NCAA's March Madness being played in shadow of scandal

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Musketeers could be poised to break through this season. Purdue and Villanova could meet in the East Region final months after it was expected they would play in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

St. Bonaventure, which had been considered a lock to join the tournament field for the first time since 2012 in the days leading up to Selection Sunday, was now no longer a sure thing as the cable TV special, which was shown on the RC's videoboard that hangs above center court, began at 6 p.m. "If we beat Providence we get to play North Carolina". "I think it's a no-brainer. Experience helps, but being ready to play that night is the most important thing".

The Cavaliers headline the South Region bracket, earning a No. 1 seed for the sixth time in program history. Michigan State will go into Friday's game against Bucknell not having played a game in two weeks because of the Big Ten's early conference tournament.

Virginia finds itself as the No. 1 seed in the South Region.

The victor of the game will face the North Carolina/Lipscomb victor on Sunday, with a trip to the West Regional in Los Angeles on the line. The murderer's row Calipari heard about could start in the second round with a potential matchup against top National Basketball Association draft prospect DeAndre Ayton and his 4th-seeded Arizona Wildcats.

Others, like Arizona State and Oklahoma, elicited groans from an RC crowd estimated at 800, which was all too familiar with disappointment at this time of year (see 2016).

Blueitt's return was a huge boon to the Musketeers. Future NBA player Mike Daum averaged 25.1 ppg last year, and 23.8 ppg this year, and shot 42 percent on 3-pointers this season. A year ago, they made the Elite 8 as a No. 11 seed, and they've handled the spotlight that follow that all season.

"I was just in the vehicle and someone called me and said 'You're on murderer's row again". "The volume wasn't up high enough to hear".

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"I thought we were going to be close, " Boeheim said. Of the Huskers' 22 victories, only six were against teams with winning records (Michigan, Penn State, Maryland, Boston College, Texas-San Antonio, Indiana).

No. 3 MI vs.

As the names of teams that had been selected to receive at-large bids in the NCAA Tournament flashed on the TV screen, Jim Boeheim did the math.

The Tar Heels, the No. 2 seed in the West, will face No. 15 seed Lipscomb in Charlotte on Thursday despite losing 10 games.

Kentucky coach John Calipari had the youngest of his always-young teams this season, but the Wildcats (24-10) are playing their best basketball and won the SEC Tournament. The Wildcats knocked off Rhode Island in the A-10 Tournament Championship Sunday to secure a spot in the Big Dance, and make the bubble a bit more hard to navigate.

No. 6 Houston vs.

"Murray State was the first team to secure its bid to the Big Dance by winning the Ohio Valley Tournament, and MI was the first team from a major conference to lock up a spot by defeating Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament Championship". It made for a bracket that looks fairly typical - defending champion North Carolina and runner-up Gonzaga are in, and a few blast-from-the-past underdogs such as Davidson and Butler are playing that role again this year - even if the underpinnings of college basketball may be out of whack.

The Atlantic Coast Conference led all conferences by tying its own record with nine teams in the tournament, and the ACC needed Syracuse squeezing in as the last team to match that mark.

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