It’s that time of the year.
Selection Sunday is less than a week away. The upsets, buzzer-beaters and unlikely heroes—the madness, people—has nearly arrived.
While teams are still duking it out in their conference tournaments, here’s all you need to know about this coming Sunday, March 13:
Selection Sunday Info
|How to Watch|
|Sunday, March 13||5:30-7:30 p.m. ET||CBS||New York City|
NCAA Tournament Schedule
|NCAA Tournament Schedule|
|First Four||March 15-16||UD Arena, Dayton, Ohio|
|First and Second Rounds||March 17, 19||Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa; PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.; Pepsi Coliseum, Denver; Dunkin' Donuts Center, Providence, R.I.|
|First and Second Rounds||March 18, 20||Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Scottrade Center, St. Louis; Chesapeak Energy Center, Oklahoma City; Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, Wash.|
|West Regional||March 24, 26||Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.|
|South Regional||March 24, 26||KFC YUM! Center, Louisville, Ky.|
|Midwest Regional||March 24, 26||United Center, Chicago, Ill.|
|East Regional||March 25, 27||Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.|
|Final Four||April 2, 4||NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas|
For more information about how the NCAA tournament bracket is constructed, here’s where to look.
Teams to Watch For
Florida Gulf Coast
We’ve never seen a No. 16-seeded team knock off a No. 1.
But every single year, that upset feels closer and closer. Will 2016 be the tournament where David defeats Goliath in the round of 64?
As of March 7, ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi had Florida Gulf Coast/Wagner, Texas Southern, Austin Peay/Hampton and Lehigh as the No. 16s. Villanova, Virginia, Kansas and North Carolina are the respective top dogs.
Don’t freak out when you see Florida Gulf Coast. As CBS Sports’ Sam Vecenie noted, this isn’t the legendary No. 15 squad that unseated No. 2 Georgetown, 78-68, en route to a Sweet 16 run in 2013.
“Dunk City” is dead:
Those expecting a redux of Andy Enfield's Dunk City teams will likely be pretty sorely mistaken, as the Eagles under (Joe) Dooley have [reshaped] their image under their coach. Instead of uptempo, high-speed, transition basketball, this team largely plays pretty slow and doesn't necessarily have any of the high-flying theatrics of yesteryear.
That's fine though, as they have built arguably the best defense in the Atlantic Sun and one of the most efficient offenses around it. Basically, this team looks like a mid-major version of a Bill Self team, which makes sense given that Dooley was a Self assistant for a decade.
Hey, for old times' sake, let’s re-live the glory:
Assuming Lunardi’s prediction holds true, it’s not too crazy to imagine the Eagles knocking off Nova. Though the Wildcats are a consistently elite team, their recent tourney history isn’t all that impressive.
In each of the past five years, Villanova has lost in the first or second round.
Here we are again.
By now, we’ve all learned not to doubt the Shockers when March rolls around. Their late-season surges have almost become routine.
Gregg Marshall’s squad went to the Final Four in 2013 and the Elite Eight in 2015. In 2014, the top-seeded Shockers fell to Kentucky in the round of 32. The Wildcats went on to lose to UConn in the National Championship.
This year, Lunardi has them pegged as a No. 7 seed with a first-round bout against Butler. But after failing to win the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, with a 57-52 loss to Northern Iowa, a berth isn't guaranteed:
It's hard to imagine Wichita not getting in, though.
"I think you have to watch us," Marshall told CBS Sports' Matt Norlander Sunday night. "People who watch our team and know the game, they say that team right there, they could go to the Sweet 16, maybe the Elite Eight."
In that same article, Norlander makes a strong case for the Shockers getting into the tournament.
And if they do, look out. If you think senior stars Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet are going to finish their storied careers quietly, you haven’t been paying attention all along.