*Illinois enters the tournament as a #1 seed and with just one loss. Last year, Stanford and St. Joseph’s entered the NCAA tournament as #1 seeds and each had just one loss. Neither team made the Final Four. Stanford didn't even make the Sweet 16.
*Duke and North Carolina make it two ACC schools with #1 seeds. This marks the sixth time in eight years that a conference has had two #1 seeds in the same tournament.
*Arizona is making its 21st straight NCAA tournament appearance....the longest current streak.
*Niagara is making it’s first appearance since 1970...the longest drought for a team in this tournament.
*Oakland beat Alabama A&M tonight in the first NCAA tournament appearance for either team. Delaware State and Southeastern Louisiana are also making their first tournament appearances.
*Since 1998, #16 and #15 seeds have gone a combined 1-55 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Only Hampton won.
*Since 1998....the #14 seed has only won 2 of 28 games.
*The #5-#12 game is regarded as the biggest upset game of the first round. Well, the #12 seed is 11-17 since 1998. However, the #10 seed is 13-15 against the #7 seed [the #8-#9 game is a fairly even contest]. So, when filling out those brackets...keep an eye on those #10 seeds.
*Are you looking for a Cinderella?? How about this. When a #2 seed plays a #10 seed in the second round....that #2 seed is only 5-9!!!!! Amazing!!! So, again, when looking for Cinderellas....keep an eye on those #10 seeds.
*If you are looking for those Cinderellas getting to the Elite 8....look at the #8 seeds. In the last five years, the #8 seed is 4-0 in Sweet 16 play...including Alabama last season. In Sweet 16 play...the #4 seed has lost 10 of their last 12 games. The way the bracket is set up....a #8 would play a #4 in the Sweet 16.
*In the Elite 8 round...the #1 seed has only won 11 of their last 19 games. Pretty average record for those "elite" teams. However, the #5 and #8 seeds are 4-2 in the same time frame. If you are looking for an Elite 8 key....look to the ACC. ACC teams in the Elite 8 have won 8 of their last 9 games.
*Not a number here...just an opinion. I've been hearing the jokes and the complaints about the "play-in game"...which, really, isn't a play-in game. It is part of the tournament. True, no one really cares other than the fans of these two schools. So, what the NCAA should do is expand the field to 68 teams. Have a "play-in game" for each region. But, instead of these small schools that EARNED automatic bids into the tournament....how about putting those bubble teams that gained at-large births to have to play-in to the tournament?? I mean, Alabama A&M and Oakland both earned automatic bids. They should both be able to enjoy that first round NCAA tournament action. Have Northern Iowa, UAB, NC State or UCLA battle it out in Dayton to get placed as the #11 or #12 seed somewhere in the bracket.
*It is the 20th anniversary of the #8 seeded Villanova Wildcats winning the National Championship/
*We could have a Duke-Kentucky Elite 8 matchup. Last time these two met in the Elite 8, Kentucky rallied from down 17 points to upend the Devils in 1998. Kentucky went on to win the National Championship. In 1992, well, Christy Laettner hit a shot at the buzzer.
*Since 1985, the Big XII is just 2-8 vs the ACC