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NCAA Tournament 2017 Bracket Analysis: March Madness snubs; what the committee got wrong

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NCAA Tournament 2017 Bracket Analysis: March Madness snubs; what the committee got wrong

The field of 68 for the 2017 NCAA Tournament was finalized on Sunday afternoon following the Selection Sunday show on CBS.

The NCAA Selection Committee had an interesting task at hand when it came to picking the four No. 1 seeds. Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Arizona, Duke and UNC were all thought to have a chance to get the top spot in one of the four regions.

In the end, Villanova, Kansas, UNC and Gonzaga earned the top four No. 1-seeds.

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That means the ACC Tournament champion Duke Blue Devils, SEC Tournament champion Kentucky Wildcats and Pac 12 Tournament champion Arizona Wildcats were bumped from the No. 1 seed line in favor of two teams — Kansas and North Carolina — that did not make the finals of their conference tournament. Gonzaga, despite their weak conference schedule, edged out Arizona because of their record vs. Top 50 teams, including a win over the Wildcats.

In terms of at-large snubs, it's hard to pin point many egregious errors. Kansas State earned the final at-large bid, ranked No. 46 according to the complete seed list. The Wildcats' resume was bolstered by two wins over a top 10 Baylor team, as well as a win over then No. 7 West Virginia. Kansas State's best non-conference win was against Colorado State, which makes the decision a bit surprising even though the tournament bubble was remarkable weak.

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2017 NCAA Tournament snubs:

Syracuse, a team that lucked in to an at-large bid in 2016, was left on the wrong side of the bubble at the end of Selection Sunday. The Orange finished 18-14 (10-8 ACC) with non-conference losses to UConn, Georgetown and St. John's, three teams that did not make the 2017 NCAA Tournament. A key reason the Orange got in last season was because Jim Boeheim's team  had several notable road and neutral court wins. The Orange had very few this season.

Michigan State, Providence, Southern Cal and Wake Forest, four teams that joined Syracuse squarely on the bubble, we're rewarded with at-large bids. 

What the Tournament Selection Committe got wrong: Big Ten seeding

-- The Big Ten Seeding in the NCAA Tournament: #4 Purdue (Midwest), #5 Minnesota (South), #6 Maryland (West), #7 Michigan (Midwest), #8 Wisconsin (East), #8 Northwestern (West), #9 Michigan State (Midwest).

— Wisconsin earned a No. 8 seed in the same region as No. 1 overall seed Villanova. The Badgers finished in second-place in the Big Ten regular season and were Big Ten Tournament runners-up. By comparison, the Maryland Terrapins were given a No. 6 seed despite finishing behind the Badgers in Big Ten regular season play and losing in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. Maryland and Wisconsin did not have a lot of stellar non-conference wins, but Wisconsin played a significantly larger number of competent teams than Maryland.

—  Michigan the team that won the conference tournament, was given a No. 8 seed and a date with No. 10 Oklahoma State. While Michigan was a bubble team entering the Big Ten Tournament, slotting the Wolverines above Wisconsin AND Northwestern is an interesting decision at best. 

— It's hard not to like what Richard Pitino a nd Minnesota did this season. It's hard to wonder how they got the second best seed of any Big Ten team. The Gophers won nine of their last 11 but have a similar strength of schedule to Maryland and Wisconsin. 

— The the Selection Sundy show on CBS, Selection committee chair Mark Hollis -- Michigan State's Athletic Director -- explained that with selecting the four No. 1 seeds, most of their decisions were complete before championship week. If that same thought process was used for seeding #5-#68, it's an issue. If it's not the same thought process, it's still an issue.

What the Tournament Selection Committe got wrong: Wichita State

— Wichita State was one of the most difficult teams to project. The Shockers won the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and conference tournament championship. But their best non-conference win came against a marginal Oklahoma team.

-- The Shockers were given a No. 10 seed and a date with No. 7 Dayton, with No. 2 seed Kentucky potentially waiting in the wings. Kentucky and Wichita State faced off in the 2014 NCAA Tournament when the Shockers were an undefeated 35-0 No. 1 seed and the Wildcats were a No. 9-seed at-large team. 

