March madness bracket 2022
March Madness is upon us. USA TODAY Sports is here with your one-stop shop for the men's NCAA Tournament, with all the analysis and. An easy to use NCAA March Madness bracket Microsoft Excel Template and Google Sheets Template. Download free right now for the tournament. When Do March Madness Brackets Come Out? The official March Madness bracket will be released on March 13, also known as Selection Sunday. The selection. BITBAY CRYPTO PRICE
While the debate over potential snubs lasts for a day or two, the discussion of which seed can beat a 5 rages until the first ball is tipped on Thursday afternoon. Watching the games during the regular season helps to a degree but anything can happen in the span of 40 minutes of a March Madness game. More: Blank printable March Madness bracket Before you grab a pencil and start working on your bracket, take a closer look at these five teams that have the potential to bust your bracket in more ways than one.
The Mocs are battle-tested and have an electric offense that averages just under 75 points per game. Guard Malachi Smith can be a difference-maker as well, averaging ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi uses the same data points favored by the committee, including strength of schedule and other season-long indicators, including the NET and team-sheet data similar to what is available to the NCAA, in his projections of the field. If the field is comprised of 68 teams, there will be some key differences to past years, however.
The primary adjustment from a normal year is, of course, the playing of the entire NCAA tournament at a single site. This eliminates the need for geographical considerations in seeding. Additionally, there will be at least one fewer automatic qualifier this season, as the Ivy League's decision to forgo the season reduces the number of AQ entries to 31 for this season.
The top four seeds in each region would receive a bye into the second round, with four first-round games per region - 5 vs.
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Thursday night will feature the West and South Regions, with the West Region actually seeing the chalk hold as its top four seeds all advanced out of the first weekend, setting up a strong doubleheader in San Francisco with Gonzaga taking on Arkansas and Duke squaring off with Texas Tech. The Midwest and East Regions will take center stage on Friday night and there has been plenty of chaos in each to date.
Kansas' path to the Final Four also got a bit easier as 2-seed Auburn and 3-seed Wisconsin were upset in the Midwest, leaving a Miami-Iowa State matchup at the bottom of the bracket while Providence awaits the Jayhawks in the Sweet For more NCAA basketball news, analysis, opinion and features, check out more from the FanSided college basketball section to stay on top of the latest action.
Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. Brackets are open! Head to Tournament Challenge and fill out your bracket now! Here's a brief look at every team in the field: 1-seeds Gonzaga Bulldogs Let's get rid of the jerseys and talk facts. Over a year span, it has produced 10 NBA first-round picks.
This year, it is led by two Wooden Award candidates. Drew Timme , who averaged Chet Holmgren The team is top 10 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency on KenPom. Play Tournament Challenge It also has just three losses this season: one to a Duke team with five projected first-round draft picks; the second to an Alabama team that also beat Houston, Tennessee and Baylor; and a third at rival Saint Mary's in the regular-season finale.
All three of those teams are going to the NCAA tournament. Ignore everyone who's telling you to doubt Gonzaga's Final Four potential. The Zags are the top overall seed for a reason. They have been the most dominant team in America. They have NBA talent and the most balanced program in the country. And, entering the NCAA tournament, you could make a valid case that this is the best team right now. Let the haters hate.
Gonzaga is real. Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme lead the No. The cloud that hovered over Sean Miller's tenure -- the result of his ties to an NCAA infractions case and an FBI investigation that rocked the entire sport -- seemed to jeopardize the future of the storied program. The Wildcats have enjoyed a top status in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency on KenPom throughout the season, a sign of their balance and consistency.
Why does that matter? Every team that has won the national title since , except for the miraculous UConn squad, finished the year in the top 25 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. But it's fair to question the competition in league play. The Pac was arguably the weakest Power Five conference this season. You know that thing that people do when they question Gonzaga every year?
Arizona probably will be spared that illogical assessment. Baylor Bears Scott Drew won his first national title last season with a dominant effort. The Bears won all six of their NCAA tournament games by at least nine points, including the lopsided victory over Gonzaga in the national title game. But many expected them to take a step back this season. But Drew's crew has come roaring back to defend its national championship.
