It’s been nearly two years since college basketball saw the Big Dance, and now the 2021 NCAA Tournament is finally here. The announcement made Sunday alerts the world as to who is in and who is out. The 68-team field is locked and loaded with the first games coming Thursday.
NCAA Bracket Breakdown & The First Four
What a rocky college basketball season it has been. There are many calculations that play a role in selecting the teams for the tournament, according to NCAA Chairman Mitch Barnhart. With all the COVID protocols and cancelled games deciding who is in was harder this year than prior.
The first games tip of Thursday. Here is the breakdown of the first four:
- (16) Texas Southern vs. (16) Mount St. Mary’s at 5:10 pm
- (11) Drake vs. (11) Wichita State at 6:27 pm
- (16) Appalachian State vs. (16) Norfolk State at 8:40 pm
- (11) UCLA vs. (11) Michigan State at 9:57 pm
Nonetheless, the tournament begins to play out with triumphs and upsets unfolding. Here is the official 2021 NCAA Tournament bracket:
Additionally, the Florida Gators punched their ticket yesterday landing as the No.7 seed in the south. So, the orange and blue will take on the tenth seeded Virginia Tech on Friday at 12:15 pm.
Who’s Missing The Dance?
Duke, Kentucky and Louisville were left out in the cold when the announcing began Sunday. The March Madness regulars were outcasts this year. 2021 will mark the first time all three teams are out since 1976. However, numerous variables effected which teams were selected ranging from COVID to strength of schedule. Also, Barnhart adds that the resumes of each team plays a factor into who gets chosen.
With three mainstays out, the fight to the finish begins Thursday. Who will be left standing on April 9?