I am so excited that there will be a Big Dance! I even started dancing on the ESPN Bracketology show.
I remember how tough it was last season to go without an NCAA tournament. It is the best three weeks in sports – nail-biters, Cinderella stories, great action, new heroes coming through. This tournament will be awesome with a capital A because it will provide excitement galore.
I just hope each team can follow all of the protocols and stay healthy enough to compete in Indiana — I cannot say that enough.
Let me say that I feel for Louisville, Colorado State, Saint Louis, Ole Miss and Belmont for not hearing their names called on Sunday. Georgetown and Oregon State stealing bids did not help.
I thought the committee did a pretty good job considering there were a number of teams that didn’t play as many games due to COVID. It was a challenging year in college basketball, and I am thrilled we are here for the Big Dance.
Now the fun starts.
The top four seeds were no surprise — Gonzaga, Michigan, Baylor and Illinois deserved them. I know some felt Alabama deserved one, but I think a 2-seed is fine.
I think there will be a number of exciting first-round games. I’m thrilled to see North Carolina battle Wisconsin. Besides a showdown of ACC vs. Big Ten, this is a young Tar Heel team facing a veteran Badger club.
Speaking of the ACC, I thought several teams were seeded low. The Tar Heels are a No. 8 and ACC tournament champion Georgia Tech — riding an eight-game win streak with Jose Alvarado and Moses Wright — was a nine. Virginia Tech, playing just three games since February 7, is a 10. Florida State and Virginia were the highest seeds at 4.
Another interesting first-round game features San Diego State against Syracuse. Buddy Boeheim has been on fire, averaging 29 PPG in his last two games. The Aztecs counter with Matt Mitchell. This should be an exciting contest.
In looking for some sleepers — I consider a sleeper to be a team seeded below the top four — keep an eye on USC with big man Evan Mobley out West. In the East, LSU is a dangerous eighth seed. Having three outstanding scorers in Cameron Thomas, Javonte Smart and Trendon Watford makes the Tigers a threat. Texas Tech, led by Mac McClung, could make the Sweet 16 as a 6-seed. Rutgers, the 10th seed in the Midwest, is a tough out.
There are several intriguing potential second-round matchups. I love a Oklahoma State-Tennessee matchup. Cade Cunningham will be challenged by the Tennessee defense, as the Vols hope to have big man John Fulkerson back from a facial injury.
Texas Tech vs. Arkansas, Villanova against Purdue and Michigan State-Texas are potential matchups that also excite me.
People want to know which teams are going to the Final Four. Here we go, out on a limb.
It has been a big year for the Big Ten, and the league should be happy:.
MY ELITE EIGHT
Gonzaga vs. Iowa
Michigan vs. Alabama
Baylor vs. Ohio State
Illinois vs. West Virginia
MY FINAL FOUR
Gonzaga vs. Michigan
Illinois vs. Ohio State
MY CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Gonzaga vs. Illinois
Gonzaga has a draw where the second, third and fourth seeds — Iowa, Kansas and Virginia — already lost to the Zags. That has to give Few and Co. confidence.
It will be awesome baby with a capital A!