Daily Word: Bracket reaction
Every day, Andy Katz leads a panel of our college hoops experts in a discussion of the biggest issues, trends and themes happening in and around college basketball.
1. What is the toughest region?
Andy Katz: Committee chair Ron Wellman paused and then finally admitted it's the Midwest. It's not close with Wichita State, Michigan, Duke, Louisville and Kentucky all playing with Final Four talent. The winner of this bracket will have earned a berth maybe more than any of the other three national semifinalists.
Dana O'Neil: The toughest region, by far, is the Midwest. In order to get back to the Final Four, Wichita State will have to get by Kentucky, Louisville, Duke and Michigan. That's a murderers' row of accomplished teams and coaches.
Myron Medcalf: As Dana said, it's the Midwest Region and it's not even close. I have no idea how Wichita State will get through that slate with Louisville, Kentucky, Duke and Michigan all fighting for a slot in the Final Four. Saint Louis and UMass are semi-sleepers, too. Chaos in the Midwest.
2. What did the committee really get wrong?
Katz: The Louisville seeding is hard to fathom. I get the numbers, but they don't add up when they're not applied to everyone. I also don't see New Mexico as a No. 7 seed and quite frankly was stunned BYU got a 10. I was convinced the Cougars would be in Dayton in the First Four.
O'Neil:No Green Bay in lieu of NC State. The Phoenix played four NCAA tournament teams and beat two of them, including Virginia, a No. 1 seed. Mid-majors have a bear of a time scheduling quality opponents and Green Bay obviously tried. Meantime, the Wolfpack played hardly anyone out of conference and essentially rode one big win over Syracuse in the ACC tourney into the field.
Medcalf: I don't know why Kentucky is a No. 8 seed. The Wildcats have a win over Louisville and that's about it when it comes to quality wins. A double-digit seed makes more sense.
3. Which game is the one you just cannot wait to see Thursday or Friday?
Katz: Gonzaga-Oklahoma State should be a high-level 8-9 matchup with a late-possession finish. The Zags won't go quietly. Oklahoma State has played much better than its seed of late and has immense talent. Expect this to be one of the highlight games this week.
O'Neil: Stephen F. Austin against VCU. Both play similarly aggressive defenses. They aren't afraid to take chances, even though they might get burned. This game will be frenetic, and with perhaps a slightly better offensive team, the Lumberjacks just might get the upset.
The Latest Dish
Wichita State made history by ending the regular season 31-0 before sprinting through the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, meaning the Shockers enter the NCAA tournament without having lost since their last trip to the Final Four.
They were rewarded with a No. 1 seed, but that's where the gifts from the selection committee ended. Wichita State's Midwest Regional features Michigan, Duke and Louisville as well as a potential third-round matchup with No. 9 seed Kentucky.