And yes, I skipped the Tuesday and Wednesday doubleheaders in the "new countdown" because that is how the NCAA treats these eight schools that make the field.
Saint Mary's vs. VCU: Mary's plays the handsome game; VCU will try to knock them on their butts. It's worth noting that Wichita State is listed at 75/1 to win the entire event while the higher seeded Flyers are 150/1.
■ Second-round games I hope happen: UNC Wilmington-East Tennessee, SMU-Baylor, Kansas-Michigan State, Purdue-Iowa State, North Carolina-Seton Hall, Cincinnati-UCLA, Kentucky-Wichita State. The Wildcats will face No. 16 seed victor of the play-in game between Mt. St. Mary's and New Orleans in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y. The Wildcats earned the top overall seed in the tournament, but were rewarded by getting Duke, Baylor and Florida in their region.
No such worries for Maryland (24-8) regarding a Dayton destination, although there was a little more suspension this March than on the previous two Selection Sundays.
The speed with which CBS host Greg Gumbel and his analysts whipped through the bracket's traditional unveiling was widely expected after last year's leak, which many, frustrated by the drawn-out pace of the program, saw as a godsend. "I looked at it and I saw our name, but it took me like five seconds to jump up because I was just in shock". "I got up so fast I nearly fainted".More news: Durban loses 2022 Commonwealth Games
More news: Kentucky thumps Arkansas to win SEC Tournament
More news: Jennifer Lopez Actress now dating former baseball star Alex Rodriguez
Princeton won the first ever Ivy League tournament and will play Notre Dame as a 12-seed. The Musketeers enter the tournament minus offensive catalyst Edmond Sumner (torn ACL in January) and are 4-7 since February 5. The no. 4 Florida Gators and the no. 5 Virginia Cavaliers rounded out the top seeds in Villanova's half. The 29-5 Seahawks bring a potent offense (10th nationally at 85.1 points per game) as well as a seven game winning streak.
The Mustangs have won 16 straight - including three games in the American Athletic Conference Tournament - and 26 of their last 27.
One thing you will not see on CBS is the ISU players and coaches gathered around a big-screen TV. Don't worry - likely awaiting Buzz Williams on Saturday will be overall number one seed and defending National Champ Villanova.
The bracket includes Michigan as the No. 7 seed in the Midwest Region and Michigan State as a No. 8 seed the same region. Yes, the Gaels who were actually ranked entering Selection Sunday will be the lower seed. "The AP poll is the oldest and the most recognized poll in our sport, and for us to finish at the top again says a lot about how hard our kids worked this season and how people around the country view us", coach Geno Auriemma, 62, said, per ESPN. And it's not as if his effort this season is much of a surprise to Winthrop fans.
The Bears started the season with 15 wins and 19 of 20. The Mountaineers will have their hands full on the glass, as they rank 341st in the nation in rebounding margin while UNO is 63rd. A repeat title is possible - Villanova is deserving of the top seed in the field - but it won't be easy. As good as last year's title team was, they failed to accomplish the conference double. We're going to play Villanova basketball for 40 minutes and if a team beats us, then we'll tip our hats to them. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m., and fans will be permitted to stay right in the arena until the beginning of the Selection Show. Take George Mason in 2006.