After anxiously waiting for days, the Syracuse players and coaches found themselves left out of the NCAA Tournament when the 68-team field was announced on Sunday. The Commodores finished with a 19-15 record during the regular season, and they will take on the Wildcats in Salt Lake City.
Their lone loss of the year came to BYU, February 25.
Syracuse failed to make the NCAA Tournament, the first time SU has missed the field while being eligible in nine years.
The Wildcats posted an impressive 23-11 record during the season, and their 10-8 mark in Big Ten play gave them their first winning record in conference play in almost 50 years. Welcome to the NCAA tournament, Northwestern.
Kentucky (29-5) won the Southeastern Conference Tournament for the 30th time on Sunday, defeating Arkansas 82-65 in the title game in Nashville, Tenn.More news: Patriots Acquire Kony Ealy Via Trade With Panthers
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While it's not really fair the Zags are held to a Final Four or bust standard these days (a standard just about any team in the country would kill for), that is the program's burden.
This season featured notable non-conference wins over Texas and Dayton, as well as some of those "quality" losses that always show up on NCAA tournament resumes to the likes of Notre Dame and Butler. The selection committee wants teams that can win, and the Orange proved it could against Tournament competition more than other bubble teams.
There's widely believed to be 10-12 teams capable of cutting down the nets, but Villanova will enter March Madness as one of the favorites to cut down the nets in Phoenix based on this draw.
Big Ten Tournament champion MI received a No. 7 seed in the Midwest Region.
For those who thought they'd never see it, believe it.