March Madness preview: What to know before filling out your tournament bracket


Phil Roeder / Wikimedia Commons

With Selection Sunday set for March 15, the nation’s best basketball teams are preparing for a chance at a national championship. The Kansas Jayhawks’ dominant 28-3 record will place them among the top of the ranks.

With the college basketball season ending this week, the focus now switches to March Madness. On Sunday, March 15 at 6 p.m. ET, the fate of potential playoff basketball teams will be determined. 

With March Madness comes bracketology. Before you start filling out your brackets, here are the four teams that will earn the No. 1 seed, the four teams that will sneak into the tournament and the four Cinderella teams. 

Midwest Region No. 1 seed: Kansas Jayhawks (28-3, 17-1 Big 12) 

Despite their loss to Baylor, the Kansas Jayhawks have dominated the Big 12. According to Sports Illustrated, the Hawks boast the country’s best NET, the strength of schedule, non-conference strength of schedule and most quality wins. All three of Kansas’ losses have been against a team within the Top 25 (Villanova, Baylor, Duke).

The Jayhawks clinched the Big 12 regular-season championship by defeating Texas Tech this past Saturday. Kansas is led by guard Devon Dotson who is averaging 18.1 points and 2.1 steals in 31 games. Meanwhile, the Hawks’ 7-foot  center, Udoka Azubuike, dominates the paint averaging a team-best 10.5 rebounds while shooting 74.8 % from the field.

South Region No. 1 seed: Baylor Bears (26-4, 15-3 Big 12)

Baylor has done a full 180 after accumulating a 20-14 record en route to earning a ninth seed last year in the NCAA Tournament. This year, the Bears currently own the fifth seed on the AP Poll. Sophomore guard Jared Butler leads the Bears’ offense with 16 points and 3.1 assists. Despite a tough loss to West Virginia this past weekend, the Bears should still earn the No.1 seed. 

West Region No. 1 seed: Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-2, 15-1 WCC) 

The Bulldogs steamrolled opponents this season. The only exception would be an early loss to Michigan and a loss to a streaky BYU in Provo. Gonzaga should win their 17th WCC Championship this week and secure an opportunity to play in Spokane for the first round of the tournament. Sophomore forward Filip Petrusev, the WCC Player of the Year and candidate for the John Wooden Award, is the cornerstone of the Zags’ offense averaging 17.8 points and 7.8 rebounds. 

East Region No. 1 seed Dayton Flyers (29-2, 18-0 A 10)

This season the Flyers have overpowered opponents, and currently own No.3 seed in the AP Poll. With San Diego State losing this past weekend, Dayton is bound to earn the top spot in the East Region. The Flyers will be rivaled by No. 10 Duke. Despite having an inferior record, the Blue Devils own a stronger schedule and non-conference schedule. Sophomore forward Obi Toppin leads the Dayton offense averaging 20 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 63.3% from the field. 

Four Teams to Sneak In:

Texas, Stanford, Xavier and Indiana

Four Cinderella Teams:

Florida, BYU, Texas Tech, Ohio St.