Five weeks from today, fans in this state will huddle around television sets awaiting word on Iowa and Iowa State’s postseason destinations.
Some are within driving distance (St. Louis) while reaching others might take trains, planes and automobiles. (Spokane, Wash.). Still, Selection Sunday always excites fan bases, as it should.
Barring an unforeseen collapse (or an unbeaten finish), it appears both schools fit somewhere between three and six seedings. Likewise, both schools play in the top two leagues this year, so it’s unlikely either would fall too far with a few losses.
The eight first-weekend sites this year include: Buffalo (MAAC), Milwaukee (Marquette), Orlando (Stetson), Spokane (Washington State), Raleigh (N.C. State), San Antonio (UTSA), San Diego (San Diego State) and St. Louis (MVC). Host schools can’t compete in their home arena (sorry, San Diego State), but schools can compete in their own city if it’s not their arena or host (hello, St. Louis and Gonzaga).
So based on current polls and RPI rankings, here’s how I’d fill out a bracket today. Of course much will change by March 16.
NEW YORK CITY BRACKET
1. Syracuse vs. 16. VMI-Weber State winner, Buffalo, N.Y.
8. Kansas State vs. 9. UConn, Buffalo, N.Y.
5. St. Louis vs. 12. Indiana State-California winner, St. Louis
4. Iowa vs. 13. Wisconsin-Green Bay, St. Louis
3. Duke vs. 14. Georgia State, Raleigh, N.C.
6. Oklahoma State vs. 11. Belmont, Raleigh, N.C.
7. UMass vs. 10. Toledo, Buffalo, N.Y.
2. Villanova vs. 15 Boston University, Buffalo, N.Y.
1. Wichita State vs. 16. Southern-Robert Morris winner, San Antonio
8. Stanford vs. 9. Memphis, San Antonio
5. Texas vs. 12. BYU-Tennessee winner, San Antonio
4. Creighton vs. 13. Stephen F. Austin, San Antonio
3. Cincinnati vs. 14. New Mexico State, San Diego
6. UCLA vs. 11. Florida State, San Diego
7. Wisconsin vs. 10. George Washington, St. Louis
2. Kansas vs. 15. North Carolina Central, St. Louis
1. Florida vs. 16. Davidson, Orlando, Fla.
8. Minnesota vs. 9. North Carolina, Orlando, Fla.
5. Gonzaga vs. 12. Richmond, Spokane, Wash.
4. Iowa State vs. 13. UTEP, Spokane, Wash.
3. Louisville vs. 14. North Dakota State, Raleigh, N.C.
6. Virginia vs. 11. Xavier, Raleigh, N.C.
7. New Mexico vs. 10. Arizona State, Milwaukee
2. Michigan State vs. Vermont, Milwaukee
1. Arizona vs. UC-Irvine, San Diego
8. Pittsburgh vs. 9. VCU, San Diego
5. Ohio State vs. 12. SMU, Orlando, Fla.
4. Kentucky vs. 13. Delaware, Orlando, Fla.
3. Michigan vs. 14. Mercer, Milwaukee
6. Oklahoma vs. 11. Providence, Milwaukee
7. Colorado vs. 10. Harvard, Spokane, Wash.
2. San Diego State vs. 15. Iona, Spokane, Wash.
TOP 5 BUBBLES BURST: Indiana, Ole Miss, Missouri, Clemson, LSU