They failed to play up to expectations created by the arrival of Simmons, who might declare for the upcoming National Basketball Association draft.
The overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament hasn't made it out of the opening weekend the past two years, so you better believe the boys at Kansas feels as if they have something to prove. They also own wins over fellow bubble teams Vanderbilt and Tulsa. Unlike last season, when undefeated Kentucky was poised as king entering the NCAA tournament, there's no obvious Goliath as teams prepare for their march toward Houston.
Second is picking the 3v14 and 4v13 matchups correctly.
At any rate, you'll need some brackets to pass around and fill out in pencil. Despite this, the Wolverines should not get too comfortable, as a win by Memphis in the AAC championship game would steal an at-large bid and send MI to the NIT in my projection. The Spartans drew the second seed in the Midwest Region and head coach Tom Izzo's team should be considered the favorite in this bracket after leading the Spartans to a Big Ten Championship in the conference tournament.
Also missing from the tournament will be marquee coaches Rick Pitino, after Louisville self-imposed a postseason ban in the wake of a sex scandal involving players and recruits, and Larry Brown, whose SMU Mustangs were sanctioned by the NCAA for violations including academic fraud. The clichéd, overused golden rule of filling out brackets has always been the inevitability of a 12-over-5 upset. RW: "There's no special feeling about being a number one seed because when you get there you've got to play".
If Asheville beats Villanova, the Wildcats will have allowed it. "I don't think I'll look at it like a chip on the shoulder", he said. Most importantly, the day we begin the 90-hour analysis of making our bracket flawless. That doesn't even include the six neutral-site games they played.
This was just a brutally competitive year in the Big Ten, with five teams being ranked in the top 10 this season - Michigan State, Iowa, Maryland, Purdue and IN - and two of those in the final poll (No. 2 Michigan State, No. 10 Indiana). They got some put-backs. The odds of one of those three teams actually winning it all are far, far less than 90 percent.
This was among the most unpredictable seasons ever. If you miss, well, so did everyone else who had UNC, KU or MSU.
These things happen every year in the bracket, weird and wonderful and purely unintentional things like Kentucky vs. IN as one possible marquee matchup in the round of 32.
Bubble teams Temple, Oregon State, Pittsburgh and Syracuse found their way into the field of 68 while Monmouth, Saint Mary's, South Carolina, St. Bonaventure, Valparaiso and San Diego State were left on the outside looking in.
It was almost an hour later by the time the network had officially announced all the teams, with Syracuse getting in and Monmouth - and its entertaining bench players - missing out.
Sears and the rest of the Bulldogs were dancing along with about 200 fans at Payne Whitney Gymnasium when it was revealed the team would be headed to Providence as a No. 12 seed to play Baylor on Thursday in the West region.
Sometimes mid-major programs like Gonzaga or Butler take initial tournament runs and build power programs on their foundation, but when it comes to truly shocking upsets, lightning doesn't strike twice very often.