The field of 68 is set, and after a long weekend of debating who would make the Big Dance and who would be left out, it is time for us to turn our attention to the actual games.
Due to the increase from 65 to 68 teams, there are two more play-in games this year, meaning more madness to March. Two of the play-in games feature 16 seeds while the other two games include four teams that were all fortunate to be on the right side of the bubble.
The four games will all take place in Dayton, Ohio on Tuesday and can be seen on ESPN.
Every NCAA tournament game is filled with plenty of emotion, and Tuesday should be no different. You will have four 16 seeds trying to play one more game in their season along with two 11 and two 12 seeds, each who want to advance and perhaps start a Cinderella run.
Remember that these are just predictions and this article will have no impact on what actual happens.
The fact that UAB made the tournament shocked a lot of people including myself. In fact, most bracketologists didn't even have them in their last two or three teams out, heading into the Selection Sunday show.
But with a closer look, it is not too surprising why the Blazers made it into the field. They are led by Jamarr Sanders, a flashy guard who averages nearly 18 points a game. He has been the key reason why UAB reached 22 wins this year, while winning the regular season C-USA title.
Clemson had a good finish to the season, and it would have been made even better if they could have held off UNC in an ACC Tournament semifinal game. Regardless, the Tigers were able to make the Big Dance as a bubble team and have the ability to make some noise.
They too are led by a guard, this one being Demontez Stitt, who averages close to 15 points a game. Jerai Grant is another player that should the Tigers an edge in this play-in game. Look for the play of these two experienced seniors to lead Clemson to victory.
My pick: Clemson
Although the Trojans lost to teams like Rider and Bradley during the regular season, they also posted great wins over Texas and Tennessee and came very close to knocking off top seed Kansas.
Nikola Vucevic is a beast inside and has all the makings of a solid NBA player. Meanwhile, Jio Fontan is one of the better guards in the Pac-10, and Alex Stephenson adds great size to the Trojans.
USC's biggest liability may be their head coach, Kevin O'Neil, who was suspended for the Pac-10 Tournament after he got into a verbal altercation with an Arizona booster, who may or may not have have had an impact on whether O'Neil got fired from Arizona, back when he was the Wildcats' head coach. Fittingly, the Trojans lost to Arizona in the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament but still made the Big Dance.
VCU, much like USC, was fortunate to make the tournament as they edged out schools like Virginia Tech for this 11-seed. The Rams will need good performances from forward Jamie Skeen and guard Bradford Burgess, in order for them to hang with the physical Trojans. In the end, I think USC will have their way with a much smaller VCU team.
My pick: USC