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NCAA Tournament Men’s Bracket Revealed: KNEEJERK REACTION THREAD

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The NCAA Tournament bracket is released, and the gang’s all here from the Big Ten—here’s the bracket, now tell us your knee-jerk reaction.

NCAA Basketball: Juwan Howard Press Conference Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY NET

Bracket’s out! Were your bracketology predictions correct?

ALL NINE Big Ten teams who were on the bubble or in contention made it to the Dance—so it’s just a matter of where they shake out now. Let’s take a quick look at the brackets.

First Four:

Dayton, OH

[16 — South] Wright State Raiders vs. Bryant Bulldogs
[16 — Midwest] Texas Southern Tigers vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders
[11 — West] Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
[12 — East] Indiana Hoosiers vs. Wyoming Cowboys

KNEEJERK REACTION: Surprised to see Indiana here, not surprised to see Rutgers. The Knights have felt like a First Four team all year. Feels a little harsh to the Hoosiers and perhaps a disrespecting of the Big Ten Tournament? I don’t know.

West Region:

Portland, OR

[1] Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. [16] Georgia State Panthers
[8] Boise State Broncos vs. [9] Memphis Tigers

Buffalo, NY

[5] UConn Huskies vs. [12] New Mexico State Aggies
[4] Arkansas Razorback vs. [13] Vermont

San Diego, CA

[6] Alabama Crimson Tide vs. [11] Rutgers/Notre Dame
[3] Tennessee Volunteers vs. [14] Longwood Lancers

Greenville, SC

[7] Michigan State Spartans vs. [10] Davidson Wildcats
[2] Duke Blue Devils vs. [15] Cal State-Fullerton Titans

KNEEJERK REACTION: Storylines, storylines, storylines. Enjoy the return of Foster Loyer, Sparty. Oh, and Duke! Good god. How awful is this.

If Rutgers gets here, Alabama should be able to run past them riiiight quick.

South Region:

San Diego, CA

[1] Arizona Wildcats vs. [16] Wright State/Bryant
[8] Seton Hall Pirates vs. [9] TCU Horned Frogs

Pittsburgh, PA

[5] Houston Cougars vs. [12] UAB Blazers
[4] Illinois Fighting Illini vs. [13] Chattanooga Mocs

Indianapolis, IN

[6] Colorado State Rams vs. [11] Michigan Wolverines
[3] Tennessee Volunteers vs. [14] Longwood Lancers

Pittsburgh, PA

[7] Ohio State Buckeyes vs. [10] Loyola-Chicago Ramblers
[2] Villanova Wildcats vs. [15] Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens

KNEEJERK REACTION: I...just...why is Ohio State, at this point? Here’s hoping Loyola means I don’t have to watch a second of them this year.

I’m honestly very surprised Michigan’s in the Dance. I figured they’d need to beat Indiana, and for them to not even be a First Four team...guess that brand still gets you somewhere. They get a REALLY interesting matchup in David Roddy and the Rams, though, who have a really efficient offense that could catch the Wolverines on a bad day.

As for Illinois, I’m not as scared of the Mocs as Seth Davis suggested on the Selection Show—he took them to beat Illinois in Round 1. They’ll try to gum it up, but I’d think Illinois learned their lesson from the Loyola debacle last year. Of course, awaiting them the next round is Houston, and if you thought the Indiana game was low-scoring...first one to 60 wins.

Midwest Region:

Fort Worth, TX

[1] Kansas Jayhawks vs. [16] Texas Southern/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
[8] San Diego State Aztecs vs. [9] Creighton Bluejays

Buffalo, NY

[5] Iowa Hawkeyes vs. [12] Richmond Spiders
[4] Providence Friars vs. [13] South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Milwaukee, WI

[6] LSU Tigers vs. [11] Iowa State Cyclones
[3] Wisconsin Badgers vs. [14] Colgate Raiders

Greenville, SC

[7] USC Trojans vs. [10] Miami Hurricanes
[2] Auburn Tigers vs. [15] Jacksonville State Gamecocks

KNEEJERK REACTION: Yeah, I mean...wisconsin as a 3-seed is fine. Whatever. Another favorable look for the badgers with a rudderless LSU waiting in the second round, since Will Wade liked to do ALL the crimes.

For Iowa, they draw a hot team in the Spiders, who just knocked off Davidson to win the A-10...but I was hoping they’d draw the Jackrabbits. THAT would’ve been a good, high-scoring game.

East Region:

Fort Worth, TX

[1] Baylor Bears vs. [16] Norfolk State Spartans
[8] North Carolina Tar Heels vs. [9] Marquette Golden Eagles

Portland, OR

[5] Saint Mary’s Gaels vs. [12] Wyoming/Indiana
[4] UCLA Bruins vs. [13] Akron Zips

Milwaukee, WI

[6] Texas Longhorns vs. [11] Virginia Tech Hokies
[3] Purdue Boilermakers vs. [14] Yale Bulldogs

Indianapolis, IN

[7] Murray State Racers vs. [10] San Francisco Dons
[2] Kentucky Wildcats vs. [15] Saint Peter’s Peacocks

KNEEJERK REACTION: Indiana has reason to feel jilted, but it’s another sign that conference tournaments lack that pull that the regular-season body of work does. Wyoming’s an intriguing matchup, as the ‘Pokes can both fill it up but also like to gum it up on defense.

For Purdue, that draw of Texas in the second round...oof. How do YOU feel about another date with Chris Beard, Boilers? Because I, uh...

Early on, I’ll take Kentucky out of this region, though it could as easily be Baylor, to my mind.


Leave us your KNEEJERK REACTIONS in the comments!

Stay tuned tomorrow—we’ll have a recap of the Big Ten title game, full reactions from the OTE staff to the NCAA Tournament bracket, a bracket challenge, and more as the week goes on.