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March Madness: Friendly tips to fill out your NCAA tournament bracket

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Now that the field has been set, USA TODAY Sports’ Nicole Auerbach examines the NCAA Tournament bracket and which teams have the best shot at making it to the Final Four.
Northwestern Wildcats fans cheer during a selection Sunday watch party for the NCAA Tournament at Welsh-Ryan Arena. (Photo: Jerry Lai, USA TODAY Sports)
10 CONNECT TWEET LINKEDIN 1 COMMENT EMAIL MORE It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
The NCAA tournament field of 68 has been picked and March Madness is officially underway.
From picking teams based on mascots or their color schemes to the guy actively reading USA TODAY Sports’ college basketball coverage, everybody has their own way of filling out their March Madness brackets.
But if you really want to beat Gary in accounting or Lisa in marketing, or you just don’t want to come in last place of your friend’s pool, here are some friendly tips to help you win your bracket pool.
REGION ANALYSIS: East | South | Midwest | West
NCAA SNUBS: Six teams left out of the tournament
RIGHT AND WRONG: Three hits and misses by the committee
BRACKET CHALLENGE: Create a pool and invite your friends!
Don’t let Cinderella stay out too late: Only four double-digit seeds have made the Final Four, one of them being Syracuse last year. While your pool might have more points awarded for upsets, be wary of how long you let Cinderella dance.
Early bird gets the worm: Since the NCAA went to the eight-team play-in game format in 2011, a qualifier has gone on to win at least one more game and in three of the six years, a team has made it to the Sweet 16.
Understand your bracket scoring: Are upsets weighted more? Do correct picks multiply each round you’re right? Know the scoring system so you can avoid hate-picking your alma mater’s rival to lose too early.
Raining threes: Since 1987, only six teams have shot less than 35% on three-pointers and won the title. Villanova shot 37.1% last season.
Win, baby, win: Since 1992, nine of the teams to win the national championship also were regular-season and conference tournament champions. This year’s regular-season and conference tournament champions: Villanova, Gonzaga, MTSU, New Orleans, Nevada, Texas Southern, North Dakota, NC Central, Vermont, Bucknell, South Dakota State, Mount St. Mary’s, UNC Wilmington, Wichita State, FGCU and Winthrop.
PRINTABLE : NCAA tournament bracket
Will this be the year a No. 16 seed upsets a No. 1 seed?: No. Moving on.
Taking charity: Since 1985, when the tournament went to 64 teams, only eight winners have shot less than 70% at the free throw line and only one team has shot better than 78%. Villanova was 79.4% from the charity stripe last season.
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Best of this week’s college basketball action Fullscreen Post to Facebook Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
Kentucky guard Malik Monk celebrates after cutting down the net following a win over Arkansas Razorbacks during the SEC Conference Tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Wisconsin Badgers forward Nigel Hayes dunks the ball as Michigan Wolverines forward D.J. Wilson looks on in the first half. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein yells from the bench against the Wisconsin Badgers. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Southern Methodist Mustangs forward Ben Moore dunks against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the first half. David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Rhode Island Rams forward Kuran Iverson blocks a shot against Virginia Commonwealth Rams forward Mo Alie-Cox during the first half. Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Rhode Island Rams forward Cyril Langevine and forward Hassan Martin react with the championship trophy after defeating the Virginia Commonwealth Rams in the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship game. Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kentucky Wildcats celebrate winning the SEC Conference Tournament. Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Rhode Island Rams guard E.C. Matthews shoots against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the second half. Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Arizona players celebrate after defeating Oregon in the Pac-12 title game. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen (10) shoots between Oregon defenders during the Pac-12 title game. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Oregon forward Dillon Brooks (24) shoots against the defense of Arizona center Dusan Ristic (14) during the Pac-12 title game. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen New Orleans guard Michael Zeno (11) dunks against Texas A&M Corpus-Christi during the Southland title game. Erik Williams, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen New Orleans players celebrate their overtime win over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the Southland title game. Erik Williams, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Duke forward Harry Giles (1) reacts after a dunk against Notre Dame during the first half of the ACC title game. