What Your Bookies Are Doing to Prepare — Selection Sunday

Hope Soto
March 11, 2018

As great as the conference tourney action has been, the really good stuff is still on its way.

While the Big Ten is the only major conference to already have a champion, many smaller conferences have also finished their tournaments.

Perhaps the biggest shock of the entire week of conference tournament play was seeing the Blue Raiders lose to Southern Miss in the Conference USA quarterfinals.

Sports bettors that prefer any team to win the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament shouldn't hesitate.

But seriously, I think one of the best indicators is how hot a team is heading into the tournament. Who will take the top spot this year? Our ratings will be determined by how good the games are and which teams win.

The Longhorns are 18-13 and have two wins against Oklahoma on their resume, but beating the Sooners isn't as impressive as it looked at the time. Florida Gulf Coast won the Atlantic Sun Conference by two games over Lipscomb, and they faced off in the championship game.

Here are ten players who may be particularly motivated to put up strong showings in their conference tournament this week. Because if your beloved Wildcats/Tigers/Salukis are like the "Miracle on Ice" U.S. hockey team and pull off two stunners and you didn't pick them, you will feel like a chump.

The format of the NCAA tournament Selection Show will be different than the past this year.

Cincinnati, Houston and Wichita State each split with each other and went a combined 38-4 against the rest of the league. We will need to refresh the graphic artwork and print more shirts and hats each week as teams advance, and we'll do it with as little as 48 hours' notice for three consecutive weeks. Kansas State won 66-64 in overtime. The Bearcats will have the edge because of the recent triumph.

Additionally, UNCG Athletics is now accepting requests to purchase tickets for the Spartans' first- and second-round games. This won't be an easy feat, as Texas Tech enters the game ranked No. 14 in the country. Rhode Island will make the NCAA tourney regardless of if it wins the A-10 title, but the Rams want the best seed possible and will play with that objective in mind. That's no guarantee to happen, though, since in the semifinals they would likely meet a Davidson team that they needed three overtimes to beat at home on February 27.

It would be fair to say that the tail-end of Ayton's regular season was a bit distraction-filled. That means their first game is against No. 4 seed Creighton.

Much like Notre Dame, Syracuse picked up a narrow victory in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Tuesday, knocking off lowly Wake Forest.

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"But if it doesn't get fixed in the long run it could", McManus said. Those three games will be on TBS.

To me, the most exciting part of March Madness is the exciting finishes. But late in the season, the Friars got going.

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) goes to the basket as Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 5, 2018, in Salt Lake City.

ASU went 8-10 during the conference season and has now lost five of its last six games.

Yet when the locale moves from campus gyms to Las Vegas, Arizona seems to turn it up a notch. As of Tuesday, he had eight teams in the field, with Alabama dangling precariously as the final team in his "last four in" rankings.

A new tweak is all 68 teams will be announced in the first 10 minutes of the show. The Bruins won in Tucson and are coming off a strong performance in a win Saturday at rival USC.

For teams that are solidly in the field of 68, it's fun to see who their first-round opponents will be.

The Friars are among Lunardi's last four byes, but they are in a precarious position as the Big East's No. 5 seed entering the tournament.

Jacobson pointed out that while the model is highly accurate, there are typically exceptions.

The Wolfpack will probably safely reach the tournament no matter what happens here, but they'll want to win another title, and Martin will be out to show off ahead of the Big Dance.

"I hope that it's possible that we can remember these are college kids playing a game that they love and that this is the moment of their lifetimes", Emmert said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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