Welcome to Providence, Rhode Island, 5-seed Iowa. And say hi to Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen if you get there.
Certainly not a dream scenario for the Hawkeyes, but they're not the only ones with a difficult draw in this week's bracketology. In version 3.0, Baylor's path to the Sweet Sixteen features Temple, Arizona and Michigan State (in Spokane and Anaheim)... Indiana faces possible shootouts with Iowa State and North Carolina... Miami, making its inaugural appearance on the 2-line, even has to travel to Brooklyn for the first weekend — with none other than UAB licking its chops in Round 1.
But however difficult you think your draw is, you won't find a shittier situation than Notre Dame getting 10-seed Arkansas Little Rock — 26-3 on the year — in St. Louis, just 340 miles away from the Trojans' stomping grounds. I'll bet the farm on UALR against that defense.
The NCAA Tournament — let's face it — is just plain tough. But in the words of noted philosopher Jonathan P. Rothstein...
This is March.
Let's look at the rest of the bracket.
I settled for Indiana as a 3 and Utah as a 5, but I would like to see those switched. Tom clearly hates the Big Ten, which I guess is understandable.
I signed off on North Carolina on the top line, although I'd rather see Virginia in their place instead. It's not unfathomable that UNC grabs a 1-seed but, regardless of how they finish in their conference, I'd switch them with UVA at this point. Narber's a powder blue guy, go figure.
Last Four In
Tulsa, St. Bonaventure, Florida, George Washington
First Four Out
Washington, Butler, UCLA, Stanford
Next Four Out
VCU, Saint Mary's, Butler, Alabama
ACC (7): Duke, Miami, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia
Big 12 (7): Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia
B1G (7): Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin
PAC 12 (6): Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah
SEC (5): Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
American (4): Cincinnati, Temple, Tulsa, UConn
Atlantic 10 (4): Dayton, George Washington, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph's
Big East (4): Providence, Seton Hall, Villanova, Xavier
America East (1): Stony Brook
Atlantic Sun (1): North Florida
Big Sky (1): Weber State
Big South (1): High Point
Big West (1): Hawaii
Colonial (1): UNC Wilmington
Conference USA (1): UAB
Horizon (1): Valparaiso
Ivy (1): Yale
MAAC (1): Monmouth
Mid-American (1): Akron
MEAC (1): Hampton
Missouri Valley (1): Wichita State
Mountain West (1): San Diego State
Northeast (1): Wagner
Ohio Valley (1): Belmont
Patriot (1): Bucknell
Southern (1): Chattanooga
Southland (1): Stephen F. Austin
SWAC (1): Texas Southern
Summit (1): South Dakota State
Sun Belt (1): Arkansas Little Rock
WAC (1): New Mexico State
West Coast (1): Gonzaga