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Middle Tennessee forward JaCorey Williams (22) goes to the basket against Marshall guard Aleksa Nikolic (21) during the first half of the Conference USA title game. Marvin Gentry, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kent State guard Jaylin Walker (23) shoots over Akron guard Jimond Ivey (0) and center Isaiah Johnson (23) during the second half of the MAC title game. Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kent State guard Jaylin Walker (23) celebrates a play during the second half against Akron in the MAC title game. Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Duke guard Grayson Allen (3) reaches for the net in front of Notre Dame forward V.J. Beachem (3) during the first half of the ACC title game. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Duke forward Amile Jefferson (21) shoots between Notre Dame forward V.J. Beachem (3) and guard Rex Pflueger (0) during the first half of the ACC title game. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Notre Dame guard Steve Vasturia (32) shoots a 3 over Duke guard Frank Jackson (15) during the first half of the ACC title game. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Akron center Isaiah Johnson (23) and guard Noah Robotham (14) fight for the ball with Kent State forward Jimmy Hall (35) during the first half. Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kent State guard Deon Edwin (30) and Akron center Isaiah Johnson (23) fight for a rebound during the first half MAC title game. Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Iowa State guard Nazareth Mitrou-Long (15) celebrates with fans after the win over West Virginia in the Big 12 title game. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Villanova forward Kris Jenkins (2) celebrates after defeating Creighton in the Big East final. Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Villanova forward Darryl Reynolds (45) and guard Josh Hart (3) hold the championship trophy after defeating Creighton in the Big East title game. Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Colorado State guard Gian Clavell (3) controls the ball against Nevada guard DJ Fenner (15) during the Mountain West title game. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Connecticut guard Christian Vital (1) drives the ball over Cincinnati guard Justin Jenifer (3) in the first half of their AAC semifinal game. David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Southern Methodist guard Sterling Brown (3) works for the ball against UCF forward Chad Brown (21) in the second half of their AAC semifinal game. David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Iowa State guard Nazareth Mitrou-Long (15) shoots a layup as West Virginia guard Jevon Carter (2) looks on in the first half of the Big 12 title game. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Villanova forward Kris Jenkins (2) reacts against Creighton during the first half of the Big East title game. Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Villanova guard Josh Hart (3) drives to the basket while defended by Creighton center Justin Patton (23) during the first half of the Big East title game. Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo (10) saves the ball from going out of bounds in front of Creighton guard Davion Mintz (1) during the first half of the Big East title game. Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Wisconsin Badgers forward Nigel Hayes (10) dribbles the ball as Northwestern Wildcats forward Gavin Skelly (44) defends in the first half during the Big Ten Conference Tournament at Verizon Center. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Alabama Crimson Tide forward Donta Hall (middle) celebrates after scoring past Kentucky Wildcats forward Derek Willis (left) during the first half during the SEC Conference Tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Rhode Island Rams guard E.C. Matthews (0) dribbles the ball as Davidson Wildcats guard Jon Axel Gudmundsson (3) defends during the first half at the PPG Paints Arena. Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Minnesota Golden Gophers center Reggie Lynch (22) dunks the ball past Michigan Wolverines forward Moritz Wagner (13) in the first half during the Big Ten Conference Tournament at Verizon Center. Amber Searls, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen California guard Don Coleman (14) attempts to steal the ball from Oregon guard Dylan Ennis (31) during their Pac-12 tournament game. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen California center Kingsley Okoroh (22) tips a ball during a Pac-12 Conference tournament game against Oregon. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kansas State forward Isaiah Maurice (10) scores as West Virginia forward Nathan Adrian (11) defends in the first half during their Big 12 tournament game. