As Sunday evening approached and the anticipation grew, you could feel the madness in the air. Who will be dubbed the #1 seeds? who's in and who's out? where will my team be placed? It's one of the few times during the year that feels like Christmas Eve, between the hours of the last conference championship game and the selection show, and Christmas morning when it's time to unveil the teams.
Now that the brackets are out, everyone should just move forward. We need not talk and debate weather the Mississippi States, Illinois and Virginia Tech should be in. Do I think VT should have made it in over Clemson? Absolutely. But that has no relevance now, and none of these team will have a chance to play for the title so it really doesn't matter. I apologize, I've already spent too much time talking about that topic....moving on.
There are some very interesting match ups that are already set in place, and that we're hoping to see down the line if things play out in the way they are supposed to. The first one that jumps out at me is Cornell & Temple. Cornell is under-seeded if you ask me and I think that is going to be a great game. Also watching Siena take on a Robby Hummel-less Purdue team should be interesting also. Purdie has been struggling since he has been out. Can JaJuan Johnson carry the load or will they fall because 1/2 of their dynamic duo is out? Also looking toward the future, if things play out Kentucky & West Virginia should be a great game with explosive offensive scorers like John Wall, Demarcus Cousins and Da'Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks. Also when looking ahead I would love to see Evan Turner and the Buckeyes take on Austin Freeman and Georgetown in the sweet 16.
Cinderella teams as we all know make up great tournament play. Here are my top few Cinderella teams to watch out for (10-16 seeds) The Murray State Racers (13) who take on Vandy in the first round and who could possibly upset either Butler and or UTEP in a trip to the sweet 16. Cornell (12) starts out with a tough game against Temple but with a bunch of white guys who can shoot the lights out they could easily get out of the first round and then beat, Wisconsin and even give Kentucky a run for their money as Miami OH did early in the Wildcats season.
Some teams that could make some noise that are considered middle of the road teams (5-9) would be Texas A&M who finished their season strong in the top 25, winning 9 of their last 12 games, and out of the games they lost 2 of those losses were to #1 overall seed Kansas and Baylor. Marquette and Notre Dame are two other you should keep an eye on. Two teams from the Big East who has made some noise as on late and has good momentum going into the big dance.
Finally, some top seeds that may fall early....you have to look at Syracuse not having Arinze Onuaku in their starting line up. Also a very young Kentucky team in a tough, tough region also might bite it early. Kansas State who I think could make a Final Four run could have some trouble with BYU in the 2nd round.
I could be wrong about all these teams, but thats the great things about basketball in March. Nobody knows whats going to happen, and we all can't wait for Thursday to come and for tournament basketball to get rolling.