The NCAA tournament often known as “March Madness” kicks off on Tuesday, March 15 with four opening-round games. This is the first year that the tournament will consist of 68 teams; on Tuesday, seeds 60-68 will play in those opening-round games to see who gets into the usual 64-team pool.
The 68 teams that will compete in this year’s tournament will be picked on March 13, known as “Selection Sunday.” To be selected, a team must either win its conference championship – an automatic bid – or receive an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament.
There are 31 automatic bids up for grabs, which leaves 37 at-large bids. These last 37 teams are selected by a committee, which is also responsible for ranking the teams that make it. This year they will rank the teams 1-17 in four separate brackets; the better their seed, the easier their schedule will be.
Which area colleges are in the running, and what are their chances of getting into the NCAA Tournament? Here’s the breakdown:
The Eagles are in a tough conference (the Atlantic Coast), but I believe they will be selected in, at around an 11 seed.
The Huskies are set to play Louisville in the Big East Tournament final today, March 12, at 9 p.m. With recent wins against great teams, UConn has earned a place among the top teams in the country. I wouldn’t be surprised if they came away with a No. 3 seed or even higher when the committee ranks them.
BU is a small school that relies on the automatic bid to get into the NCAA tournament. Luckily, they got it with a win against Stony Brook earlier today. I predict they will get a 14 seed in the tournament; as a small school, they will have to play a tough team in the opening round.
This is not the first team that comes up when talking about sports. In fact, they have never received a bid to the NCAA tournament. This year they have a great opportunity to change that with today’s 4 p.m. game against Princeton for the Ivy League title. The winner will get the automatic bid, and the loser will go home. Harvard is 23-5, but the Ivy League does not get a lot of respect in the sports world. If they pull off the win I see them getting a 12 seed and no higher.
These are the local teams that are still alive. We will know who is in and who is out by Sunday. Make sure to follow the local teams this weekend to see if they have a chance at the championship.