Gonzaga No. 1 overall in NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament as Michigan State Spartans get No. 10 seed, No. 11 Michigan Wolverines | News, Sports, Jobs

Purdue’s Trevion Williams, right, goes to the basket against Michigan State’s Julius Marble II during the first half of a Big Ten Conference tournament semifinal Saturday in Indianapolis. (AP picture)

From household names at the top of the range – Gonzaga, Kansas, Baylor – to well-worn debates everywhere – why was Coach K shipped out West? did anyone do Dayton wrong? – this version of Selection Sunday was as comfortable as a well-worn Air Jordan.

March Madness is back to normal, or as close to normal as it gets, and that means all of these amazing upsets and one-off winners will be playing out in front of mad crowds for the first time in three years.

“It was a really special year because we all realized what we had missed,” said Villanova coach Jay Wright, whose second-seeded team won the Big East title in front of a packed house at Madison Square Garden.

Gonzaga is the top seed overall, with Arizona, Kansas and Baylor joining them on the “1” line for it “It feels like the good old days” NCAA Tournament. It’s the first since 2019 to be played in different cities and time zones across America. The party lands in New Orleans for the Final Four and the championship game from April 2-4.

It’s a return to the way things were before the pandemic removed the tournament from the 2020 schedule entirely, then turned the 2021 event into a one-city affair – all matches were played in a bubble of fortune in front of limited crowds in and around Indianapolis.

Michigan guard Eli Brooks, right, shoots Indiana guard Trey Galloway in the second half of the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis on Thursday. Indiana beat Michigan 74-69. (AP picture)

“It’s about staying in the moment and having fun more than anyone in the tournament,” said second-seeded Kentucky coach John Calipari.

The best way to have fun, of course, is to win it all. Baylor did it last year in a title match against Gonzaga. Just like last year, the two are the No. 1 seeds again.

Arizona was next at 6-1, followed by Kentucky (15-2) and Baylor (11-1).

“A great learning experience,” Gonzaga’s Drew Timme called out last year’s runner-up in an interview on ESPN. “Obviously things didn’t go the way we wanted. But it allowed a lot of self-growth for the program.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final tournament before his retirement saw Duke play as the No. 2 seed in the West. His road to a 13th Final Four could include a second-round match against Tom Izzo and No. 10 Michigan State. And while some thought the selection committee might send Coach K to his native Chicago and the Midwest for the Sweet 16 as a parting gift, somehow it would be more like a trip to San Francisco and a potential meeting with Mark Few’s Bulldogs.

Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, left, and Saint Mary’s Kyle Bowen scramble for the ball during the second half of the West Coast Conference Tournament Championship game Tuesday in Las Vegas. (AP picture)

The teams that just slipped into the No. 12 seeds Wyoming and Indiana, who will face off in the top four. No. 11 seeds Rutgers and Notre Dame were the other bottom two teams, while Michigan was also seeded 11th.

The Fighting Irish, Hoosiers and Wolverines are among the top nine national teams to come out of the Big Ten.

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