Adam Flagler And with Arizona transfer James Akinjo That's a lot. That depth has been significant for a team dealing with key injuries. Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua 8. The injuries are a concern for this team moving forward, but Baylor is legit, and a tough matchup for the field. With Agbaji Agbaji is a Wooden Award contender and a projected lottery pick. He's not alone. Christian Braun Self is really doing this with six guys, a nucleus of talent that could send him to New Orleans, where the Jayhawks also played in the Final Four in To win the whole thing this time will require a stellar performance from McCormack, who sometimes shrinks in big moments.
Yes, Bruce Pearl had talent. Jabari Smith entered the season a five-star recruit. North Carolina transfer Walker Kessler arrived with something to prove. And Wendell Green Jr. Eastern Kentucky and K. But when they all stepped on the court together for the first time, it was clear Pearl had assembled a team with a high ceiling and an instant chemistry that fueled Auburn's start overall and rally in the SEC.
But the Tigers limp into the postseason after a lukewarm finish. Should that concern you? Challenges with turnovers and 3s have been a factor in their late-season stumbles. Auburn won't show up to any game in the tournament with a talent deficit. Duke Blue Devils After his team's double-digit loss to North Carolina in the final home game of his coaching career, Mike Krzyzewski said, "the season is not over.
If the tournament will be decided by talent pools, then it won't be a surprise to see the Blue Devils cut down the nets on April 4. Paolo Banchero No. The Kentucky team that set the record for most draft picks from one school had four first-round selections. Only two squads anchored by one-and-done players -- Moore is a junior -- have won national titles Kentucky in , Duke in since the NBA changed its age limit for draftees in This group could become the third to achieve that feat.
And 12 of its 16 ACC wins were by double digits. The Blue Devils fit the profile of past national champions, even though they're 44th in adjusted defensive efficiency. They can overwhelm most teams in America. And they have the players to earn another ring. Kentucky Wildcats We have witnessed a handful of juggernaut performances by Wooden Award winners in recent years. Iowa's Luka Garza was a force in Duke's Zion Williamson was unmatched in But you might have to go back to Wake Forest's Tim Duncan and his campaign That's wild.
John Calipari has a rare blend of youth and experience this year. And TyTy Washington Jr. There was a stretch in January and February when Kentucky looked like the best team in America. Calipari could win a national title in New Orleans, 10 years after Anthony Davis led the program to a national championship at the Superdome. Every Kentucky fan will tell you their concerns though: In the Wildcats' first 30 games this year, only Grady and Tshiebwe appeared in all of them. Villanova Wildcats In the final stretch of , Collin Gillespie suffered an injury that would have ended his time at Villanova under normal circumstances.
He had played too many games -- in a career that included a national championship in his freshman season -- to earn a medical redshirt. But then the NCAA decided to give every player another year of eligibility because of the pandemic, and Gillespie returned for a fifth season.
The Wildcats finished second to Providence in the conference title race, on a run in their past eight games. He can get to the rim whenever he wants and he's an ace at drawing fouls. He and Zach Edey But last week, the Boilermakers were th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Two things are true with teams hovering around that tier: They don't win national titles and the potential for postseason disappointment is high. Only two high-major teams since that finished the season ranked th adjusted defensive efficiency even made the NCAA tournament -- Temple in and TCU in Neither made the second weekend and both were, like Purdue, in the top in adjusted offensive efficiency.
This is a good team with NBA talent whose defensive issues should be concerning. Tennessee Volunteers For whatever reason, some people don't like analytics when discussing a team's potential. To us, analytics allow us a second look at a team that might be better, or worse, than we think.
Tennessee was ranked 13th in the first AP Top 25 poll in March. Per Barttorvik. The Vols have a double-digit win over Kentucky and five-point win over Auburn, both in Knoxville, since Feb. Kennedy Chandler , a freshman and projected first-round draft pick, has shot But it's not all good for Tennessee: The Vols have made just Texas Tech Red Raiders When Chris Beard announced he was leaving Texas Tech, which he had taken to its only Final Four appearance to date , there were concerns about the stability of the program.
