The NCAA Tournament Field was announced on Monday afternoon and there weren’t a ton of real surprises save for one extremely juicy first-round match-up.
Defending national champion Indiana will have an extremely tough road to a repeat as the Hoosiers were paired with Akron in easily the best first-round match-up of the 48-team tournament.
The Hoosiers, which overcame a losing regular-season record to win the Big 10 tournament, will have to knock off the Zips to earn a second-round match-up against Big East champion Marquette.
The bubble was once again unkind to several teams that just missed out on the tournament. Gonzaga, Illinois-Chicago, Saint Louis and UAB all failed to make the cut, while Stanford, St. John’s, Northwestern and VCU were among the teams to grab the final at-large spots in the field.
UCLA was awarded the No. 1 seed in the field, with Pac-12 champion Washington grabbing the No. 2 spot. Notre Dame is No. 3, while California edged out Maryland for the No. 4 spot despite losing three of their final four regular season matches.
Here is the full field and first-round schedule for the NCAA Tournament, which kicks off with first-round action on Thursday.
NCAA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
(First round matches set for Thursday, second round matches set for Sunday)
Elon vs. Clemson, winner vs. (1) UCLA
UConn vs. Quinnipiac, winner vs. (16) UMBC
Akron vs. Indiana, winner vs. (9) Marquette
Delaware vs. St. John’s, winner vs. (8) Virginia
Penn vs. Providence, winner vs. (5) Maryland
North Carolina vs. South Florida, winner vs. (12) UC-Irvine
Coastal Carolina vs. E. Tennessee State, winner vs. (13) Charlotte
Northwestern vs. Bradley, winner vs. (4) California
Wisconsin vs. Milwaukee, winner vs. (3) Notre Dame
VCU vs. Navy, winner vs. (14) Wake Forest
Louisville vs. Denver, winner vs. (11) Michigan State
Old Dominion vs. Drexel, winner vs. (6) Georgetown
William & Mary vs. George Mason, winner vs. (7) New Mexico
Penn State vs. St. Francis, winner vs. (10) C Santa Barbara
Stanford vs. Loyola Marymount, winner vs. (15) Cal State-Northridge
Creighton vs. Seattle, winner vs. (2) Washington
What do you think of the tournament field? Which team that didn’t make it did you think should have been included? Which team are you happiest to see make the field? Who do you see winning it all?
Share your thoughts below.