Hopefully CBS will learn its lesson and not stretch the bracket reveal to nearly two hours in the future, wow was that awful. What wasn't awful is that the Big Ten did earn seven bids to the Big Dance. What was also pretty awful is that the committee seemed to sacrifice Big Ten team's seeding for the sake of trying to create compelling first weekend match-ups.
No.2 Midwest: Michigan State Spartans
First Round Opponent: Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders
The first snub of the night was Tom Izzo's squad, fresh off of a Big Ten Tournament Title, being left off of the 1-line. Though being given a 2-seed in the Midwest region may not be the worst thing in the world. The Virginia Cavaliers are the 1-seed in the region, and is still not up to snuff offensively (checks Kenpom to see that they are ninth in adjusted offense, spitting water all over laptop). A Big Ten Championship rematch in the Elite 8 isn't out of the realm of possibility.
Denzel Valentine and company have a pretty clear path to the promised land, expect a lot of America to share that sentiment in bracket picks this week.
No.5 Midwest Region: Purdue Boilermakers
First Round Opponent: Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans
Purdue is probably where it should be in terms of seeding, though certainly they could have argued for a spot on the 4-line. How deep Purdue goes is going to depend all on guard play, as we know that the frontcourt is certainly up there with any in the country when you've got two 7-footers in AJ Hammons and Isaac Haas with Caleb Swanigan to compliment.
The Boilermakers could certainly find themselves with a Sweet Sixteen date against Virginia in a game that Purdue would match up well. The 5-seed is dangerous this year because the committee decided to load it with Big Ten firepower.
No.5 East Region: Indiana Hoosiers
First Round Opponent: Chattanooga Mocs
Look no further than the Big Ten regular season champions to see the inconsistency of this year's seeding. That or, as our friends at Crimson Quarry are doing, it makes you break out the tinfoil hats.
Indiana's loss on Friday to Michigan appears to have knocked down Indiana a full two lines, while Michigan State's run this week did nothing for seeding. Go figure. Yes, the Big Ten Championship typically is never a big factor, but why would the Committee come out and say it had four brackets based on the the results of the final two games?
Anyway, Indiana, like I said earlier this week, will be a bracket buster one way or another. Folks seem to already have them losing in the first round or making it past the Kentucky Wildcats to face the top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels.
Oh, yeah. That's the big thing. Indiana and Kentucky refuse to play each other in the regular season, so many think the Committee uses its position of playing God to do just that.
Yogi Ferrell will view this week as an NBA tryout and certainly be ready. If Robert Johnson can come back healthy, watch out, the Hoosiers have the pieces to make some noise.
No.5 South Region: Maryland Terrapins
First Round Opponent: South Dakota State Jackrabbits
This may be the most dangerous team of the three on the 5-line. The Jackrabbits will put up a fight, but if Maryland survives, look out. Cal is going to be an upset special against Hawaii, which could open up an easy path to the Sweet Sixteen.
The South could be complete chaos, and a balanced team like Maryland may be what is needed to come out of the wreckage. Compared to Indiana, who is 1-3 in a tournament setting, and Purdue, who's back-court is still a question mark, the preseason Big Ten favorite will not exit quietly.
No.7 South Region: Iowa Hawkeyes
First Round Opponent: Temple Owls
Speaking of teams that could turn the South Region on its head, the Iowa Hawkeyes slipped all the way to a 7-seed. But if the Hawkeyes can return to their January form, they could take advantage of the Villanova Wildcats' notorious early tournament struggles.
Iowa has a starting five led by Jarrod Uthoff and Peter Jok that, on paper, has the looks of a team that can make a deep run. The last two weeks will have many picking Temple in that 7-10, but hell, this field is open enough that we could get that Iowa-Maryland tournament match-up people expected just a few weeks ago.
No.7 East Region: Wisconsin Badgers
First Round Opponent: Pittsburgh Panthers
Wisconsin will try to replicate its run to the finals from a year ago, but without Bo Ryan and without Frank Kaminsky. The Badgers do have Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig who have been through this before.
Many already have Wisconsin getting not only past Pitt, but past 2-Seed Xavier as well. You could place them in the the "happy to be here" category. But the Badgers did show in a stretch of 11 conference wins in 12 games that they are capable. (There is a theme here, there a like 35 teams that legitimately make a run.
No.11 East Region: Michigan Wolverines
First Four Opponent: Tulsa Golden Hurricanes
The Michigan Wolverines got into the field by the skin of their teeth and will have to play an extra game. Notre Dame awaits the winner. So put the tinfoil hats on for them refusing to play football.
Michigan without Caris LeVert is really in the "happy to be here" category. Though expect them to get past what is easily the most head-scratching bid in recent memory, in Tulsa.
Seven teams, in a wide open field, and six with a realistic shot at a deep run. If the Committee was trying to make sure that we stay glued to our televisions over the next week with the potential match-ups, it looks like they succeeded.