Those who remained with the team went to athletic director Kirby Hocutt and made a request: promote assistant Mark Adams, who has been coaching since the early s, and was the leader of that Texas Tech defense that carried the Red Raiders to the national semifinals in He's doing it again. In his first year at the helm, Texas Tech recorded the best adjusted defensive efficiency on KenPom and did not lose a regular-season game at home. Let's hope Kevin McCullar The projections weren't outlandish.
The Badgers had just lost a fleet of seniors and a disastrous offseason included a report of major turmoil within the program. Few expected them to field a competitive Big Ten squad. But playing without that spotlight and amid the doubts seems to have helped a Wisconsin team that would win the NCAA's "biggest surprise award" if that honor existed.
Wisconsin sealed the Big Ten title with a thrilling, late-season win over Purdue, punctuating a year that included victories over Houston, Saint Mary's, Marquette, Ohio State, Iowa and the Boilermakers twice. While a top defense and one of America's lowest turnover rates helped, the unexpected Wooden Award campaign of Johnny Davis Expect teams to keep putting an extra defender Davis in the tournament and dare another Wisconsin player to beat them. Then, they rallied and finished the regular season winning 13 of their next 15 -- a stretch that included wins over LSU twice , Auburn and Kentucky.
Arkansas ranked as the No. But the Razorbacks made just That's why this might be the team in the NCAA tournament with the largest gap between its floor see: nonconference loss to Hofstra and ceiling.
Illinois Fighting Illini Kofi Cockburn With Cockburn on the floor this season, Illinois has averaged 14 more points per possessions compared with when he was on the bench, per hooplens. Illinois, which earned a slice of the Big Ten title on the final day of the regular season, finished No. Illinois has the talent to win multiple games in the NCAA tournament; a double-digit win over Wisconsin proved as much.
But the strategy to combat Brad Underwood's squad also isn't a mystery. In five of Illinois' eight losses this season, Cockburn either didn't play or picked up at least four fouls. Even if he's available, however, can Illinois beat elite teams to reach a Final Four? Tough losses to Arizona and Purdue twice suggest the Fighting Illini might fall short, especially if they run into one of those squads with a couple of NBA prospects.
Providence Friars Ed Cooley's career is a movie script waiting to be written. Cooley was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and worked his way up the coaching ladder before returning home to accept the head-coaching vacancy at Providence in This year, he led the Friars to their first Big East title. This isn't America's sexiest team.
There are no NBA prospects or five-star recruits. But the Friars have been a gritty squad that just finds ways to win battles. A five-point win over Wisconsin. A four-point win over Texas Tech. A four-point win over Connecticut. Nate Watson The hope is that a sports hernia that's been nagging Al Durham , the No.
Even at full strength, though, questions about Providence's ability to compete against the top teams in the field -- the Friars were swept by Villanova in the regular season -- remain valid. But the UCLA squad of hasn't surprised anyone. Johnny Juzang was a preseason All-American, and had a stellar season that helped him earn Wooden Award consideration. With top marks in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency on KenPom, it fits the profile of past national champions.
Assuming Juzang's recent sprained ankle isn't a concern going forward, and opposing teams continue to miss 3s against them Being a team that makes the most of its second-chance opportunities by nailing shots from beyond the arc isn't a bad way to enter the NCAA tournament. It's a strategy that helped this team beat Auburn and Villanova. The Huskies lost their lone matchup to Big East champ Providence when Sanogo was sidelined by an abdominal injury.
Assuming their opponents don't shoot like the Golden State Warriors, R. Cole Houston Cougars Kelvin Sampson's coaching effort this season might have surpassed his work with last year's Final Four squad. That team played great defense and fought its way to the last stages in Indianapolis.
And six weeks into the season, Marcus Sasser , the team's leading scorer, and Tramon Mark , a key contributor, suffered season-ending injuries prior to the start of conference play. It should've been all over now, right? Sampson didn't get that message. His squad won the AAC regular-season and tournament crowns. It has lost just two games since Dec.
