Top seeds fall in battle for Sweet 16 berths – The Denver Post

By Associated Press

March Madness has begun and the top teams are already on their way home. On Saturday night, two No. 1 seeds Kansas and Purdue, No. 2 seed Arizona and No. 4 seed Virginia were all gone — and gone with them were millions of broken brackets.

Here’s what to know with Sweet 16 bids on the line in the NCAA Tournament, including favorites and underdogs and key games:


The top four seeds in the tournament were given to Alabama, Houston, Kansas and Purdue. Each had their share of headaches to set up what is already proving to be a chaotic tournament. The Boilermakers were the first to fall, eliminated in the first round, and the Jayhawks followed the very next day.

EAST REGION: The Boilermakers earned a No. 1 seed for the fourth time, but Purdue was dumped by Fairleigh Dickinson in a near-historic upset. The region looks to be wide open for the likes of No. 2 seed Marquette, Kansas State, Tennessee, Michigan State and more. No. 5 seed Duke was ousted by the Volunteers. FDU or FAU advance to the Sweet 16 in the bracket’s biggest underdog matchup.

SOUTH REGION: Alabama, led by coach Nate Oats in a challenging season, is No. 1 for the first time behind SEC Player of the Year Brandon Miller, who has armed security on hand after being the subject of threats. The Crimson Tide opened the tournament with an easy win. Potential hurdlers could include Baylor and Creighton. Princeton is headed to the Sweet 16 out of the South.

MIDWEST REGION: Houston earned a top seed and won its opener before a tough win over Auburn even with All-American Marcus Sasser hobbled by a groin injury. Potential hurdles could include No. 2 seed Texas, No. 3 seed Xavier or the winner of a 4-5 matchup between Indiana and Miami.

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WEST REGION: Defending national champion Kansas, who was without coach Bill Self in the tournament after a heart procedure, blew an 8-point lead and lost to No. 8 seed Arkansas. Like the East, the West is now open to the likes of No. 2 seed UCLA, No. 3 Gonzaga and the winner of a juicy 4-5 matchup between UConn and Saint Mary’s.


The unforgettable plays are piling up.

Princeton used a late run to earn its first NCAA Tournament win in 25 years by ousting No. 2 seed Arizona and then answered any skeptics by ousting Missouri to lock up its regional semifinal berth. Furman celebrated its first tournament since 1980 with a win over No. 4 Virginia on a deep 3-pointer by JP Pegues with 2.4 seconds left.

Then came 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson’s win over Purdue as the 22 1/2-point underdog smothered 7-4 center Zach Edey to advance and join UMBC in the record books.

All that happened before the Razorbacks and shirtless coach Eric Musselman celebrated a win over top-seeded Kansas.


Seed No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson (21-15) vs. No. 9 seed FAU (32-3), Sunday, 7:45 p.m. ET (truTV)

One of those unheralded teams is headed to the Sweet 16. The underdog Knights of FDU may be the smallest team in the tournament, but after beating All-America 7-foot-4 center Zack Edey and Purdue, they will now face the ninth-seeded Owls . Florida Atlantic is coming off an exciting win over Memphis and coach Penny Hardaway.

No. 6 seed Kentucky (22-11) vs. No. 3 seed Kansas State (24-9), Sunday, 2:40 p.m. ET, (CBS)

Feral cats abound! Oscar Tshiebwe pulled down 25 rebounds, the second most in the tournament since 1973, when Kentucky beat Providence. That’s just four fewer rebounds than Kansas State had in its 77-65 win over Montana State. K-State’s win was its first in the tournament since 2018, when it beat … Kentucky.

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No. 7 seed Michigan State (20-12) vs. No. 2 seed Marquette (29-6), Sunday, 5:15 p.m. (CBS)

Quick, name two coaches you think are great. Tom Izzo and Shaka Smart have to be in the top 10, but only one will reach the Sweet 16 this tournament. The Spartans ousted Southern Cal behind 17 points from Joey Hauser, and will face a Marquette team that got 18 straight points from Kam Jones in the second half of a 78-61 win against Vermont.


Gun violence has claimed lives and disrupted college sports all season, affecting some of the top programs in college basketball, including Alabama. Coaches have been thrust into uncertain and unwelcome roles in trying to navigate the issue—as well as the fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

On a lighter note, if you feel like you know March Madness pretty well, try this 25-question trivia quiz put together by the AP.


The NCAA tournament is filled with great players and the AP All-America team is a good place to get to know the names. There’s also an event where guys you’ve never heard of can take a star turn. Guard play is always going to be important (see: Baylor, title winner in 2021), and there are some NBA prospects in the mix.

Bet on this, too: Some players—perhaps more than one—will have a chance to join the mustache-obsessed Doug Edert (remember Saint Peters’ inspirational run last year?) and find a way to cash in on his celebrity.


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Every game in the men’s tournament will be broadcast — here’s a schedule — either on CBS, TBS, TNT or TruTV and their digital platforms. CBS, which also has a handy schedule that includes announcing teams, will handle the Final Four and national title games this year.

The NCAA streams games via the March Madness Live option, and CBS games are streamed on Paramount+. Fans of longtime play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz should savor every moment: It’s his last NCAA Tournament appearance.


Who will win the national championship? The betting favorites as of Saturday to reach the Final Four are (in order) Houston, Alabama, UCLA, Texas, UConn and Tennessee, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.


Selection Sunday set the bracket matchups for the First Four and first- and second-round games stretching from Florida to California. The Sweet 16 weekend will see games in New York City (East Region), Las Vegas (West), Kansas City, Missouri (Midwest), and Louisville, Kentucky (South).

Where is the Final Four? In Houston, April 1, with the championship game on April 3. Basketball lovers, take note: The NCAA women’s tournament will hold its Final Four in Dallas, a four-hour drive up the road from Houston.

Can’t get enough of March Madness? Well, there is talk of expanding the tournament despite a number of challenges. Enjoy the 68 layer version for now!


AP March Madness coverage: and bracket: and and

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