- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger43 mins ago
There's only one more time-honored Selection Sunday tradition than filling out an NCAA tournament bracket: Second-guessing the selection commitee's decisions.
This year's committee did a good job with some aspects of the bracket but missed the mark on others. Here's a look at three things the committee got right and three it got wrong:
What they got right: The fourth No. 1 seed
If the most difficult decision for this year's committee members was selecting the final No. 1 seed, then credit them for making an inspired choice. Big East champ Villanova (28-4) had fewer losses than Virginia and Big Ten champ Michigan (25-8) had more quality wins, but neither of them accomplished more than Virginia (28-6).
Besides No. 1 overall seed Florida, the Cavaliers were the only major-conference team to sweep both the regular season and conference tournament championships in their league. They won 19 of their last 21 games after a rocky non-conference season, defeating Syracuse, North Carolina and Pittsburgh in the regular season and avenging a previous loss to Duke in Sunday's ACC title game in Greensboro.
- Brad Evans at The Dagger: College Basketball Blog1 hr ago
Are you prepared for Tournageddon? Sign up for Yahoo!'s Tourney Pick 'Em NOW. It's your FREE shot at a BILLION BUCKS and bragging rights.
Nearly 14 years ago to the day, a more youthful Tom Izzo, then in his fifth year as Michigan St. head coach, scaled a ladder, cut down the net and raised it over his head with joyful exuberance. His Spartans squad, spearheaded by NCAA tournament MOP Mateen Cleaves and additional future NBA draft picks Maurice Peterson and Jason Richardson, triumphed over Billy Donovan’s surprising Florida team 89-76 for their second ever national title.
In was not only a shining moment for Magic Johnson U, it also placed the Big Ten atop the power ranks, an accolade many expected to continue for years to come.
Flash forward to the present.
- Brad Evans at The Dagger1 hr ago
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Let that soak in for a moment. Private planes, personal chefs, golden toilets, diamond-studded collars for your teacup yorkie, entire island nations in the Caribbean – they could all be yours.
That is, IF you pick an impeccable bracket.Heck, the odds are only one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.
For those non-Mathletes in attendance that's just barely over nine quintillion. Sure the likelihood of you getting mauled to death by a mountain lion, flattened by falling space junk or contracting the human version of mad cow disease is stronger, but as Lloyd Christmas mouthed so poetically in "Dumb and Dumber," "So you're saying I have a chance?!"
Enter the game. Fill out a bracket. And you most certainly will.
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TIP-INS – A FLIGHT FULL OF COMMON STRATEGIES
Below are five tips chock-full of pertinent info that could send you to a championship:
Top dogs don't necessarily pack the most vicious bite
- Sam Cooper at The Dagger2 hrs ago
The Dagger previews the South Region of the 2014 NCAA tournament. Read our previews of the East, Midwest and West.
Three who can carry their teams:
*Jordan Adams, G, UCLA
*Andrew Wiggins, G, Kansas
*Cameron Bairstow, F, New Mexico
Most intriguing opening round matchup: No. 6 Ohio State (25-9) vs. No. 11 Dayton (23-10)
There’s a lot to like about the matchup between Ohio State and Dayton – two schools only 70 miles apart from each other in Ohio. The Flyers, one of six teams in the field from the A-10, are led by junior guard Jordan Sibert, an Ohio State transfer who averages 12.5 points per game and shoots nearly 44 percent from three. Sibert was the No. 39 overall prospect in the country when the Cincinnati native signed with the Buckeyes out of high school, but transferred to Dayton to play for head coach Archie Miller, a former Ohio State assistant. In addition to Sibert, Devin Oliver, Dyshawn Pierre and Vee Sanford are all capable of leading the team in scoring. The Flyers recovered from a four-game losing streak in January to win nine of their last ten regular season games.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger3 hrs ago
Hall of fame coach Larry Brown's first NCAA tournament game since winning the 1988 national title with Kansas will have to wait at least another year.
SMU was expected to receive one of the final at-large bids on Sunday, but Brown's team instead became the most surprising omission from the field of 68. NC State, BYU, Tennessee and Xavier were among the bubble teams the selection committee decided were more worthy even though the Mustangs were ranked 25th in the edition of the AP poll released last Monday.
