By Sam Bell, Opinion Editor
Photo courtesy of Sam Bell
It’s a new year, ladies and gentlemen, and with a new year comes a new March Madness bracket. These teams have worked hard and now it all comes down to this. What are the matchups looking like for the first round?
Let’s start by looking at the Midwest Region, which conveniently has Michigan and Michigan State within it this year. Michigan, who defeated Wisconsin in the Championship of the B1G Tournament, pulled a No. 7 seed and will go up against 10 seed Oklahoma State. Michigan State will be looking to redeem themselves after an embarrassing March Madness last season as a No. 9 seed, playing against the No. 8 Miami Hurricanes. Kansas has the top seed for the Midwest. The Cardinals of Louisville (2) will try to survive and advance against Jacksonville State (15). The remaining matchups in the Midwest are Oregon (3) – Iona (14), Creighton (6) – Rhode Island (11), Purdue (4) – Vermont (13) and Iowa State (5) – Nevada (12).
In the East Region, Villanova took the top spot. Duke, who earned a number two ranking, will try to survive and advance to the round of 32 against Troy (15). The East Region also features Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Baylor, Virginia, Florida and Marquette, among others.
As far as the West Region goes, Gonzaga clinched the top seed and will play the 16 seed San Diego State. Arizona also got a great seeding, and with the number two seed get to play No. 15 UND. Notre Dame is also in this region, and will go up against Princeton. Also the former Cinderella from a couple seasons back, Florida Gulf Coast University, is back in it this year and battle in-state rival Florida State. A couple other teams to watch in this region are Maryland, Xavier, Bucknell and West Virginia.
Last but not least is the South Region. North Carolina took the first seed in this region, with Kentucky getting the second. UCLA clinched the third and Butler has the fourth. Other teams in this region are Wichita State, Cincinnati, Minnesota and Arkansas.
March Madness play officially begins Thursday, March 16. Be sure to tune in the next couple weeks, because this sure will be a tournament worth watching.