On paper, Kansas has the easiest path to the Sweet 16 as a No. 1 seed, but Duke or Michigan State in the bottom half of the Midwest Region could derail a Final Four push. If you're confused or wondering why that is, we're here to help. For at-large teams, playing in the First Four hasn't precluded success in the rest of the tournament.
That's what we're here to explain.
And only two have Kansas making the semifinals.
The short answer is because that's how the selection committee completes its bracket, and it stems from a rule change in 2016.
After the First Four games are in the books, the NCAA Tournament will hit full stride with 16 games on Thursday and 16 more on Friday.
The Musketeers won the regular season in one of the nation's best conferences, the Big East, by developing a knack for prevailing in close games.
Where do they go from there?This team's shown that we can play as a 1 seed or play as a 12 seed ... or a team that doesn't make the postseason tournament. Notre Dame and Louisville didn't make the cut this year. Teams are carefully compared with one another, the first seed versus the second, the second versus the third and down to No. 67 versus No. 68. Providence has bounced out in the round of 64 in three of the last four years, going 1-4 against the spread in the tournament. Virginia Tech was bounced from the ACC Tournament in a flash, but let's not forget its big wins this season over teams like Duke, Clemson, North Carolina and the overall top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers.
The Big 12's seven teams aren't blessed with optimal matchups, with five of the teams falling from seeds 5-10. The Bulldogs had a great showing in the Big East Tournament, and while they were torched by Villanova in the championship game, their makeup lends one to believe they'll be tough competition for the Razorbacks. Deandre Ayton is clearly the best player in college basketball, and I think Virginia will be overmatched by them in the Elite 8. Online streams for each game can be found here, but you will most likely need a TV login. The Ramblers obviously have a hard game against Miami in the first round, and there may be no tougher team than Tennessee.
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The Gators don't have a player taller than 6-9 as a part of their regular rotation, which could come back to bite them against a team like Purdue, which has two 7-footers.
Why is there a First Four?. That means they're not necessarily an optimal pick. The No. 7 seed Gamecocks had a huge home crowd for each game as they knocked off Marquette and Duke on their way to a surprise Final Four appearance.
Also, according to the NCAA, since the First Four round started, a victor has always advanced at least one additional round.
Who: No. 16 LIU-Brooklyn (18-16) vs.
The victor of this matchup gets to play the No. 6-seeded Florida Gators in Dallas, TX on Thursday night.
3/14 - No. 16 Texas Southern vs. The Colonial Athletic Association champions average 75.1 points per game, and those three combined account for more than 70 percent of that total.
He's recorded at least 19 points and 13 boards in the past three games and finished the season averaging a double-double while shooting 60 percent from the floor.