Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Science | By Hubert Green

Who Would Win The 2018 NCAA Tournament If They Played Football

Who Would Win The 2018 NCAA Tournament If They Played Football

"Obviously, we are excited about this opportunity", head coach Bruce Pearl said.

When: Tuesday-Friday, March 13-16, 2018. It's only big win this season: at Gonzaga in January.

Here are three takeaways from the NCAA Tournament selections. Cincinnati's about a four-hour drive from Nashville.

Keep an eye on the matchup between No. 7 seed Texas A&M and No. 10 seed Providence. They beat Virginia Tech and Florida State twice.

The Tigers have been very good from the free throw line this season.

Their course to the Final Four will nearly certainly take them through the Wildcats, somehow.

MI re-gaining its late-season form means they could be a darkhorse Final Four team.

It is the 21st straight year the Spartans (29-4) have made the NCAA field under coach Tom Izzo. He is in his second year at UMBC as a graduate transfer.

Izzo clearly knows how to win this time of year, though. They also won 11 games in the Southern Conference during the 1951-52 season. The West region site is Los Angeles. The Wildcats are 9-2 favorites to win the title, according to, with Duke right behind at 5-1. In the last reveal on February 19, UConn, Mississippi State, Louisville and Notre Dame were projected as No. 1 seeds.

No. 6 seed TCU will play the victor of No. 11 Arizona State vs. Syracuse.

United Kingdom won a national title in 2012 while making the Final Four in 2011, 2014 and 2015.

Oh, and Auburn is the No. 4 seed after earning the top seed in the SEC Tournament.

The Cavaliers (31-2, 17-1 ACC) won't get the luxury of facing a team that is playing in the First Four despite being the No. 1 overall seed. Duke is the third-best team by the site's figures, with Division I's third-best offense and seventh-best defense.

Villanova has a more urgent goal as a No. 1 seed than a Final Four.

Xavier (28-5) plays the victor of the play-in game against NC Central and Texas Southern.

Road losses at Kansas and Kansas State, plus a home loss to Iowa State are the only real blemishes on an otherwise solid season. Foster began his career with the Wildcats. They defeated North Dakota in the tourney opener (84-76); Northern Colorado in overtime in the semifinals (91-89); and rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to run past Eastern Washington, 82-65, in the championship game Saturday.

Louisville had a chaotic season mired by the firings of coach Rick Pitino and AD Tom Jurich amid the Federal Bureau of Investigation case.

"I really hope that we get a favorable first round pick, but I have faith in my team that we can make it", Miles Franklin said. That's the most appearances of any Big Ten team.

He mentioned Oklahoma's six wins against top-35 RPI teams, including Kansas, Texas Tech and Wichita State, and that the Sooners' slump impacted their seeding. The Cowboys also lost an assistant coach in the Federal Bureau of Investigation scandal. Adams was the Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Year.

Middle Tennessee made its first Top 25 appearance and dominated the Conference USA regular season, but came up short in the conference tournament. The Crimson Tide earned an NCAA Tournament bid with stellar wins against stiff competition.

The Cavaliers did it with no surefire National Basketball Association lottery picks and a shutdown defense that led the nation with the fewest points allowed per game.

There will be a couple of major differences for the NCAA Tournament selection show.

TV: CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV (see below). The game is scheduled to tip off at 6:27 p.m. CT and will be televised on truTV. With the Kentucky Wildcats and Arizona Wildcats also in that top half of the bracket, they're nearly certainly going to have to play the Wildcats at some point (let's just hope it's the purple ones).

All season, the Villanova Wildcats were considered one of the top favorites to make a run in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, and rightfully so when looking at how risky Jay Wright's team has looked, especially from beyond the arc. March Madness is supposed to bring college basketball fans tidings of joy, but instead, it feels like getting coal in your stocking for Christmas. Davidson is the school that produced Steph Curry. For bubble teams such as Arizona State, Louisville, Syracuse, Baylor, Marquette and St. Mary's, that's a problem.

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