The waiting is over.
After weeks of speculation, the bracket for the 2015 NCAA Tournament has finally been unveiled.
Were there any surprises?
I was mildly surprised that Duke wound up with a one seed over Virginia, but that decision was like splitting an atom.
My big question for the committee – how did UCLA get into the bracket instead of Miami and Temple? The Bruins best win was a home triumph over Utah while the Owls beat Kansas by double-figures and the Hurricanes beat Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium convincingly.
Meanwhile, on to to the bracket itself.
Kentucky looks like a strong favorite in the Midwest, don’t count out Notre Dame. The Irish have the ability to score over the top of the Wildcats’ defense and possess a stretch power forward in Pat Connaughton that could be a real mismatch at the four.READ MORE: Major Food Distribution Groups Still Scrambling To Keep Up With Demand A Year Into Pandemic
Will Wisconsin and Arizona have a rematch in the West Regional Final? Not if Baylor has anything to say about it. The Bears have the size, length, and defensive prowess to give the Wildcats fits if they meet in the Sweet 16.
Duke is Duke, right? That’s what Pete Gillen said when his Providence team beat the Blue Devils in the 1997 NCAA Tournament. Mike Krzyzewski’s squad has an open path to the Elite Eight, but could have defensive issues if it meets Iowa State in the game to go to the FInal Four.
Jay Wright has his best chance to go to a Final Four since 2009, but Villanova’s draw is far from easy. The Wildcats will have their hands full in the Round of 32 with either NC State or LSU. Virginia meanwhile, is the two seed in the East Region, but could also face a similar caliber test in its second game if it meets Michigan State.
You better believe it.
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Jon Rothstein is a college basketball insider for CBS Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JonRothstein.