NCAA men's March Madness brackets are set
The GIST: The men aren’t wasting time tipping off the Madness — their bracket was revealed just hours before the women’s last night, and four squads are already catching flights to their First Four matchups tomorrow. Time to dance ’til you drop, fellas.
Putting the mad in Madness: Despite the off-court nonsense, Alabama took the No. 1 overall seed, beating out fellow top seeds Houston, Kansas and Purdue. Nothing says men’s sports like ignoring bad behavior because of on-court success.
- The loudest complaints about the top four hail from Los Angeles. The would-be No. 1 UCLA Bruins were arguably unfairly dinged down to No. 2 for their conference tourney upset, and they’re steamed because Kansas and Houston did the same damn thing.
Riddle us this: The men’s bracket had plenty of surprises, starting with the fact that the committee clearly didn’t know what to do with the weak-scheduled SEC. Tennessee landed at No. 4 despite a late-season collapse and early conference tourney exit, while Texas A&M, who was more successful than Tennessee in the regular season and tournament, was handed an insulting No. 7.
Bottom of the bracket barrel: Many were also surprised by the last four in and first four out, aka the bubble teams who squeaked in or fell just short of a berth. Pitt, who admittedly fumbled away the ACC at the finish line, was hammered for their late-season tumble — they now must win a play-in game to grab a No. 11 seed.
- Shivering out in the cold are Oklahoma State, Rutgers, Clemson and, stunningly, UNC — the first-ever preseason No. 1 to fail to even make the Big Dance since 1985. Saw it coming, but still need a moment to process.
First-time dancers: Welcome, Owls! No. 14 Kennesaw State is prepping for their first-ever March Madness run, beginning with a tough first-round test against a surging No. 3 Xavier. With a glow-up this good, they have Cinderella written all over them.