Villanova top seed; Syracuse left homeBy Gladys Abbott Mar 14, 2017
Villanova's Kris Jenkins (2) celebrates after a championship NCAA college basketball game against Creighton in the finals of the Big East men's tournament Saturday, March 11, 2017, in NY.
There is also the question of whether the Duke Blue Devils jumped to a No. 1 seed by winning four games in four days to take the ACC Tournament.
Also look out for the six seed in the region, SMU, as a potential dark horse.
And that's only an abbreviated sampling of teams with a legitimate chance to win college basketball's national championship when the NCAA Tournament begins this week.
Nova started the season 14-0 before losing at Big East rival Butler in early January. He told kids that they need to have the mindset of winning and being a great player to actually become a great player. But that should not detract from the fact that they piled on 32 wins this season and took the conference title.
On upset alert surely is No. 5 Virginia, which will have to contend with No. 12 UNC Wilmington - a team that almost upset Duke a year ago. This year's team enters the NCAAs on a roll. The Tar Heels lost to Duke in the ACC tournament last weekend, but still are 27-8 and one of three favorites to win this region.
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The full 2017 NCAA Tournament printable bracket, as well as the schedule of games and matchups, will be added after they are announced.
ARIZONA (30-4) earned the Pac-12's automatic NCAA Tournament berth on Saturday after defeating OREGON, 83-80, in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game. If the Wildcats make it out of their two games in Buffalo, they head a little south to New York's Madison Square Garden, where they just won the Big East Tournament. The Gophers give the Red Raiders only 1 point on the betting line in Thursday's game in Milwaukee. The last first-time victor was Florida in 2006, and the Gators repeated the next year. We're happy we won the Big East Tournament. Nobody can take what we did past year from us. You are free to root for a meteor to strike Bridgestone Arena. "We gotta take care of business this year".
The quartet will be competing for a trip to the NCAA Final Four hosted by Conference member ARIZONA STATE at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., April 1 and 3. It happened again in conference tournaments, OR losing a great two-way player in Chris Boucher with a left knee injury and Minnesota losing shooter Akeem Springs with an Achilles' injury in his right ankle. In the last four seasons, this Villanova senior class is a combined 13-2 at Madison Square Garden. The Wildcats will face an East regional that includes Duke as the No. 2. They have one of the easiest roads to a Final Four. Yes, Duke is the No. 2 in Villanova's region. After a pair of 12-seeds (Little Rock and Yale) advanced past the Round of 64 previous year, there has now been at least one such upset in eight of the last nine tournaments.
To compare, past year 11 teams fell into that category.
Some of the Privateers described winning Saturday's title game as nearly "living a sports movie", and said they never doubted that things would go their way in the end.
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