Villanova vs. Michigan, a championship worthy of the stellar basketball we witnessed in 2017-18. The two hottest teams in the country square off for a chance to etch their names in NCAA history. Jay Wright seeks his second championship of his Hall of Fame career; John Beilein seeks his first. It's a heavyweight bout between two brilliant coaches and talented squads.
The heavyweight bout on the right side of the bracket presents a fascinating matchup - both teams have prolific three-point shooting offenses, and both feature a plethora of versatile weapons with which to attack the other. Who will play for the national title Monday night?
And then there were four... Michigan and Loyola enter the Final 4 riding a combined 30-game winning streak, so something's gotta give this Saturday in San Antonio to determine who plays for all the marbles Monday night.
Nova Nation and the Red Raiders find themselves one step away from college basketball's most revered stage - will Chris Beard break through for his first ever Final 4? Or will the Nova offensive machine keep rolling and send the Wildcats back to the grand stage after falling short in the Round of 32 last season...
Kansas v. Duke - a blue-blooded affair! Two of the all-time great college basketball programs got toe-to-toe in what should be the best game of the Tournament thus far. It's an Elite Eight game with a National Championship feel!
Two 9-seeds will take the court on Saturday (in separate games), a shocking turn of events that is only topped by Loyola Chicago's appearance on the day's slate. Will the left side of the bracket see more chaos? Will Sister Jean have to book tickets to San Antonio?
Kentucky's impossibly-difficult path the Final Four (according to John Calipari, at least) has opened up completely, as the first region ever to have all 1-4 seeds fail to make the Sweet 16 appears ripe for Big Blue's picking. Kansas State, Loyola-Chicago, and Nevada hope to undermine that goal, though...
The West Region contains pre-Tournament darlings Michigan and Gonzaga, as well as two impressive Power 6 upset squads in Florida St. and Texas A&M. Will either upset train stay on the tracks, or will coaching juggernauts John Beilein and Mark Few derail them?
The East has become the 'Region of Chalk' with four of the top 5 seeds advancing to the Sweet 16 - All eyes turn to Boston where Villanova, West Virginia, Purdue and Texas Tech will determine the fate of their Final 4 destiny...
The Midwest region is a gauntlet of Blue Bloods with Kansas, Duke, and Michigan State leading the way. Will the old guard maintain dominance or will a new contender like Auburn, Clemson, or TCU make a run to the Final Four?
Can UNC really go to three straight Final Fours? The path is there for them, as they drew the fourth-ranked #1 seed in Xavier. The Musketeers, Michigan, and Gonzaga (revenge in the Elite Eight?!) likely have other thoughts, though...
Everyone's favorite part of the NCAA Tournament kicks off Tuesday night in Dayton, as the first half of the First Four whets our appetite for the real thing Thursday morning. We dive headfirst into each matchup and make picks on the spread and total, hoping to get the money train rolling early...
Many (including this author) thought Grand Canyon could unseat New Mexico State this year, but it was the Aggies once again who reigned supreme in the WAC. Can they bring home the tournament title in Las Vegas, as well?
The UC schools dominated the Big West this season, but conference stalwarts Long Beach State and Hawaii have Tourney aspirations as well. Parity is king in what should be one of the most competitive conference tournaments this March.
Mick Cronin and the Bearcats hushed the Wichita State preseason hype, claiming the AAC regular season crown by two full games - Cincy, Wichita and Houston will focus on rounding into postseason form this weekend in Orlando, given their at-large berths are already safely in tact.
With so many surprises in the SEC regular season (Auburn and Tennessee rock! Vandy stanks even without Kevin Stallings!), the SEC Tournament could also be filled with some shockers. St. Louis will host a far deeper league than in recent years, but who will make a run to the title?
Middle Tennessee refused to surrender their C-USA title belt led by the interior dominance of Nick King. But can Kermit Davis solve Marshall's 'run-and-gun' offensive attack which befuddled the Blue Raiders twice during the regular season?
The Big 12 is the best basketball conference in America and promises to have one of the most competitive conference tournaments. Big Dance bids are on the line as nine different teams look to crash the Field of 68.
After a clear-cut top-3 (Rhody, St. Bonnies and Davidson) the rest of the A-10 formed a massive logjam in the middle of the final standings. 12 of the league's 14 teams tallied at least 7 wins in conference, which means it could be a wild ride this weekend in D.C.
Phew, it was a rough year for the Pac-12 - not only was the league's top-to-bottom competitiveness watered down, but two of its premier programs played the season with a dark grey cloud hovering over them.
Grambling was the toast of the SWAC this year, but ineligibility will keep them out of contention for the championship this weekend in Houston - after a rather rocky conference season, can Mike Davis and the Tigers sustain their recent SWAC tourney dominance?
Home to the number 1 team in the country, the ACC nevertheless looks fairly open heading into Brooklyn. Plenty of teams have at-large bid implications, and the ultimate storyline - Bonzie Colson's potential return - should have neutral fans cheering hard for the Irish.