The Selection Committee took to their yearly task this Sunday in preparation for the NCAA Tournament, and as always, there were surprises and snubs to be had across the board.
The NCAA Tournament Is Set — Which Teams Are In and Which Teams Are Out?
There were little fireworks at the top. The four number 1 seeds were somewhat predictable, even after two of them lost in their conference tournament finals over the weekend. Alabama, Houston, Purdue, and Kansas will be at the top of their respective regions, with the Crimson Tide holding the stature as the #1 overall.
But what about at the bottom of the list? What were the tough decisions that the committee had to make for the Last Four In and First Four Out?
Last Four Teams In:
The teams that were considered the Last Four In will all take part in the “First Four” mini-tournament that will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Arizona State came up short in the Pac-12 Tournament, but apparently had a strong enough resume to qualify. They played against 5 teams ranked in the top-10 throughout the year, and while they were only victorious once, the rest of their performances were enough of a showing.
They’ll play against the Nevada Wolfpack, who started off the season strong but are limping into the tournament. They were bounced in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament by San Jose State, after dropping the final two games of the regular season to Wyoming and UNLV.
The other 11-seed matchup will be between Mississippi State and Pittsburgh. Both teams were defeated in their conference championship games by the eventual winners, and they ‘ll battle for the right to play against Iowa State in the first round of the official tournament.
The first team in College Basketball history to miss the NCAA Tournament as a preseason #1 Team:
2022-2023 North Carolina Tar Heels.
History has been made today pic.twitter.com/9p1SYzKofe
— College Basketball Report (@CBKReport) March 12, 2023
First Four Teams Out:
Two ACC teams find themselves in the First Four Out. The North Carolina Tar Heels began the season as the number one team in the country, but failed miserably to live up to expectations. They lost five of six games in early February, which ultimately cost them their spot in the tournament.
But there was another moment in the season that may have helped get the Heels into the Big Dance had things gone differently. UNC had a matchup with Alabama early in the season, the team that would go on to be the #1 overall seed in the entire tournament. The game back in November featured four overtime periods, and the Crimson Tide were able to edge out the Heels for what was one of the most pivotal games of the season.
Clemson finished the season at an up and down pace after an impressive run around the start of the New Year, but their chances were dashed when they lost to Virginia in the second round of the ACC Tournament.
Rutgers and Oklahoma State join them on the outside looking in, the latter of whom are considered by many to be the biggest snubs of the NCAA Tournament.
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