March Madness Is Here!

College basketball fans unite! March Madness, the NCAA tournament that may be the single most anticipated event in college sports, is coming up fast. By the close of Selection Sunday on March 15, the entire country will know which teams are in the running – and which ones will be seeking post-season glory in one of the secondary tournaments. In the meantime, here are our bracket predictions for the top seeds.

Virginia Cavaliers (28-2)

It’s been an incredible season for the Cavaliers, whose only defeats came at the hands of the Duke Blue Devils and the Louisville Cardinals. Despite losing to Louisville last weekend, the Cavaliers won the ACC regular season championship for the second straight year – making their number-one seed a virtual certainty.

Duke Blue Devils (28-3)

Between their sweep of North Carolina and wins over Virginia, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and Louisville, the Blue Devils should secure a top seed – despite three tough losses to Miami, North Carolina State and Notre Dame.

Villanova Wildcats (29-2)

Of the four teams we’ve picked, Villanova’s spot may be the most tenuous. While the Wildcats are on an impressive 12-game winning streak, both losses were to teams that weren’t even ranked when the games took place (like the Georgetown Hoyas). But if they win the Big East tournament, they will be the top seed out west.

Kentucky Wildcats (31-0)

With 31 consecutive wins, it’s hard to shake a stick at Kentucky. If the Wildcats dominate the SEC Tournament that begins on March 13, they will be the first team to win the national championship undefeated since the Indiana Hoosiers in 1976.

Here’s a breakdown of the tournament schedule, courtesy of ESPN.com:

Selection Sunday

March 15

First Round

March 17-18
1 UD Arena (Dayton, Ohio)

Second and Third Rounds

March 19 and 21
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (Jacksonville, Florida)
KFC Yum! Center (Louisville, Kentucky)
Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh)
Rose Garden (Portland, Oregon)

 March 20 and 22
Time Warner Cable Arena (Charlotte, N.C.)
Nationwide Arena (Columbus, Ohio)
CenturyLink Center (Omaha, Nebraska)
KeyArena (Seattle)

Midwest Regional

March 26 and 28
Quicken Loans Arena (Cleveland, Ohio)

West Regional

March 26 and 28
Staples Center (Los Angeles)

South Regional

March 27 and 29
NRG Stadium (Houston)

East Regional

March 27 and 29
Carrier Dome (Syracuse, New York)

National Semifinals

April 4
Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)

Championship Game

April 6
Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)

Regardless of which teams come out on top this Sunday, one thing’s for certain: This will be a month to remember. Let the madness begin!

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