— The team Wichita State beat in the MVC championship game, Illinois State, was thought to be on the bubble and many believe the Redbirds deserved an at-large bid. But Illinois State had limited games vs. Top 50 competition and no notable non-conference wins. Sorry, mid-major fans. Illinois State was not a snub.

— Iowa State being given a No. 5 seed despite winning the Big 12 Tournament and finishing their season with wins in nine of their final ten games. The committee clearly devalued the Big 12 Tournament. 

Click here to join CSN's 2017 NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge to have a chance to win Washington Wizards floor seats and other prizes. Presented by Chasen Boscolo.

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Maryland rolls to 96-43 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore

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Maryland rolls to 96-43 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Anthony Cowan had 16 points and nine rebounds, Jared Nickens scored 15 and Maryland opened its home schedule with a 96-43 rout of Maryland-Eastern Shore on Sunday night.

Cowan scored eight points in a 17-0 run that gave the Terrapins (2-0) a 43-15 lead late in the first half. The 6-foot sophomore had 12 points, eight rebounds, two steals and a block before halftime.

Nickens made all five of his shots, including four from beyond the arc. Dion Wiley finished with 14 points and freshman Darryl Morsell added 12.

Coming off a comfortable win over Stony Brook on Friday, Maryland yielded the game's first basket before Wiley drilled successive 3-pointers to spark a 12-0 run.

Maryland shot 70 percent (14 for 20) from the floor in the first half and forced nine turnovers, including four by freshman Cameron Bacote.

Bacote led UMES (1-1) with 18 points. He had 28 points and 11 rebounds in the Hawks' opener against Valley Forge.

BIG PICTURE

UMES: Games like this make money for the program and help the Hawks get ready for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference slate. The UMES schedule includes road games against Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Iowa State and Creighton before league play begins in 2018.

Maryland: The Terrapins put five players in double figures for the second game in a row. Justin Jackson and Kevin Huerter are expected to be the go-to scorers this season, but they've not been needed thus far. Maryland will need that kind of balance when the competition gets tougher.

NOT A RIVALRY

The Terrapins are 18-0 against UMES in a series that began in 1979. This was the first game between the teams since 2015.

UP NEXT

UMES: Travels to St. Bonaventure on Wednesday night.

Maryland: Hosts Butler on Wednesday night in the second of four straight home games.

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No. 21 Michigan dominates Maryland in 1st half in 35-10 win

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No. 21 Michigan dominates Maryland in 1st half in 35-10 win

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  -- Brandon Peters threw two touchdown passes, Chris Evans ran for two scores and No. 21 Michigan dominated Maryland in the first half in a 35-10 victory Saturday.

The Wolverines (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten) have won three straight. The Terrapins (4-6, 2-5) have lost five of six.

Before the second quarter was halfway over, Michigan had a 28-0 lead thanks to Peters' passing and some madcap miscues by Maryland.

Peters threw touchdown passes of 33 yards to Zach Gentry and 3 yards to Sean McKeon. Henry Poggi and Evans ran for scores. Evans, who scored from a yard out in the second quarter, added a 17-yard run late in the fourth quarter.

The Terrapins started their fourth quarterback of the season, Myles Brand, but unlike the previous three, couldn't come close to engineering a win. Brand was 16 for 35 for 136 yards.

In one particularly embarrassing sequence, Lorenzo Harrison badly overthrew Brand with lots of running room ahead of the quarterback, and three plays later, caught a pass from Brand and managed to lose 14 yards.

Trailing 14-0, Maryland tried a fake punt from its own 30. After Jaquille Veii gained just 3 yards and turned the ball over to Michigan, the Wolverines immediately scored on the 33-yard pass from Peters to Gentry.

After a 29-yard pass to Taivon Jacobs was overturned by replay, Michigan blocked Wade Lees' punt. Two plays later, Peters hit McKeon for a 3-yard pass, and the Wolverines' lead was 28-0 with 8:21 to play in the first half.

In the second half, Maryland scored on a 20-yard field goal by Henry Darmstadter and a 10-yard pass from Brand to Jacobs.