We will have all week to dissect the Field of 68 for the 2022 NCAA Tournament with Gonzaga (West), Arizona (South), Kansas (Midwest) and Baylor (East) as the top seeds, but here are the last four teams out: Dayton, Oklahoma, SMU and Texas A&M. The Aggies seem to be the biggest error as they knocked off Florida, No. 4 Auburn and No. 15 Arkansas in the SEC Tournament before losing to No. 9 Tennessee in the final on Sunday.
CBS Sports' Jerry Palm had projected the Aggies as a No. 11 seed in the Big Dance and ESPN's Joe Lunardi had them as a No. 12 seed and playing in the First Four. The last four teams into the field were Indiana, Notre Dame, Rutgers and Wyoming. Texas A&M had a NET ranking of 42 -- by comparison. Rutgers was No. 77, Notre Dame 53, Wyoming 50 and Indiana 39. Oklahoma had the best NET ranking of the last four out at No. 40.
Selection committee chairman confirmed on the CBS telecast that Dayton (NET ranking of 58) was booted out of tournament by Richmond's upset win over Davidson in the Atlantic 10 Tournament final on Sunday. Davidson still got in.
LSU will be the lone team in the Big Dance without its head coach as Will Wade was fired on Saturday after the school received a notice of allegations that details significant misconduct. The Tigers got a No. 6 seed and will face No. 11 Iowa State in the first round Friday from Milwaukee. Assistant Kevin Nickelberry will serve as the interim coach.
We will have odds on the next LSU coach this week – ditto Florida, which was probably going to fire Mike White but didn't have to because he took the Georgia job in a pretty big surprise.
Gonzaga is the +350 favorite to win its first national championship – the Zags were favored and unbeaten entering last year's tournament but knocked off in the final by Baylor. They could be looking at a rematch vs. No. 2 seed Duke in the Elite Eight. The Zags lost to the Blue Devils 84-81 on Nov. 26 at a neutral site. Gonzaga is a No. 1 seed for the 5th time, all since 2013. Two of the three teams that have defeated Gonzaga this season (Duke and Alabama) are in the West Region with them. The Big Ten leads the way with nine bids. No other conference has more than six.
The First Four from Dayton is No. 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs. No. 16 Texas Southern and No. 12 Indiana vs. No. 12 Wyoming on Tuesday; and No. 11 Rutgers vs. No. 11 Notre Dame and No. 16 Wright State vs. No. 16 Bryant on Wednesday.
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