Kentucky SEC Champions

With Selection Sunday come and gone, we have our 68 teams for the 2015 NCAA Tournament and bracket, including the four number one seeds: Kentucky of the SEC in the Midwest region, Wisconsin of the Big Ten in the West region, Villanova of the Big East in the East region and Duke of the ACC in the south region.

We also have three teams making their debut in the tournament, which will once again begin with the ‘first four’ quarter of games, that includes #11 BYU facing #11 Ole Miss, #16 Hampton facing #16 Manhattan, #11 Boise State facing off against #11 Dayton and #16 North Florida playing against #16 Robert Morris.

The debutants? North Florida of the Atlantic Sun, winning the conference’s regular season and tournament; UC Irvine out of the Big West, finishing second in the regular season behind UC Davis but beating Hawai’i for the conference tournament title; and Buffalo out of the MAC, sharing the regular season title and beating Central Michigan in the conference tournament.

Northeastern out of the Colonial conference are making their 8th appearance in the tournament but a first since 1991. They’ve never gotten to the Sweet Sixteen. Another school making an appearance after a long hiatus is Larry Brown’s SMU out of the American conference, heading into it ranked #20 on the AP Poll. It’s the Mustangs first appearance since 1993 and 11th overall. They last made the Sweet Sixteen in 1967 which led them to the Elite Eight as well. They have one Final Four appearance from 1956.

The Big 12 and the Big Ten lead the conferences “war” by sending seven teams each into the tournament: Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and West Virginia from the Big 12; Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue from the Big Ten.

They’re followed by the ACC (Notre Dame, Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia) and Big East (Villanova, Butler, Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, Xavier) with six teams each. The SEC have the #1 team in the nation and still undefeated Kentucky, joined by Arkansas, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss. The Pac-12 are last among the power conferences with just four teams – Arizona, UCLA, Oregon and Utah.

As for the Mid Majors, the Atlantic 10 has VCU, Davidson and Dayton coming in; the Mountain West are also sending three teams: Wyoming, Boise State and San Diego State. The American conference (SMU, Cincinnati), Missouri Valley conference (Northern Iowa, Wichita State) and the WCC (Gonzaga, BYU) each send a couple of teams in.

In terms of states, Texas (Baylor, Southern Methodist, Stephen F. Austin, Texas, Texas Southern) and Indiana (Butler, Indiana, Notre Dame, Purdue, Valparaiso) lead the way. New York, Ohio and North Carolina each have four schools representing the state in the 2015 tournament. The defending champion, UConn, don’t make it in, similar to how Kentucky, the 2012 champions, didn’t play in the 2013 NCAA tournament.

First Four

#11 BYU vs #11 Ole Miss

#16 Hampton vs #16 Manhattan

#11 Boise State vs #11 Dayton

#16 North Florida vs #16 Morris

Midwest

#1 Kentucky vs Hampton or Manhattan

#8 Cincinnati vs #9 Purdue

#5 West Virginia vs #12 Buffalo

#4 Maryland vs #13 Valparaiso

#6 Butler vs #11 Texas

#3 Notre Dame vs #14 Northeastern

#7 Wichita State vs #10 Indiana

#2 Kansas vs #15 New Mexico State

West

#1 Wisconsin vs #16 Coastal Carolina

#8 Oregon vs #9 Oklahoma State

#5 Arkansas vs #12 Wofford

#4 North Carolina vs #13 Harvard

#6 Xavier vs Byu or Ole Miss

#3 Baylor vs #14 Georgia State

#7 VCU vs #10 Ohio State

#2 Arizona vs #15 Texas Southern

East

#1 Villanova vs #16 Lafayette

#8 North Carolina State vs #9 LSU

#5 Northern Iowa vs #12 Wyoming

#4 Louisville vs #13 UC Irvine

#6 Providence vs Boise State or Dayton

#3 Oklahoma vs #14 Albany

#7 Michigan State vs #10 Georgia

#2 Virginia vs #15 Belmont

South

#1 Duke vs North Florida or Robert Morris

#8 San Diego State vs #9 St. John’s

#5 Utah vs #12 Stephen F. Austin

#4 Georgetown vs #13 Eastern Washington

#6 SMU vs #11 UCLA

#3 Iowa State vs #14 UAB

#7 Iowa vs #10 Davison

#2 Gonzaga vs #15 North Dakota State

For the Bracket Look

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