The Dance is Here

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Alex Kriese

Staff Writer

 

March is here it seems like a wonderful time for a dance. Lucky enough, March Madness is here. With the NCAA conference championships coming to a close this weekend, many teams are hoping they will be selected to participate in the big dance. The 64 best college basketball teams in the nation are invited to participate in a two-and-a-half week, single-elimination tournament to determine this year’s NCAA champions.

The teams looking in who don’t have a guaranteed spot are called bubble teams, these teams have their fate resting on the selection committee and can no longer do anything to help their stock on Selection Sunday. Many times these are the teams that have to perform well in their conference tournament to have any hope of an invite. These bubble teams are mostly from the biggest five conferences – the Big 12, Big 10, SEC, Pac-12, and ACC. The WCC always sends their conference winner, the team who has proved themselves the most, this year that’s No.4 Gonzaga. The WCC will most likely be sending two teams this year to the tournament, the other being No.19 St. Mary’s. USF did have shot to make it to the final bracket by winning the West Coast Conference tournament, but the Dons made an early exit, losing to Santa Clara 69-76 on Saturday night.

Some other bubble teams that are keeping their hopes high for their conference’s tournament include Syracuse, USC, and No.20 Wichita State. Syracuse has the toughest road, The Orange must go through No.6 North Carolina, then either No.10 Louisville or No.14 Duke and finally either No.22 Notre Dame or No.16 Florida State. The ACC conference tournament started on Tuesday, March 7th. Syracuse must win their conference championship because of their lackluster season, they did have notable wins against Duke (No.10 at the time), Virginia (No.7 at the time), and Florida State (No.6 at the time). USC has to beat No.7 Arizona and No.5 Oregon to win their championship. Both Oregon and Arizona have already locked in their tournament spots, so they won’t have much to play for in their conference tournament. USC on the other hand lost both games against both teams during the regular season. March may not have much Trojan basketball. Wichita State has the easiest time out of these three teams, it helps being ranked No.2 in your conference on top of a No.20 Associated Press ranking. Wichita State’s Missouri Valley Conference tournament started March 3rd, with two wins – against Bradley and Missouri State. Finally, the Shockers defeated the Illinois State Redbirds in Sunday’s championship game. Wichita State will surely continue to dance their way through March.

A few big name locks into the March Madness tournament are University of North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Villanova – the defending National Champions, Florida, and Kentucky.
Photo: Wiki Commons

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