Three Philadelphia schools are going dancing as the brackets and seeding were announced for the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
Let the Madness begin.
On Sunday, the seeding and brackets were revealed for the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the Villanova Wildcats, the St. Joe’s Hawks and the Temple Owls all punched their tickets to the Big Dance. For Villanova and St. Joe’s, the wait was simply to see where they were seeded and who they would play since both were assured of a bid. Temple, on the other hand, had to wait thanks to their loss to the Connecticut Huskies in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament.
As for the particulars:
St. Joe’s (27-7) will play out of the West Region and earned a No. 8 seed thanks to their Atlantic 10 Conference Championship. They will play No. 9 seeded Cincinnati (22-10) in Spokane, WA on Friday where they are already considered a favorite to advance. This is the Hawks first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2014.
Temple (22-11) had the best record in the American and it earned them a No. 10 seed in the South Region. They will play No. 7 seed Iowa (21-10) in Brooklyn, NY on Friday. Temple missed the Dance last year, instead making it to the Final Four of the NIT tournament where they lost to Miami.
Villanova (29-5) had a shot at a No. 1 seed but thanks to their loss to Seton Hall in the finals of the Big East Tournament, they fell to a No. 2 seed. The will also play out of the South Region and will face No. 15 seeded UNC Asheville (22-11) on Friday in Brooklyn.
Now this is where things could get very interesting if you are a fan of the Big 5 (and if you live in Philly and love basketball, how can you not be?)
If Temple and Villanova both win their opening round games, the two will then face off in the Round of 32 in what could be a game for the ages. In the only meeting between the two programs this season, the Wildcats beat Temple soundly 83-67.
Considering how in most years only Villanova regularly makes it to the NCAA Tournament, it is great to see three schools get invitations to the Big Dance. It makes March Madness that much more fun when you can cheer for the local teams and talent on the national stage.
Of course, would it have killed the Selection Committee to let place one of the teams in the East bracket? With the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight for the East Region taking place at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philly, seeing Temple or St. Joe’s get home court advantage would have been pretty awesome.
Regardless, March Madness has begun with the first games scheduled for March 15. Get your brackets filled out and prepare for one of the best months of the year.