Committee chairman Ron Wellman told CBS that SMU's modest strength of schedule outweighed its 23-9 record and four victories against NCAA tournament-bound teams from its league.
"SMU had an outstanding resume but their non-conference strength of schedule was in the 300s, which is not very good obviously," Wellman said. "Their overall strength of schedule was 129. The next lowest strength of schedule in the field is 91, so there was quite a bit of difference between their strength of schedule and the other teams in the field.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger: College Basketball Blog4 hrs ago
We already knew Florida, Arizona and Wichita State would be three of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. Now we know which team will be joining them on the top seed line.
Virginia's reward for sweeping the ACC regular season and tournament titles was receiving the fourth No. 1 seed when the NCAA tournament bracket was unveiled Sunday evening. Big Ten regular season champ Michigan (25-8) had more quality wins and Villanova (28-4) had fewer losses, but the committee apparently felt the Cavaliers (27-6) accomplished more.
SEC regular season and tournament champion Florida is the top overall seed as expected and will headline the South Region. Unbeaten Wichita State earned the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region and Pac-12 champion Arizona will be the No. 1 in the West.
- Yahoo! Sports Staff at The Dagger4 hrs ago
Join us here for Yahoo Sports’ live coverage of Selection Sunday. Host Melanie Collins will be joined by bracketologist Brad Evans, national college columnist Pat Forde, analyst Greg Anthony and USC head coach Andy Enfield to break down the NCAA tournament seedings and offer advice on how to fill out a winning bracket.
Check out Tourney Bracket Live: This Sunday, March 16 at 7:30pm Eastern/4:30pm Pacific.
- Sam Cooper at The Dagger6 hrs ago
The 2013-14 St. Joseph’s team accomplished something the famous undefeated 2003-04 team could not pull off.
Behind a balanced scoring attack and another double-double from do-it-all senior forward Halil Kanacevic, the Hawks (24-9) outlasted the full-court press of a swarming VCU (26-8) squad to win the Atlantic 10 final, 65-61.
Kanacevic, who was named the A-10 tournament’s most outstanding player, scored 11 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out four assists. The Staten Island native is one of several Hawks with a unique skillset. Among those is lanky freshman forward DeAndre Bembry who added 13 points, eight assists and four rebounds and was crucial to the Hawks breaking through the Rams’ high-pressure defense.
Seniors Langston Galloway and Ronald Roberts also notched double-figure scoring efforts for the Hawks. Galloway, the third-leading scorer in St. Joes history, scored 19 points on just 11 shots, while Roberts added 15 points and 11 boards.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger6 hrs ago
Sophomore Shawn Long snatched two critical rebounds in the final 15 seconds of regulation leading to the tying basket from Bryant Mbamalu and Louisiana-Lafayette went on to upset Georgia State 82-81 in overtime Sunday to win the Sun Belt Conference tournament.
The Ragin Cajuns are returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005. They will be trying to win their first game in the tounament since 1992 when they knocked off Oklahoma.
Louisiana-Lafayette defeated the top two seeds to earn the automatic berth. Sunday's victory over top-seeded Georgia State was the first for the third-seeded Ragin Cajuns this season. Georgia State won the previous two meetings.
Long was one of four Ragin Cajuns to score in double figures. He finished with 11 points but pulled down 14 rebounds leading his team to a 16-rebound advantage over the Panthers. Xavian Rimmer scored 27 points with seven of his eight made field goals coming behind the 3-point line.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger13 hrs ago
Bubble teams will find out their fate at 6 p.m. ET Sunday when CBS unveils the NCAA tournament bracket. Here's a look at how the contenders for the final at-large spots in the field compare against one another and my assessment of which teams will sneak in and which ones will have their bubble burst:
63. SMU (23-9, 12-6): All SMU had to do to sleep easy Saturday night was not lose to Houston in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament. Alas, the Mustangs fell by four and now find themselves closer to the bubble than they anticipated a few weeks ago. SMU has four great wins -- two over UConn and another two at home against Cincinnati and Memphis. The problem is those are the only four top 100 wins the Mustangs have, plus their profile is weighed down by a trio of losses to teams 140 and worse in the RPI. That explains why SMU's own RPI has slipped to 55. There's a good chance SMU makes the field and even avoids the First Four, but it's closer than many would have thought as recently as last week.