NCAA Tournament Bracket Released

Real-Time Brackets

Here are some thoughts as we get ready for a final day of hoops ahead of another edition of March Madness.

The South features North Carolina as the top seed with Kentucky as the second-seed. Sometimes it's easy to spot a team in a freefall. Even as my alma mater makes history, I can't help but wonder why so many college fans subject themselves to watching not-as-good basketball on a nightly basis this year.

No. 5 in Midwest Region, vs. The committee had a surprise for the Seminoles, however, as they will face a hard matchup in Florida Gulf Coast, a team they would never schedule in the regular season. Vanderbilt won eight of its final 11 games, with six of its final 11 victories against projected NCAA Tournament teams. That's risky for a higher-seeded team going up against them. Both teams have to feel thy have a chance against Cincinnati, it isn't like they are going in to play Villanova.

This year, several teams around the country gathered together in private rooms to find out whether or not it's time to put on their dancing shoes. Every year, someone gets hosed.

This year's Final Four is at University of Phoenix Stadium, and in order for Nova to get back to the Final Four again this season, they'll have to take care of business in Buffalo, then head back to Madison Square Garden to take care of business in the East Regional. Also, expect to see a motivated Wichita team, which was severely under-seeded at No. 10.

Wichita State is 30-4, won the Missouri Valley Conference, and has, by now, established somewhat of a pedigree in this tournament.

UCLA has the nation's best offense with an average of 90 points per game. The school's official Twitter account retweeted the basketball team's game preview and offered what appears to be a not-so-subtle jab at the selection committee.

It should have been a cakewalk for Michigan State - at least to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Except this game is being played in Greenville, South Carolina. We'll always have outliers like last season, which saw a whopping 13 higher seeds win in the tournament. Virginia, you've been warned.

Unsafe double-digit seeds hang out in this region. These programs will be making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearances. Since 1985, the No. 12 seed is 46-82 against No. 5 seeds. Well, maybe knocking down the game-winning shot - but this is pretty close. And the Gamecocks have been to one NCAA Tournament since 1998 and haven't won a game since 1973.

Despite early struggles, Duke may be the hottest team in basketball. View the full 2017 bracket predictions and picks or check out our region-by-region previews.

The Mustangs are led by national coach of the year candidate Tim Jankovich and Duke transfer Semi Ojeleye. SMU also has senior guard Sterling Brown (13.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.1 apg) to provide leadership and steady production.

Second round: Villanova over Wisconsin, Florida over UNC Wilmington, Baylor over USC and the teacher beats the student, Duke and Mike Krzyzewski oust Marquette and Steve Wojciechowski. He has Duke winning it all.

"Look for experienced teams to advance". Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida.