It's conference tournament time in college basketball.
The brackets came out Sunday, replete with the usual fanfare that accompanies America's biggest office pool.
Virginia got its reward for a dominating regular season and ACC tournament title, being named the No. 1 overall seed for the upcoming NCAA tournament. LIU Brooklyn and Radford will play in Dayton, Ohio in the play-in game on Wednesday, March 13th at 6:40 P.M.
The pressure will be higher than ever for the Cavaliers (31-2) to do it now.
The FBI corruption investigation into the sport led to an assistant coach being criminally charged and ultimately fired, and raised questions about coach Sean Miller's job security.
Michigan State won the Big Ten regular-season title, but could not sustain that roll in the Big Ten conference tournament as the Spartans lost to the Michigan Wolverines in the semifinal round.
Virginia went to a Final Four in 1981 with the 7-foot-4 Sampson, then made an unexpected trip there in 1984 as a 7-seed. The No. 1 seed is Kansas, but the Jayhawks may have to face No. 8 Seton Hall (21-11), which began the season with great promise, in the second round and either Clemson (23-9), which finished fourth in the A.C.C., or Auburn in the Round of 16. Miller has strongly denied the accusation, though the story line figures to follow the Wildcats through what could be a long run in the tournament. But four others will be sweating it out when the 68-team field is announced. That doesn't even look like an NIT team.
Best Coach in the Region: John Beilein, Michigan.
Given the widespread nature of this corruption, there's at least a chance that whoever cuts down the nets in San Antonio could eventually suffer the same fate as the Cardinals.
Top overall NCAA seed Virginia headlines the South Region bracket in the pursuit for an elusive Final Four. "When you play in this league and you play everybody twice - we're not one of those leagues where they play the best team like once every three years, you know?"
-Snubbed: St. Mary's missed despite a 28-5 record.
Seton Hall did itself no favors by losing in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals to Butler, and could now land in the dreaded 8-9 game, where it was a year ago. "We spent pretty much the entire day on these teams".
-Place to be: Try Boise. The Blackbirds RPI of 233 is the second-lowest of teams in the tournament with a few low-major conference champions still to be decided.
The idea when looking at your bracket is to pick the most winners and the championship team. Last year, Lunardi (ESPN) correctly predicted 67 of the 68 teams in the field.
And Oklahoma's one and done in the Big 12 Tourney.