March Madness mayhem is coming


Villanova University's starting five in the huddle before a game.

Haley Richards, Courier Staff

At this time of the year, there’s a lot to look forward to. For college students, it’s spring break. For some, it’s warmer weather; but for college basketball fans, it’s March Madness. The selection begins on March 11, where the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee reveals the 68 teams that will be participating. This day is known as Selection Sunday and is just the start of the month full of upsets, battles and showdowns.

On March 13, the first tipoff is set. The teams will battle to make it to their regional game. The four regions are Midwest, West, South and East. The dates of regionals are March 23-25. These regional matchups will then determine who will be going to the Final Four. This year’s Final Four is held in San Antonio, Texas and will start on March 31. However, only two teams will be fortunate enough to play in the National Championship on Monday, April 2.

Since the start of the tournament in 1939, the University of California, Los Angeles has the most titles with 11. The University of Kentucky follows with eight and the University of North Carolina has six. Last year, North Carolina defeated Gonzaga 71-65 and became 2017 national champs but this year, it is anyone’s trophy.

Currently, the University of Virginia is ranked number one and has a record of 28-2. Villanova University is ranked second with a 27-4 record. Xavier University is third, Michigan State University is fourth, and Duke University is fifth. These rankings are all from the AP Poll or Associated Press Poll. These weekly rankings are compiled by polling 65 opinions from sportswriters and broadcasters across the nation.

Not being a huge basketball fan, I do not really have an opinion on who I think will make it to the Final Four. However, being a sports fan, I will be watching March Madness just to witness the excitement that goes on during this month. The top ranked teams in the country will not necessary be the top ranked teams come the end of March. Every coach, player, and sports fan knows that the most important part of the season is at the end of it. This is where teams find the motivation needed to create Cinderella stories and in my opinion, it is the most crucial part of the season.

The projected number one seeds are Virginia from the ACC, Villanova and Xavier from the Big East Conference, and Kansas from the Big 12. The number two seeds are projected to be Duke, Purdue, Cincinnati and North Carolina. As for the third seeds, Auburn, Tennessee, Michigan State and Michigan were all projected picks as well.

Four teams already have automatic bids to play because they have won their conference championship. These four schools are Lipscomb University, Loyola University-Chicago, University of Michigan and MurrayState University.

Basketball fan or not, March Madness is sure to give everyone some excitement to look forward to. It is hard to predict just what we can expect to see in the upcoming weeks. For college basketball fanatics, I assume you will not be moving from the couch until after April 2. Personally, I won’t be catching a game until it is time for the Elite 8. Either way, we have less than a week until the start of all the madness occurs