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Notre Dame guard Matt Farrell (5) shoots over Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (22) during the first half during their ACC tournament game. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Notre Dame guard Matt Farrell (5) reacts after hitting a three-point shot against Florida State during the first half of their ACC tournament game. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen West Virginia players celebrate after their 51-50 win over Kansas State during the Big 12 tournament. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Oregon guard Tyler Dorsey (5) dribbles against the defense of California forward Roger Moute a Bidias (12) during their Pac-12 tournament game. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen West Virginia forward Esa Ahmad (23) shoots and draws a foul from Kansas State forward D.J. Johnson (4) in the second half during their Big 12 tournament game. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Notre Dame guard Steve Vasturia (32) drives against Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (22) during the second half of their ACC tournament game. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen UCLA forward Ike Anigbogu (13) shoots between Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen (10) and center Dusan Ristic (14) during their Pac-12 tournament game. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen (10) shoots against the defense of UCLA forward TJ Leaf (22) during their Pac-12 tournament game. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Arizona center Dusan Ristic (14) and forward Keanu Pinder (25) celebrate with teammates after beating UCLA during the Pac-12 tournament. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Villanova guard Josh Hart (3) reacts after making a basket late in the second half against Seton Hall during their Big East tournament game. Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Villanova guard Jalen Brunson (1) passes the ball in front of Seton Hall forward Angel Delgado (31) during their Big East tournament game. Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Seton Hall forwards Desi Rodriguez (20) and Angel Delgado (31) react after Delgado was called for traveling during a Big East tournament semifinal game. Noah K. Murray, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr. (1) shoots the ball as Wisconsin guard Zak Showalter (3) defends in the first half during a Big Ten tournament game. Amber Searls, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Wisconsin guard Bronson Koenig (24) shoots the ball as Indiana guard Josh Newkirk (2) defends in the first half during their Big Ten tournament game. Amber Searls, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Indiana center Thomas Bryant (31) attempts to shoot the ball as Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ (22) defends during their Big Ten tournament game. Amber Searls, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Wisconsin guard D’Mitrik Trice (0) controls a rebound as Indiana forward Juwan Morgan (13) defends in the second half during their Big Ten tournament game. Amber Searls, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Iowa State guard Monte Morris (11) is blocked by TCU guard Alex Robinson (25) in the second half during their Big 12 tournament game. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Vanderbilt guard Riley LaChance (13) celebrates after a win over Florida during the SEC tournament. Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Florida forward Kevarrius Hayes (13) misses a dunk in overtime against Vanderbilt during an SEC tournament game. Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Florida forward Devin Robinson (1) is fouled on his shot by Vanderbilt center Djery Baptiste (12) during the first half of their SEC tournament game. Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Duke guard Grayson Allen (3) reacts after a three-point shot against North Carolina during their ACC tournament game. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen North Carolina guard Joel Berry II (2) attempts a shot while defended by Duke forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the first half of their ACC tournament game. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Duke forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives up to the net against North Carolina guard Joel Berry II (2) during the first half of their ACC tournament game. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Duke Blue forward Amile Jefferson (21) attempts a shot over North Carolina forward Kennedy Meeks (3) during the first half of their ACC tournament game. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen North Carolina forward Theo Pinson (1) drives between Duke forwards Amile Jefferson (21) and Harry Giles (1) during the first half of their ACC tournament game. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen North Carolina forward Isaiah Hicks (4) shoots against Duke forward Jayson Tatum (0) and center Marques Bolden (20) during the first half of their ACC tournament game. