NCAA Tournament: Four Smart Takeaways From the Bracket

March 16, 2015 12:52 AM

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NCAA Tournament: Four Smart Takeaways From the Bracket

Kansas-Wichita State—a potential round-of-32 matchup—is one of the juiciest rivalries in college basketball right now. Kansas’ streak of 11 straight Big 12 titles is as incredible as any accomplishment since former Jayhawks coach James Naismith invented the sport. But it’s Wichita State, a Final Four team in 2013 and a No. 1 seed last year, that has the most wins of any Kansas school in the last three seasons. There’s only one problem with this in-state rivalry: It doesn’t actually exist. Kansas and Wichita State haven’t played each other since 1993. Wichita State fans care so much about the Jayhawks that beating them would be like winning it all. Kansas fans care so little about Wichita State that they prefer to pretend the Shockers don’t exist. Now they’re one win away from playing each other.

Villanova, this region’s nominal top team, is as unassuming as any No. 1 seed. Virginia is a No. 2 seed that still bores some in college basketball. So of course this was where the selection committee sent Northern Iowa as a No. 5 seed. Many teams play much faster than Northern Iowa—Virginia is the ...

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