The wait is over, we finally have a bracket
March 2020 was a terrible month for many reasons, most notably the cancellation of our beloved March Madness bracket season. There is truly nothing that compares to the excitement of a college basketball tournament, which makes this year that much sweeter. With the bracket officially released, let’s take a deep dive into the seedings and matchups.
There were not many surprises on the cut line, with a feel good story in Washington State making the tournament for the first time in 30 years after a last place preseason prediction in the Pac-12.
Notable programs that missed out were Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Houston, Notre Dame, and DePaul, who all showed flashes but were ultimately too inconsistent.
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Wake Forest was projected on the bubble by many different people and websites, so it was surprising to see them rewarded as a 9-seed. The Demon Deacons were only .500 on the season, so Oklahoma State should feel confident in their first round matchup.
How to choose the #1s
There were way more teams that were qualified to be top 4 in the country in 2021 than a normal college season, which made the committee’s decision incredibly difficult. After Stanford and UConn, five teams (NC State, South Carolina, Baylor, Texas A&M, Maryland) had a chance, with the Wolfpack and Gamecocks getting the nod.
This showed a clear emphasis on being the conference champion, but all seven teams and the final two-seed in Louisville have a great chance of going far into the tournament. Over the past three years, every 1 seed and 50% of the 2 seeds have made the final four.
The Death Quadrant
Like everyone else, I was prematurely filling out a bracket in my head and had a fair share of sleepers. Of course, most of those teams ended up on the same side of the bracket in the River Walk Region. Possible round of 32 matchups between Caitlyn Clark of Iowa vs. Rhyne Howard of Kentucky and Naz Hillmon of Michigan vs. Rennia Davis of Tennessee seem impossible to predict.
All of that star power and I haven’t even mentioned the 1 and 2 of UConn and Baylor in this region. Purely the history between the programs in this region is something to salivate over.
If anyone needs me, I will be making brackets all day until the tournament officially begins.