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Michigan guard Zak Irvin (21) celebrates after the game as Purdue guard P.J. Thompson (11) looks on during a Big Ten tournament game. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Michigan forward D.J. Wilson (5) blocks a shot by Purdue guard Carsen Edwards (3) at the buzzer during a Big Ten tournament game. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Michigan guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (12) shoots the ball past Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan (50) in the second half during a Big Ten tournament game. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Michigan forward Moritz Wagner (13) trips over referee D.J. Carstensen (C) in front of Purdue head coach Matt Painter in the second half during a Big Ten tournament game. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe (13) shoots the ball during the second half against the Georgia during an SEC tournament game. Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kentucky guard Malik Monk (5) has the ball stolen by Georgia forward E’Torrion Wilridge (13) during the second half of an SEC tournament game. Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kansas Jayhawks forward Landen Lucas (33) and TCU Horned Frogs guard Alex Robinson (25) fight for a long pass in the second half during the Big 12 Championship Tournament at Sprint Center. TCU won 85-82. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Vladimir Brodziansky and Karviar Shepherd of the TCU Horned Frogs celebrate. Jamie Squire, Getty Images Fullscreen Duke Blue Devils forward Harry Giles (1) dunks over Louisville Cardinals forward Mangok Mathiang (12) and Louisville Cardinals forward Anas Mahmoud (14) during the first half of an ACC Conference Tournament game at Barclays Center. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Iowa State Cyclones guard Monte Morris (11) celebrates after scoring in the second half against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the Big 12 Championship Tournament at Sprint Center. Iowa State won 92-83. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Michigan State Spartans guard Joshua Langford (1) shoots the ball between Penn State Nittany Lions forward Lamar Stevens (11) and Nittany Lions guard Josh Reaves (23) during the Big Ten Conference Tournament at Verizon Center. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Villanova Wildcats forward Kris Jenkins (2) and guard Jalen Brunson (1) celebrate after Villanova Wildcats guard Donte DiVincenzo (10) scored against St. John’s Red Storm during second half of Big East Conference Tournament Quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden. Noah K. Murray, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Miami Hurricanes forward Kamari Murphy (21) collides with North Carolina Tar Heels forward Isaiah Hicks (4) and North Carolina Tar Heels forward Kennedy Meeks (3) as he drives during the second half of an ACC Conference Tournament game at Barclays Center. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Michigan Wolverines forward D.J. Wilson (5) prepares to shoot the ball in front of Illinois Fighting Illini guard Te’Jon Lucas (3) in the second half during the Big Ten Conference Tournament at Verizon Center. The Wolverines won 75-55. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Virginia forward Jarred Reuter dunks during the Cavaliers’ 75-63 win over Pittsburgh in the ACC tournament. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Virginia Tech forward Zach LeDay tosses as shot over Wake Forest Demon forward John Collins during the Hokies’ 99-90 win over the Demon Deacons. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Musician Flavor Flav cheers during Penn State’s Big Ten tournament game against Nebraska in Washington D.C. Penn State won 76-67 in overtime. Alex Brandon, AP Fullscreen Duke Blue Devils guard Luke Kennard (5) controls the ball against Clemson Tigers guard Gabe DeVoe (10) and Clemson Tigers guard Shelton Mitchell (4) during the second half of an ACC Conference Tournament game at Barclays Center. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon (20) grabs a rebound against Miami Hurricanes center Ebuka Izundu (15) during the first half of an ACC Conference Tournament game at Barclays Center. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski (24) carries the WCC trophy off the court after the Bulldogs defeated Saint Mary’s. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Gonzaga celebrates after defeating Saint Mary’s in the finals of the West Coast Conference tournament. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss (5) shoots the basketball against Saint Mary’s guard Joe Rahon (25) during the first half of the WCC title game. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen South Dakota State forward Mike Daum (24) cuts down the net after winning the Summit League title. Steven Branscombe, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Mar 7, 2017; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; South Dakota State Jackrabbits guard Michael Orris (50) drives on Omaha Mavericks forward Tre’Shawn Thurman (15) during the Summit League Conference Tournament at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-357340 ORIG FILE ID: 20170307_pjc_bc7_134.JPG Steven Branscombe, Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Spor Fullscreen Mar 7, 2017; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; Omaha Mavericks forward Tre’Shawn Thurman (15) dunks over South Dakota State Jackrabbits guard Skyler Flatten (1) during the Summit League Conference Tournament at Denny Sanford Premier Center. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-357340 ORIG FILE ID: 20170307_pjc_bc7_139.JPG Steven Branscombe, Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Spor Fullscreen Omaha guards Marcus Tyus (23) and Tra-Deon Hollins (24) celebrate a score in the second half against tSouth Dakota State during the Summit League final. Steven Branscombe, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Omaha guard Marcus Tyus (23) grabs a rebound from South Dakota State forward Ian Thiesen (45) during the Summit League title game. Steven Branscombe, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Northern Kentucky guard Cole Murray (25) celebrates with teammates and fans after the Horizon League championship game. Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Northern Kentucky guard Lavone Holland II (bottom) celebrates with teammates after winning the Horizon League title. Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Northern Kentucky guard Cole Murray (25) celebrates at the buzzer of the Horizon League title game. Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Northern Kentucky forward Carson Williams (23) goes up for a shot against Milwaukee guards Brock Stull (3) and Cody Wichmann (5) during the second half of the Horizon League title game. Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Pittsburgh guard Chris Jones (12) shoots over Georgia Tech center Ben Lammers (44) during the second half of their ACC tournament game. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Pittsburgh guard Chris Jones (12) loses the ball to Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets center (44) during the second half of an ACC tournament game. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Georgia Tech guard Josh Okogie (5) shoots as Pittsburgh forward Michael Young (2) falls off defense during the first half of their ACC tournament game. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Wake Forest Demon Deacons guard Bryant Crawford (13) celebrates with Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Austin Arians (34) during the first half of an ACC Conference Tournament game against the Boston College Eagles at Barclays Center. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Clemson Tigers forward Donte Grantham (15) dunks during the second half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the ACC Conference Tournament at Barclays Center. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Clemson Tigers forward Elijah Thomas (14) drives up over North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Ted Kapita (23) during the second half of the ACC Conference Tournament at Barclays Center. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski celebrates against Santa Clara during the first half of their WCC semifinal game at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Gonzaga forward Zach Collins celebrates against Santa Clara during the second half at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Iona guard Jon Severe (10) shoots the ball as Siena forward Brett Bisping (31) defends. Gregory Fisher, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Siena guard Kadeem Smithen (14) prepares to shoot the ball as Iona forward Taylor Bessick (22) and guard E.J. Crawford (2) defend during the second half. Gregory Fisher, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen The Iona Gaels celebrate after beating the Siena Saints. Gregory Fisher, Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen BYU guard Elijah Bryant (3) shoots the basketball against Saint Mary’s guard Tanner Krebs (00) during the first half. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Wichita State center Shaquille Morris (24) forward Rashard Kelly (0) and teammates celebrate as they hoist the Missouri Valley Conference championship trophy. Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Wichita State forward Markis McDuffie (32) celebrates after scoring against llinois State Redbirds during the second half of the MVC title game. Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Wisconsin guard Bronson Koenig (24) dribbles the ball past Minnesota forward Eric Curry (24) at the Kohl Center. Mary Langenfeld, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Michigan forward D.J. Wilson (5) reacts during the game against Nebraska. Bruce Thorson, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Nebraska guard Tai Webster (0) shoots over Michigan guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkmar (12) in the second half. Bruce Thorson, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Cincinnati forward Gary Clark (11) drives the ball against Connecticut center Amida Brimah (35) in the second half. David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Cincinnati guard Jacob Evans (1) drives the ball against Connecticut guard Jalen Adams (2) in the second half. David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Iowa forward Tyler Cook (5) dunks over Penn State forward Mike Watkins (24) during the first half. Jeffrey Becker, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Connecticut guard Jalen Adams (2) and Cincinnati guard Jarron Cumberland (34) work for the rebound in the second half. David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Iowa guard Peter Jok (14) shoots a free throw after a technical foul during the second half against Penn State. Jeffrey Becker, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon (3) controls the ball as Penn State forwards Payton Banks (middle) and Lamar Stevens (11) and Mike Watkins (24) defend during the second half. Jeffrey Becker, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen East Carolina guard Kentrell Barkley (15) attempts to score a basket during the first half against Houston. Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Purdue center Isaac Haas (center) drives toward the basket against Northwestern center Barret Benson (left) and guard Bryant McIntosh (right) during the first half. Patrick Gorski, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Houston guard Rob Gray Jr. (32) shoots the ball as East Carolina guard Kentrell Barkley (15) defends during the second half. Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Houston guard Rob Gray Jr. (32) drives to the basket as East Carolina guard Caleb White (2) defends during the second half. Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Northwestern guard Bryant McIntosh (30) goes up for a shot against Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan (50) during the second half. Patrick Gorski, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan (50) dunks against Northwestern during the second half. Patrick Gorski, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Like this topic? You may also like these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 125 2 of 125 3 of 125 4 of 125 5 of 125 6 of 125 7 of 125 8 of 125 9 of 125 10 of 125 11 of 125 12 of 125 13 of 125 14 of 125 15 of 125 16 of 125 17 of 125 18 of 125 19 of 125 20 of 125 21 of 125 22 of 125 23 of 125 24 of 125 25 of 125 26 of 125 27 of 125 28 of 125 29 of 125 30 of 125 31 of 125 32 of 125 33 of 125 34 of 125 35 of 125 36 of 125 37 of 125 38 of 125 39 of 125 40 of 125 41 of 125 42 of 125 43 of 125 44 of 125 45 of 125 46 of 125 47 of 125 48 of 125 49 of 125 50 of 125 51 of 125 52 of 125 53 of 125 54 of 125 55 of 125 56 of 125 57 of 125 58 of 125 59 of 125 60 of 125 61 of 125 62 of 125 63 of 125 64 of 125 65 of 125 66 of 125 67 of 125 68 of 125 69 of 125 70 of 125 71 of 125 72 of 125 73 of 125 74 of 125 75 of 125 76 of 125 77 of 125 78 of 125 79 of 125 80 of 125 81 of 125 82 of 125 83 of 125 84 of 125 85 of 125 86 of 125 87 of 125 88 of 125 89 of 125 90 of 125 91 of 125 92 of 125 93 of 125 94 of 125 95 of 125 96 of 125 97 of 125 98 of 125 99 of 125 100 of 125 101 of 125 102 of 125 103 of 125 104 of 125 105 of 125 106 of 125 107 of 125 108 of 125 109 of 125 110 of 125 111 of 125 112 of 125 113 of 125 114 of 125 115 of 125 116 of 125 117 of 125 118 of 125 119 of 125 120 of 125 121 of 125 122 of 125 123 of 125 124 of 125 125 of 125 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide March Madness blues: Louisville (2013) is the only champion in the past 13 seasons that didn’t have blue as a school color.
How sweet it is: Since 1985, Duke has the most Sweet 16 appearances with 23, followed by North Carolina (21), Kansas (20), Kentucky (18) and Louisville (14). All five are in this year’s tournament.
AC-see ya in Glendale? An ACC team has made the Final Four in eight of the last 15 years. Last year, Syracuse and North Carolina both made it. This year, the conference is sending nine teams to the Big Dance.
Count your seeds before they hatch: If you add up the number of the seeds in your Final Four, you usually want to shoot for single digits or the low teens. Only eight times has the total exceeded 14. But here’s the caveat, three of those times were the past four tournaments. Last year it was 15 with Syracuse (10), Villanova (2), Oklahoma (2), and North Carolina (1).
Won by one: Since seeding began in 1979, there have been only three tournaments in which a No. 1 didn’t make the Final Four. But only in 2008 did all four No. 1s make it.
There’s nothing wrong with silver: In the past 38 tournaments, a No. 2 seed has made the Final Four 26 times.
You can’t spell “champion” without an I: Since 1989, the national titles has been won by a coach with an “I” in his last name 21 times, including Jay Wright last season. And not since 1997 (Lute Olson) has a coach won without having an “I” in his first or last name. Best bets to break that streak this year: Mark Few (Gonzaga); Steve Alford (UCLA); Tony Bennett (Virginia); Mark Turgeon (Maryland).
