March 16 | Final Update 11:35 p.m. ET
The NCAA Tournament is the greatest sporting event in America. Three weeks of drama, excitement and wild finishes make March Madness the ultimate, baby! Let's get right to it -- here are my thoughts on what transpired Selection Sunday.
Shock City Snubs: How Were They Left Out?
Boston College and Seton Hall -- I can't believe the Eagles and Pirates were snubbed by the selection committee. Each team went 10-6 in the Big East. Never before have two Big East teams with 10 conference wins missed out on the Big Dance in the same year. How could Auburn, with a Cupcake City preconference schedule, get in over these two solid teams? The Big East got no respect, baby!
Shock City Bid: How Did They Get In?
Auburn -- I don't know what the selection committee was thinking in inviting the Tigers. Their preconference schedule was a joke, facing the likes of Wofford, Georgia State and North Texas. Plus, Auburn lost to Western Kentucky by 19 points and to Western Michigan by 18 at home. And the Tigers head into the tourney in a 5-9 slump over their past 14 games.
No Seeding Respect
Kansas and Connecticut -- The Jayhawks won the Big 12 regular-season championship, and they can make a strong case that they should be a No. 1 seed. For them to be given a No. 2 seed in the West Region, with Arizona the No. 1 and Duke the No. 3 -- that's a tough scenario. Also, UConn got only a No. 5 seed. They deserved better. Again, no respect for the Big East (I also thought Pittsburgh should have been the No. 1 seed in the East).
West, then South -- Powerhouse teams like Arizona (No. 1 seed), Kansas (2), Duke (3) and Illinois (4) make the West the toughest region. In the South, with Maryland a No. 6 seed and Connecticut a No. 5, you can see the depth of that region.
Dickie V's Sleepers
West -- Memphis (No. 7 seed)
Midwest -- Missouri (6)
East -- Mississippi State (5)
South -- Maryland (6)
Dickie V's Final Four Picks
Championship Game -- Kentucky-Florida
National Champion -- Kentucky
I don't understand putting Kentucky and Arizona on the same side of the bracket -- they've been the two most dominant teams in the nation all season long. They should have been placed so they have the opportunity to meet in the championship game -- Wildcats vs. Wildcats, as in 1997 -- not the national semifinals.
How can you not like Kentucky to win it all, baby? The Wildcats are tenacious defensively and they have great inside-outside balance. Plus, while senior guard Keith Bogans has been their leader, they don't depend on just one star -- it's a total team effort. I expect Kentucky to go to New Orleans and win the eighth national title in school history -- and the second for coach Tubby Smith, who led Kentucky to the title in 1998, his first year in Lexington.