Here are all our reactions to everyone’s placement and/or snub from the NCAA Tourney.
Or the NIT.
#1 Seed in the East, face the winner of #16 Texas Southern and #16 FDU, 5:50 pm Friday, TNT
MaximumSam: I’m eyeing their second round game, against Memphis or Florida Atlantic. I’d say they should be rooting for FAU. The Owls had a great season, but played literally nobody. Memphis on the other hand can trot out a lineup that might bother Purdue. They have a dynamic point guard in Kendric Davis, and a guy they can play as a stretch five in DeAndre Williams. The Big Ten doesn’t exactly trot out a lot of guys who can get Zach Edey moving away from the basket.
Kind of...: It’s on a silver platter for Purdue. Everybody loves Duke, but the 1-seed is supposed to be better than any 5-seed. Marquette and TCU are definitely manageable should they reach the Elite Eight.
BoilerUp89: I like Purdue’s 2 and 3 seed a lot. Easiest of all the regions. The 4/5/8/9/12 not so much. But if Tennessee is hurt then just go beat Memphis/FAU and Duke.
misdreavus79: Purdue has to get past the Sweet Sixteen with this draw, right?
MNW: ...do they? There’s a lot of style there, regardless of who’s coming off the 4/5/12 matchup (all due respect to the Cajuns). Oral Bob’s House of Learnin’ should give Duke an interesting time, and Tennessee has the defense to attack Purdue’s guard play.
#4 Seed in the Midwest against #13 Kent State, 8:55 pm Friday, TBS
MaximumSam: The committee must have been doing some work here. They face Kent State, helmed by former Hoosier assistant Rob Senderoff, who got a show/cause penalty for his work there. Plus, their 1 seed is Houston and former head coach Kelvin Sampson (who also got a show/cause penalty). Of course, most of their violations were for texting recruits, which is just the quaintest thing to think about these days.
misdreavus79: Somebody make it abundantly clear to Indiana that this is Kent State, not Penn State.
MNW: I have a feeling Drake will be populating a number of Sweet Sixteen lines from folks—not just Kind of... and myself—who are perhaps looking askance at Miami’s seeding.
Look, MACtion is fun and dumb and all that, but this is really a wide-open section for Indiana. Houston is good but prone to just forgetting how to offense for stretches of time, and I’ve already mentioned I wouldn’t fear Fluoride at the 5-seed. An interesting test of Mike Woodson’s coaching and the Hoosiers’ potential.
Kind of...: If you’re old enough, Kent State and Indiana actually have some NCAA history (‘01 and ‘02). Kent State’s non-conference losses are Charleston, Houston, and Gonzaga, so be warned Hoosiers. Both Kent State and Drake will be juicy upset picks, but Indiana and Miami do have advantages at guard play. But Albany is a mysterious place, no?
#7 Seed in the West against #10 Boise State, 6:35 pm Thursday, truTV
MNW: Northwestern got a tricky MWC team in Boise State, with a possibly-wounded UCLA in the R2? You can squint and convince yourselves of a Sweet Sixteen — I’m just happy to be there.
Stylistically...well, if you didn’t like Northwestern-Rutgers, you’re going to hate Boise-Northwestern. Across the board, the Broncos have length and defensive acumen—facing a 6’5” and 6’2” guard is going to be a rough task for Boo Buie and Chase Audige, as will slowing down F Tyson Degenhart.
But this season? Fuck it—the ’Cats will go as far as Boo Buie and Chase Audige let them. Either they’ll gun them into threatening a Sweet Sixteen or clank them out of Sacramento with bitter memories.
MaximumSam: A pretty tough matchup for the Cats. Boise is #31st on Torvik, and if not for two bad losses in their first three games, probably would have been a few lines higher. They play pretty good defense as well, so maybe we can get a patented Big Ten 44-42 game.
misdreauvs79: I, for one, am very glad someone else will have to deal with the annoyingly relentless defense.
Kind of...: Tricky matchup, but the other options at 10 were Utah State (#18 KenPom!!!) or USC (#36). Boise State is 0-8 lifetime in the NCAA. Nice of the committee to give Northwestern an opponent with fewer NCAA wins than they have.
Michigan State Spartans
#7 Seed in the East against #10 USC, 11:15 am Friday, CBS
MaximumSam: I liked Sparty coming into the tourney, given their ballhandlers and shooting. I still like them. USC has a weird profile - they are second in the country against the two, but also one of the worst teams in giving up offensive rebounds. They do have their own dynamic guard in Boogie Ellis, so might be a fun matchup.
misdreavus79: I mean it is March, and they’re not facing Ohio State, so that bodes well. Right?
Kind of...: Wisconsin beat USC back in November. USC’s only non-conference win of note was Auburn, and they’re only conference road win of note was Arizona State. Sparty really should win.
#8 Seed in the South against #9 West Virginia, 11:15 am on Thursday, CBS
MaximumSam: Maryland gets clubbed by the selection committee with West Virginia, who ranks 19th on Torvik. I haven’t gotten to see them much, though they look like a typical Huggy Bear team in that they are big and deep and happy to bash you into the stands. If the Terps get by them, they get #1 overall seed Alabama. Congrats Kevin Willard on the scheduling.
misdreavus79: Do it for the rivalry!
