Winners and losers from Selection Sunday

From ESPN - March 11, 2018

The bracket is officially out, and the next 90 hours or so will be spent going over matchups, Cinderellas, Final Four teams and national title predictions. But before we start making picks, we still have time for one more look back at the NCAA tournament field. Who was the happiest and the most upset on Selection Sunday?


December's best teams
Back in December, Oklahoma and Arizona State were two of the best teams in the country. Trae Young and the Sooners were perhaps the biggest story in the sport, while Arizona State defeated Xavier and Kansas away from home. Then the bottom fell out on both teams. Oklahoma won just two games since the end of January, and we referenced the Sun Devils' collapse above. Since the committee went away from including the final 10 to 12 games as a metric, it has maintained that a team's complete body of work is what matters. Sunday's results showed that.

North Carolina and Michigan State
It's not a huge deal, but the committee evidently had North Carolina and Michigan State ranked higher than their in-state rivals on its 1-68 list. Only North Carolina or Duke could play its first- and second-round games in Charlotte, North Carolina, after Virginia was sent there. And only Michigan or Michigan State could play its first- and second-round games in Detroit, after Purdue was sent there. The result? Duke got shipped to Pittsburgh, while Michigan will open up in Wichita, Kansas.

Villanova was the No. 2 overall seed in the bracket, but the Wildcats were treated like the overall top seed. Virginia was given a potential Arizona or Kentucky matchup in the Sweet 16, while Kansas has Michigan State or Duke waiting on the other side of the region. Meanwhile, Purdue -- the 2-seed in Villanova's region -- is a favorite matchup for the Wildcats, and West Virginia and Wichita State -- the potential Sweet 16 opponents -- have had their fair share of struggles this season.

The final team in the field, according to committee chair Bruce Rasmussen, the Orange made it despite going just 4-8 against Quadrant 1 and 7-11 against Quadrants 1 and 2. Perhaps the biggest thing Syracuse's favor was its quality numbers in the traditional metrics: RPI, SOS and nonconference SOS. Waiting for them in Dayton will be a struggling Arizona State team.

Hurley family
Holiday dinners at the Hurley residence could have been awkward had things gone a different way on Sunday. However, Bobby Hurley and Arizona State get into the NCAA tournament -- not missing out despite Dan Hurley and Rhode Island's loss to Davidson shrinking the at-large field by one team. Arizona State lost five of its final six games and went 8-10 to finish ninth in a down Pac-12, but the Sun Devils made it to Dayton and the First Four.



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