How important is a conference championship? The last three national champs didn’t win their conference tournament.
2017 NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAMS
Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn 2017 NCAA tournament teams: Automatic bids Fullscreen Post to Facebook Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
The Michigan Wolverines defeated Wisconsin to claim the Big Ten tournament title. Geoff Burke, Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen The SMU Mustangs beat Cincinnati to win the AAC tournament title. David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kentucky defeated Arkansas to win the SEC tournament title. Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen The Troy Trojans defeated Texas State for the Sun Belt tournament title. Jonathan Bachman, Getty Images Fullscreen The Rhode Island Rams beat VCU to win the Atlantic 10 tournament title. Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Princeton defeated Yale to claim the the Ivy League tournament title. Chris Szagola, AP Fullscreen Arizona celebrates after beating Oregon for the Pac-12 title. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen UC Davis celebrates after defeating UC Irvine for the Big West title. Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen New Orleans celebrates after beating Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to win the Southland title. Erik Williams, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Duke celebrates after beating Notre Dame to win the ACC title. Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Middle Tennessee celebrates after defeating Marshall to win the Conference USA championship. Marvin Gentry, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Kent State celebrates after defeating Akron to win the MAC title. Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Villanova celebrates after defeating Creighton to win the Big East title. Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen The Iowa State Cyclones celebrate after beating West Virginia to win the Big 12 title. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen The Nevada Wolf Pack celebrate after defeating Colorado State to win the Mountain West title. Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Texas Southern celebrates after defeating Alcorn State for the SWAC title. Eric Christian Smith, AP Fullscreen Josh Collins celebrates after North Dakota defeated Weber State in overtime to win the Big Sky title. Lance Iversen, AP Fullscreen North Carolina Central celebrates after defeating Norfolk State to win the MEAC title. Bill Tiernan, AP Fullscreen New Mexico State celebrates after beating Cal State Bakersfield for the WAC title. L.E. Baskow, AP Fullscreen The Vermont Catamounts celebrate after defeating Albany to win the America East Conference tournament. Gregory Fisher, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Bucknell players celebrate winning the Patriot League championship game over Lehigh. Chris Knight, AP Fullscreen Gonzaga celebrates after beating Saint Mary’s to win the WCC title. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen The South Dakota State Jackrabbits celebrate with fans after beating Omaha to win the Summit League title. Steven Branscombe, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Northern Kentucky celebrates after defeating Milwaukee to win the Horizon League title. Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jamion Christian cuts down a net after his team beat Saint Francis (Pa.) to win the NEC title. Steve Ruark, AP Fullscreen Iona celebrates beating Siena in overtime, 87-86, to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Gregory J. Fisher, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen East Tennessee State beat UNC Greensboro 79-74 to win the Southern Conference championship. Kathy Kmonicek, AP Fullscreen UNC Wilmington defeated Charleston 78-69 to win the Colonial Athletic Association championship. Mic Smith, AP Fullscreen Wichita State won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Florida Gulf Coast won the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament. Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Jacksonville State won the Ohio Valley tournament. Mark Zaleski, AP Fullscreen Winthrop won the Big South Conference tournament. Chuck Burton, AP Fullscreen Like this topic? You may also like these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 32 2 of 32 3 of 32 4 of 32 5 of 32 6 of 32 7 of 32 8 of 32 9 of 32 10 of 32 11 of 32 12 of 32 13 of 32 14 of 32 15 of 32 16 of 32 17 of 32 18 of 32 19 of 32 20 of 32 21 of 32 22 of 32 23 of 32 24 of 32 25 of 32 26 of 32 27 of 32 28 of 32 29 of 32 30 of 32 31 of 32 32 of 32 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide 10 CONNECT TWEET LINKEDIN 1 COMMENT EMAIL MORE

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