The 2017 NCAA basketball tournament commences on Tuesday and Wednesday with the First Four in Dayton, Ohio. The first round proper tips off on March 16 and 17, and the deciding championship game is on April 3. Before all that, however, brackets need to be filled.
The NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday show will air this Sunday on CBS at 5:30 p.m. ET. All conference tournaments will have wrapped up by then, giving the selection committee a full picture of every team’s season resume. Pressing questions regarding which four teams will earn No. 1 seeds involve the usual heavy hitters: Kansas, Villanova, and UCLA have played stellar seasons and wouldn’t surprise if they landed on the bracket’s top lines.
It will be interesting to see where Gonzaga ends up this time around, after earning an 11 seed a year ago. The Zags ended the regular season ranked No. 4 in the AP Top 25, posting just one loss to BYU in the season’s penultimate game. Otherwise, the Bulldogs ripped off a cool 30 wins this year, and they have a strong argument for a No. 1 seed.
Other notables with No. 1 seed-caliber resumes include Oregon, North Carolina, and Arizona. UNC beat arch-rival Duke in the regular season’s final weekend, and Roy Williams’ Tar Heels are studded with enough talent and returners to repeat a Final Four appearance, if not win the championship outright. Most interesting will be to see how many ACC teams earn bids to go dancing, since some early-season projections said as many as 11 teams could potentially go. The conference surely won’t earn that many, but up to eight or nine clubs punching their tickets isn’t wholly out of the picture.
If Oregon does grab a No. 1 seed, it’ll be the Ducks’ second such line in a row. Dana Altman’s club had a 27-4 overall regular season record, with losses coming early to Baylor and Georgetown, then to Colorado and UCLA. The Pac-12 was one of this year’s most exciting and competitive conferences, and the fewer number of teams that make it into the Big Dance, the worse we’ll all be for it.
Below is all you need to know to watch the NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday show.