Perhaps the most exciting stretch of basketball each year is upon us - NCAA March Madness is set to begin.
Get pumped basketball fans! The 2019 NCAA March Madness tournament bracket has been released. Last year’s tournament delivered generous amounts of madness, so hopefully this year can live up to the hype as well. We may not get another 16 seed toppling a 1 seed, but hey, we can hope to get close right?
Of the 68 teams named to the nation’s top collegiate tourney, 32 are conference champs and the rest were selected by a committee using various algorithms as well as a bit of objectivity per usual. We will get things whittled down to a clean 64 squads after the “First Four” which will be played on March 19 & 20. The first round will begin Thursday March 21st.
The top seeds are ACC heavy: Duke, Gonzaga, Tennessee, and North Carolina. One of the more controversial seedings is that Michigan State is a 2 seed, where many believed they should be a 1. Adding insult to injury, they are in the same bracket as overall 1 seed, Duke. Assuming both teams advance all the way (and assuming is a dangerous game anyway), it would certainly make for an interesting Elite Eight matchup.
To go all the way, you have to beat the top teams anyway, so who can really complain? To be the best, you must beat the best. Michigan St. is set to start the tournament facing Missouri Valley Conference champs, Bradley.
An unfortunate trend over the years with this tourney is that mid-majors are overlooked in favor of middling schools from big conferences. This year’s bracket bucked that trend a bit and we see some smaller universities in the mix. Everyone loves an underdog story and this year is providing some interesting opportunities for that.
Filling in a perfect bracket may be virtually impossible, but taking a stab at it is one of the sport’s most fun traditions. Sports fans love competition, so what could be better then putting your opinions into a bracket ready to compare with family, friends, teammates, and coworkers.
ESPN had some notes on the women’s NCAA rankings, but that bracket has not yet been released. Congratulations though to the Missouri State Lady Bears who won the Missouri Valley Conference and will be heading to the big dance! Stay tuned for coverage on the lady’s side of things soon.
Good luck to everyone on your brackets and good luck to all of the athletes looking to make a splash on college basketball’s biggest stage.
Keep checking back with The Basketball Movement for more tournament coverage as well as local teams, NBA news, and action straight from our home courts. Merry Madness!