For the second time in three seasons, the Virginia Cavaliers will enter the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed. Virginia, top seed in the Midwest Region, will take on the Hampton Pirates in the first round in Raleigh, N.C., on Thursday.
No team played its way off the bubble in more dramatic fashion than Connecticut. Now the Huskies are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since winning the national championship in 2014. Can they do it again? UConn has reached the Final Four or won it all three times in its last four Tournament appearances.
For the Duke Blue Devils, playing games in March has become a regular routine. After all, they are the defending national champions and Mike Krzyzewski's team has played in the NCAA Tournament 21 years in a row.
For the UNC Wilmington Seahawks, playing this late in March is a bit of a surprise for their fans.
It's time once again for the annual routine of pretending to know what you are doing when it comes to filling out your NCAA Tournament bracket. Do you go chalk? Do you try and predict the Cinderella team that will inevitably crash the Elite Eight? Do you trust your eyes, your gut, your head or your heart?
When it comes to this exercise, the NCAA Tournament is a different animal completely. Before we get to the picks, here are a few tips. The biggest thing you have to do is throw out the seeds when considering a play because they mean nothing to Vegas. You will see higher-seeded teams as a favorite and sometimes even bigger faves then you'd think despite the seed disparity.
This season has been arguably the most competitive in NCAA basketball history. The playing field was as level as it has ever been. The four No. 1 seeds have a combined 23 losses on the year, an NCAA Tournament record.
Every year there are teams that capture the heart of America after making an unexpected run. VCU was just another school in terms of popularity before they went from the First Four all the way to the Final Four in 2011. Now, the Rams are always on people's minds when it comes to March. Dunk City was just Florida Gulf Coast before they were put on the map in 2014.