Merry Christmas everyone!
On my Mount Rushmore of best days of the year, 4 seem to stand out clearly. Birthday, Christmas, Opening Day and Selection Sunday. The tip-off of March Madness on Thursday is a close 5th, but it only exists thanks to the glory that is Selection Sunday.
As it always does every year, the bubble shrinks, and a few teams get enough signature wins to make it in the field. Every February, we proclaim this bubble to be “the weakest bubble in our lifetime!” but somehow bids get stolen from mid-major conferences, and everything works out in the end:
UPDATE: Rhode Island takes the A10 automatic bid, bumping them to the top of the 11 line and moving Xavier into the First Four.
Here are my bracket predictions, in true seed order:
1- Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga
2- Duke, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisville
3- Baylor, Oregon, UCLA, Florida State
4- Butler, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Purdue
5- Florida, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Virginia
6- Iowa State, SMU, Minnesota, Michigan
7- Oklahoma State, Maryland, Creighton, St. Mary’s
8- Wichita State, Miami, Arkansas, Northwestern
9- Michigan State, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Dayton
10- Seton Hall, South Carolina, Marquette, VCU
11- Providence, Rhode Island, Xavier, Wake Forest, Kansas State, USC
12- Middle Tennessee, Nevada, UNC Wilmington, Vermont
13- Princeton, East Tennessee State, Bucknell, Winthrop
14- New Mexico State, Florida Gulf Coast, Iona, Kent State
15- Northern Kentucky, NC Central, Jacksonville State, North Dakota
16- Troy, New Orleans, South Dakota State, Texas Southern, UC Davis, Mount St. Mary’s
First Teams Out: Syracuse, Illinois State