MNW: Maryland got the all-important early game on Thursday, so Willard will have nothing to complain about. Terps by eleventy.
Kind of...: Second @mnw. Willard can be tucked into bed before some teams even tip off.
Illinois Fighting Illini
#9 Seed in the West against #8 Arkansas, 3:30 pm Thursday, TBS
Thumpasaurus: Illinois is in the nightmare region but literally who cares, we were never gonna make the second weekend.
Illinois is a team the NCAA loves to prank. They put us in an 8/9 game next to 1 seed Bill Self Kansas 12 years ago, but this year they didn’t have any former Illini coaches to put against us in round 1.
The other big prank is Saint Mary’s, led by former Illini Brandon Podziemski, as the 5 seed. I was wondering what the joke was with Arkansas. thought it was maybe Bert related. But then I did some research and discovered that Arkansas is one of the worst three point shooting teams in the country. LMAO. our first round game is going to be fucking horrible.
misdreavus79: Well Arkansas isn’t as good as they were last year, so Illinois should be good, especially coming off a loss.
Kind of...: Is Nick Smith looking to improve his draft stock? Or is he just looking to get to the draft. Two very athletic, very flaky teams. Sign me up!!!
#8 Seed in the Midwest against #9 Auburn, 5:50 pm Thursday, TNT
MaximumSam: The Hawkeyes get the ever popular coach and program in Bruce Pearl and Auburn. The Tigers are 23rd on Torvik. They are pretty solid at everything but shooting threes. We all know the book on Iowa at this point - they make shots and win or don’t make shots and lose.
He Was a High School QB: Iowa-Auburn is the ultimate meteor game for me.
misdreavus79: We hate Bruce Pearl, right?
MNW: If you thought the Iowa fanbase was insufferable to begin with, look at this draw—it’s Bruce Pearl and an Auburn team that won a 43-42 matchup with Northwestern in Cancun earlier this year, then a likely date with Kelvin Sampson and the lockdown-D Houston Cougars. Twitter and damn near every Iowa blog and groupchat in the known universe is going to glow red-hot with the nuclear takes of “WE’RE GETTING FOULED EVERY TIME AND NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE, WAHHHHHHHHHH”
open a window and shove em out, coogs
Kind of...: Wow, really good work by the committee shutting up every B1G fan who’s been “show me a bigger asshole than Fran” all year. Really top notch. Iowa could win this. I guess Iowa could beat Houston, too, but I’m not betting on that.
Penn State Nittany Lions
#10 Seed in the Midwest against #7 Texas A&M, 8:55 pm Thursday, TBS
MaximumSam: TAMU is well liked by the FancyStats - 17th on Torvik. They are pretty weird - they played a soft non-conference schedule and got demolished by it, including losses to Murray State and Wofford. But then they played great in the SEC and have wins over Tennessee and Alabama. So...
misdreavus79: “Congrats on making the Big Ten Tournament final. Here’s Texas A&M. Oh and if you get by them by some miracle you can have Texas!” ~The Committee
You know what? I’m just happy to see their name called.
MNW: An absolutely brutal draw for Penn State. Enjoy the sweaty potato and a very, very balanced A&M attack that caught fire in conference play.
Kind of...: Indeed, this is a tough matchup for PSU. But Buzz Williams is a “passionate” coach, and that means A&M could come out tight and fall apart if PSU is hot early. But if that doesn’t happen, it could be a long day for the Nits.
Full TV Schedules
NCAA TOURNAMENT TIP TIMES ARE IN— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 12, 2023
First Four and First Round. HERE. YOU. GO. pic.twitter.com/c1vDgcYvcf
The NIT Selection Show is at 9pm CT on ESPNU. As we do not care enough/for any of the teams on this list—save Nebraska, sadly—this article will be published before their names are called.
MNW: Not even being listed in the Next Four Out, you wonder if Michigan would’ve just been in Rutgers’s spot had they won the first-round game then lost to Purdue.
Michigan should host at least one NIT game. I’d guess around the 2-3 line, though maybe dropping to a 3- or 4-seed.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
BoilerUp89: They should have scheduled more competitively in the non-con. They had the 342nd hardest non-con schedule according to Kenpom. Five 300+ teams. Just three top 100 teams (only one of which made the tournament). Their exempt tournament event - just home games against garbage teams.
MC ClapYoHandz: Looking at the resumes of those teams just above and below the line, the only thing I can even think of for Rutgers missing out is they must have absolutely hated the 4 Quad 3 losses.
midreavus79: Hate to see it, but you also love to see it.
Kind of...: I had Rutgers in over Nevada, but, like most years in the 68 team era, no team that got left out really got screwed. A few teams that got in were fortunate.
Also, Jay Bilas is well past his sell-by date.
MNW: But he’s a lawyer and speaks real good!
I’m not weeping for Rutgers for the reasons BU and MC Clap listed. Play someone, for the love of dog.
RU in VA: And I would assume RU also becomes the casualty of last year’s what, 9 or 10 B1G teams that made it then proceeded to shit the bed.
MNW: I mean...I guess? They’re campaigning for their shot, so...sure.
Looking forward to another chance to play basketball and wear the Wisconsin jersey— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 12, 2023
Turning our attention to the next opportunity
NIT Selection Show at 9pm on ESPNU
MNW: All you had to do was beat the Gophers :(