And, heading into the AAC tournament semifinal against Tulane, it boasted those top marks in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency numbers on KenPom that Final Four teams tend to possess. Josh Carlton After attempting just eight 3s in four years, fifth-year standout Fabian White Jr. That said, don't ignore the lopsided loss to Memphis in the team's regular-season finale. Houston also ended the regular season with just one win against a team ranked within the top 50 on KenPom Oklahoma State.
Iowa Hawkeyes In , Shabazz Napier and UConn were an afterthought, until they turned their late-season momentum into a national championship. Iowa is the leading candidate on that "surprise Final Four run" list right now. During that stretch, Fran McCaffery's squad registered 82 or more points in nine games.
Keegan Murray also blossomed into a potential first-team All-American and projected draft lottery pick. His is not a name enough people know. But you won't find a more impressive stat line outside Lexington than the one the forward boasts: He and his twin brother, Kris , Although the Hawkeyes' adjusted defensive efficiency in the high 90s doesn't pass the "looks like a champion" test, this is still an intriguing team.
That's because Bennett improved the Gaels' record, winning 11 more games than the previous season. Saint Mary's also finished in the top 10 in adjusted defensive deficiency. But the home win against rival Gonzaga -- just the third loss of the season for the Zags -- on Feb. It was the first time Gonzaga had been held to under 60 points since , when they lost in the WCC tournament, also to Saint Mary's. Matthias Tass , a 6-foot senior who has shot The Crimson Tide own wins over Gonzaga, Houston, Baylor, Tennessee, LSU and Arkansas, victories that helped them proceed through the season knowing they had an at-large bid mostly locked up.
They finished the regular season in the 90s in adjusted defensive efficiency on KenPom, however, putting them among teams that are volatile in the postseason. The same Alabama team, led by Jaden Shackelford A more recent snapshot of this crew, which plays at a top pace, doesn't help, either: Since Valentine's Day, Alabama has made That's good, right? But Nate Oats' squad has also committed turnovers nearly once every four trips up the floor.
That's not good. This feels like a team that either marches to an Elite Eight appearance or gets stopped in the first round. Colorado State Rams Niko Medved's squad, which finished second in the Mountain West race, is a group unlike any other in college basketball. David Roddy Chandler Jacobs 5. The Rams finished the regular season with the Mountain West's most efficient offense. They swept league champ Boise State and finished in their last nine games.
This is, however, a solid group. In Tari Eason He's also one of four Tigers averaging double digits this season. LSU is top-5 in adjusted defensive efficiency on KenPom, and it plays hard. But its conference isn't its greatest issue. Texas Longhorns As the Longhorns arrived in Lubbock to face Texas Tech this season, Chris Beard watched as a sea of Red Raiders fans screamed at him from the front seat of the team bus.
They were still mad about his departure to their in-state Big 12 rival. But Texas' is a job with a higher profile, and had always been on Beard's list of dream gigs he started his career as a Texas grad assistant. But it hasn't been easy. The Longhorns have been top 15 in adjusted defensive efficiency but only connected on Timmy Allen But his team doesn't have any stars, and its depth took a hit when forward Tre Mitchell took a personal leave of absence in mid-February.
After a solid start, Texas finished in its last seven regular-season games. But Izzo spent this season with a solid team that never identified or produced that star. And that's fine. Gabe Brown But the Spartans struggled in the final weeks of the season, ending with a record in their last 15 Big Ten games following a start in league play.
This just isn't one of Izzo's best teams. A lengthy stay in the NCAA tournament would be a surprise with this group. The Racers might not have needed that trophy, however, to earn an invite. Since suffering a road loss to Auburn on Dec. This isn't a fun story authored by a good mid-major. This is the squad that will ruin your brackets and your favorite team's dreams.
Tevin Brown Ohio State Buckeyes E. Liddell 's Wooden Award-worthy season has been one of college basketball's most overlooked. The top finalist for the honor is averaging Meanwhile, wins over Seton Hall, Duke and Wisconsin suggest Chris Holtmann's squad can joust with top-tier teams this season. But the Buckeyes did not do that consistently.
The gap in their metrics demonstrates the volatility of this squad, which is ranked 13th in adjusted offensive efficiency but st in adjusted defensive efficiency. His brother, Isaiah Mobley The Trojans did a lot of their work in the paint.
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