The field of 68 was revealed on Selection Sunday, just two days before the start of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Louisville, Indiana, Kansas and Gonzaga were the big winners, as all were named No.1 seeds. Rick Pitino’s team has been pegged as the favorites to win it all. After winning the Big East Championship, Louisville was chosen as the top overall seed by the selection committee.
Miami and Duke may be the best teams that didn’t receive a No.1 seed. The Hurricanes are the No.2 seed in the East region, even though they led the ACC with a 15-3 record and won the conference tournament. Duke is the second seed in the Midwest, which many feel is the toughest portion of the bracket.
For the sixth straight year, there won’t be a repeat champion in the tournament. Kentucky was left out of the field, despite winning the national title in 2012. The Wildcats won 21 games, but their first-round SEC tournament loss to Vanderbilt has them headed to the NIT.
Other than Kentucky, a few teams can make the case for having been snubbed by the selection committee. Tennessee missed the big dance with a 20-12 record, including wins against Florida, Missouri and Wichita State. Southern Mississippi was also left on the bubble with the No.31 RPI.
March Madness this year could be more unpredictable than ever. No team from a major conference has less than five losses entering the tournament.
The tournament doesn’t really get underway until Thursday, but the first round technically begins on Tuesday. North Carolina A&T and Liberty will face off for the right to be the No.16 seed and play Louisville, while Middle Tennessee will take on Saint Mary’s. On Wednesday, it’s LIU-Brooklyn vs. James Madison and Boise State vs. La Salle.
Click here to download a printable bracket for the 2013 NCAA Tournament.