NCAA Selection Sunday: What To Know, Bubble Teams To Follow
NCAA basketball teams, fans and prognosticators will have to wait a few more weeks for the highly-anticipated “Selection Sunday” event.
Selection Sunday will take place this year on Mar. 13. Once again, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee will work together to come up with the 68-team “March Madness” bracket.
The March Madness 2022 men’s tournament will commence on Mar. 15. The First Four round will be held on Mar. 15-16 at the University of Dayton Arena (in Dayton, Ohio).
The Final Four will take place inside the historic Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Superdome will host the two semi-finals games on Apr. 2 and the national championship game on Apr. 4.
There is no shortage of compelling storylines to follow for the Road to Selection Sunday. The Michigan Wolverines, for instance, entered the second week of February with a record of just 11-9, and they’re only 5-5 in the Big Ten. It’s safe to say that practically nobody forecasted the Wolverines’ struggling this much.
The Wolverines were one of the main betting favorites to win the national championship early in the season, but now they’ll have to finish on a hot streak just to qualify for March Madness. The top Michigan online gambling websites are offering risk-free bets for new customers.
Michigan reached the Elite Eight last year, narrowly falling to the UCLA Bruins 51-49. Needless to say, anything less than a March Madness appearance at this stage would be considered a disaster.
The Wolverines, of course, aren’t the only powerhouse that has performed below expectations. The Creighton Bluejays went 22-9 last year and went all the way to the Sweet Sixteen, before falling to Gonzaga.
Like Michigan, Creighton will really need a strong showing over the final weeks to avoid the disaster that would be a rejected entry from the bracket.
The North Carolina Tar Heels weren’t expected to struggle with consistency up to this point of the season. They aren’t exactly guaranteed a spot in the 68-team tournament, but it would take a collapse of major proportions to miss out entirely on March Madness, especially with a very manageable schedule down the stretch. They’re another team to follow closely as Selection Sunday draws closer.
The Main National Championship Favorites
The Baylor Bears defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs 86-70 in last year’s national title game to claim their first ever championship.
Now, the Bulldogs will look to follow the footsteps of the Bears by bringing their school its first national title banner. Gonzaga’s quest for redemption is off to a scorching start, as they sit pretty at 19-2 heading into the final six games.
Forward Drew Timme is once again pacing the Gonzaga offense, averaging 17.6 points, six rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Timme is one of five Bulldogs players averaging double-digit points per game, along with Chet Holmgren, Rasir Bolton, Andrew Nembhard and Julian Strawther.
The defending champion Bears remain a force to be reckoned with. Scott Drew’s club has a daunting schedule to close out the regular season, including a pair of matchups with the No. 20 ranked Texas Longhorns.
Baylor’s offense has struggled mightily this season, but they’re stingy defense has kept the team afloat throughout the title defense campaign. The Bears can’t be considered the team to beat, but they certainly won’t be an easy out come playoff time.
You can’t discuss the favorites without mentioning Duke. Do the experienced and battle-tested Blue Devils have one more championship run for legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who will retire after the season?
The Purdue Boilermakers have bounced back tremendously following a down year that saw them get eliminated by North Texas in round one. Though the defense leaves a lot to be desired, the Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey-led offense will have Purdue in contention for the championship.
Many folks are hesitant to put the No. 1 ranked Auburn Tigers in the class of main favorites. This isn’t a surprise, considering that they’re not exactly experienced in the big games.
But the record speaks for itself, and it should hardly surprise anyone if this group manages to go the distance.
As far as title contenders go, the 2022 NCAA bracket is fairly open. While the top teams await the start of the postseason, dozens of other clubs will have to scratch and claw their ways into March Madness.