Stetson coach Donnie Jones celebrates with his players after winning the ASUN Championship game at Edmunds Center in DeLand, Sunday, March 10, 2024. Photo courtesy of Nigel Cook/Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Men’s NCAA Tournament Set for March Madness

The Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament field is set and games will begin Tuesday with the First Four. The Round of 64 begins Thursday.

Top Seeds

The defending champion UConn Huskies enter the tournament as the overall No. 1 seed. The last team to win back-to-back national titles was the 2006-07 Florida Gators. The Huskies take on the Stetson Hatters Friday.

Following as the second 1-seed is Purdue, who are looking to avoid an early exit after losing to No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson in one of the biggest upsets in March Madness history last year. They are one of the four No. 1 seeds and take on the winner of Montana St. vs. Grambling State.

The other two No. 1 seeds are Houston and North Carolina, who both lost in the finals of their conference tournaments.

SEC Teams

The SEC enters the tournament tied with the most amount of conference teams in the tournament. Both the SEC and Big 12 have eight teams, while the Big Ten and Mountain West each have six.

The Tennessee Volunteers received a No. 2 seed in the Midwest after winning the outright SEC regular-season title. After winning the SEC Championship Sunday, the Auburn Tigers enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed in the East.

Kentucky secured a No. 3 seed in the South and Alabama earned a No. 4 seed in the West. Following them is South Carolina with a 6-seed, Florida as a 7-seed, Mississippi State earned an 8-seed and Texas A&M has a 9-seed.

Conference Champions

Thirty-two teams won their respective conference championships to clinch an automatic bid into the tournament. Some of the key champions include North Carolina State, who upset North Carolina in the ACC Championship. Additionally, Iowa State earned a win over Houston in the Big 12 Championship. Other notable champions include New Mexico in the Mountain West, Illinois in the Big Ten and Oregon winning the Pac-12 Championship.

Tournament Schedule

The NCAA Tournament tips off Tuesday in the First Four round. No. 16 seeds Wagner and Howard play in the first game of the tournament at 6:40 p.m. The Round of 64 begins Thursday at 12:15 p.m., as 8-seed Mississippi State takes on 9-seeded Michigan State.

The Final Four will be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

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