dglobalnews.com Buckeyes to face Hilltoppers in opening round of NCAA tournament
Published: Wed, March 15, 2017
Sports | By Jeannette Edwards

Buckeyes to face Hilltoppers in opening round of NCAA tournament

Buckeyes to face Hilltoppers in opening round of NCAA tournament

UConn's players heard all the talk.

The second-ranked Wildcats will find out Sunday when and where their national championship defense will begin.

The North Carolina Tar Heels (27-7) and Duke Blue Devils (27-8) are +600 co-favorites (bet $100 to win $600) to cut down the nets at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark after taking their conference's regular-season and tournament championships, respectively.

"When you think of college basketball, Duke is right there at the top of the list", Troy coach Phil Cunningham said. "We wanted to play 40 minutes of Villanova basketball". "We heard about that every single day and that kind of motivated us and pushed us forward".

For the second consecutive season the NCAA is having the top four teams in each region host the opening two rounds.

When it comes to a factor that SU can control, non-conference scheduling, Gawlik said the Orange played five teams with a RPI of 250 or higher.

The Duke Blue Devils are the consensus Vegas pick to win the National Championship in this year's NCAA Tournament.

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"How will this team react in a big, big, big situation, when it's their first time facing elimination?" "But it's been like that all year, so maybe they've gotten accustomed to it". "It's awesome, especially after past year we came so close and couldn't quite make it to the tournament", says USC junior Davis Hagood. In the same region, the N.C. State Wolfpack (22-8) are the No. 6 seed and have a first-round game against No. 11 Auburn (17-14).

How will the biggest storylines of the tournament play out?

Belmont (27-5) received an automatic bid in the tournament after winning the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. Maryland (30-2) comes in ranked No. 4.

"It's going to be a fast pace and really up and down", he said. "Put your head down and given the bracket you have, it's the next opportunity". And this is the next opportunity. UConn enters the tournament unbeaten for the eighth time in program history. While there are plenty of talented teams in the South region, many of them will eliminate themselves before a potential match-up with the Tar Heels.

The victor between Washington (27-5) and the Bobcats will face the victor of No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 11 Gonzaga on Monday.

That would peg Syracuse as a sixth seed in one of the four regions, perhaps seventh at the worst.

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