It is something that draws the attention of the poker world this time of the year. The 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament draw has been completed and the 68 teams that will compete for the National Championship Have been determined. So, who is in which bracket? And who didn’t make “The Dance?” Read on to find out.

Alabama Earns #1 Overall Seed in South Region

For the first time in the school’s history, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide earned the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and will stay close to home in the South Region. Alabama, who has been one of the juggernauts of the season despite the distraction of a former player being charged with murder and current star Brandon Wright being implicated (but not charged) in the act, will be looking to start a run to the championship in Birmingham with a weak draw. The Tide will get either Texas A&M/Corpus Christi or Southeast Missouri State in their first-round game, with the potential to face either Maryland or West Virginia in Round 2.

Some potential dangers are lurking for ‘Bama. 2021 National Champion Baylor is a part of this region, as are the Arizona Wildcats and the Big East’s Creighton Bluejays. Still, it is tough to find a team that is going to be able to stop the Tide from rolling to the Final Four in Houston.

Houston Earns #1 Seed Despite Injury

Despite losing their conference title game and having question marks regarding their star player, the University of Houston Cougars were chosen as the #2 overall seed in the Midwest Region. In the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament, Houston guard Marcus Sasser pulled a groin and sat out the remainder of the victory over East Carolina, then didn’t even step on the floor for the team’s loss to the Memphis Tigers. Sasser’s availability is going to be a big thing to watch in the coming days.

If Houston falls, there are a host of great teams that could take their place. The University of Texas Longhorns knocked off the Big 12 regular season champ Kansas (we’ll see them in a bit) TWICE and presents a serious threat to the Cougars. Others down the bracket like Indiana and Xavier could also throw a monkey wrench into Houston’s plans to play in their hometown for the National Championship.

Kansas Takes #1 Seed in the West

Despite losing the Big 12 title game (by 20 points) to those Longhorns, the University of Kansas was still rewarded with a #1 seed. Why? Seventeen (17) Quad 1 wins, victories over other teams ranked in the Top 25, propelled the Jayhawks to their lofty perch.

There is a very real threat that is going to be in that West Region, however. Playing out of their home state, the UCLA Bruins – runner-up to the Jayhawks in last year’s Championship Game – will look for revenge against the ‘Hawks. Gonzaga is also in this region and, if you believe in Cinderella, Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) is always worth a look.

Purdue Snags Final #1 Seed in East

They gave up a 17-point lead against Penn State in the Big 10 Championship Game, but Purdue survived long enough to be able to keep the Texas Longhorns from slipping by them for the final seed. Purdue has been in the Top Ten for much of the NCAA season, with their big man Zach Edey looking to redeem the team from losing last year to St. Peter’s in the Sweet Sixteen. They will be tested by two potential challengers.

In the #2 seed is a surprising Big East Champion Marquette Golden Eagles team that defied the odds in 2023. Picked to finish eighth in the 11-team league Marquette stunned many by winning both the regular season and tournament championships. With Chaka Smart at the helm of this team, don’t overlook them as a possibility. There’s also the Duke Blue Devils, with first-year coach Jon Scheyer, who have been quietly sneaking up on many in the #6 seed.

Who DIDN’T Make It?

For the first time in the history of the NCAA Tournament, the preseason #1 team failed to make it into the final 68. The North Carolina Tar Heels suffered through a difficult year and, despite making a late-season charge, just couldn’t build enough of a resume. They have some great company – the Clemson Tigers, Michigan Wolverines, Vanderbilt Commodores, and Rutgers Scarlet Knights all will be waiting for a call from the NIT.

The action kicks off Tuesday in Dayton, OH, in the “First Four” games that will whittle the field down to 64 teams. The REAL action (and when many “Bracket Matches” will kick off) begins on Thursday afternoon. If you’re a hoops fan, this is YOUR time of the year as “March Madness” takes center stage.

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