Syracuse men's basketball not selected for NCAA Tournament

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah, and how is that theory holding up on this fine Sunday?

Before March Madness can officially kick off, fans need to know which teams are playing in the 2017 NCAA Tournament! There's a rivalry there that burns as hot as any. Why do I say Duke will get it?

This might sound like a whiny point; I always hate when people blame the refs for losing. It's always lonelier to be correct. North Carolina is the No. 1 seed in the South Region. Despite Kansas State previously taking down No. 9 Baylor in the Big 12 Quarterfinals, the Wildcats remain squarely on the bubble with Syracuse, according to most bracketologists.

Then come the critics bringing up losses from earlier in the season. The RPI is so low (86 on the NCAA site today), and most teams with a RPI that low don't have 6 Top 50 wins. Carolina is 7-5.

The Hoosiers dropped two regular season meetings this year against the Badgers, but have played with a renewed sense of goal during their last 80 minutes.

After the two teams traded punches in ACC tournament on Friday night, a 93-83 Duke win, it's fair to ask (again): Is this the year it will finally happen?

Two of those were not terribly demanding - Tulane and Hawaii - but one of the Heels' defeats was a road game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Indiana. The Jayhawks will have Jackson back for the tournament, will still likely be a 1-seed and they get some much-needed rest for star guard Frank Mason and his tweaked ankle.

The list of teams that have the potential to knock out Duke or Carolina out of the tournament isn't very long, but it's led by the usual suspects - Kansas and Kentucky. But when I start looking for information on the upcoming bracket selections, I get inundated with information on how to bet on the game, any number of games, and the creative ways to look at the game itself. So it does matter.

Other ACC teams that made the field: Duke (2); Louisville (2); Florida State (3); Notre Dame (5); Virginia (5); Miami (8); Virginia Tech (8); Wake Forest (11) and Syracuse (???). It's by far the best way to go through Selection Sunday.

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