the show throughout the night if you are not able to watch it.

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