4 convincing reasons why you should watch First Four games

Malcolm Fuller
March 15, 2017

Williams has his team playing well with its sights set on a second consecutive Final Four, while Calipari figured out his team halfway through the SEC schedule and has the 'Cats firing on all cylinders.

Vegas casinos reportedly earn millions of dollars each spring from hundreds of college basketball fans making an annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the NCAA Tournament. And which teams will have to settle for the NIT?

Our question is, will you fill out an NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Bracket?

And for the first time since 2006-2007 (Florida) we will have a repeat champion.

The mascot with the most NCAA Tournament wins? It'd be hard to see Gonzaga (32-1) get dropped by the committee after it had the 'Zags as a No. 1 in mid-February. That's where most of the drama should unfold on Sunday.

Duke is arguably the country's best No.2 seed, having won the ACC Championship this past weekend. After an up-and-down regular season, it looks like Blue Devils have figured it out. "When going for an upset, try and focus on teams from better conferences". The No. 1 seed's record in those games is 115-13. To pick a favorite from these three, you may be better off at putting the three schools on a dart board and tossing the dart blindfolded. Duke's one of those teams, like the Patriots have been lately.

First-round winners: Gonzaga, Northwestern, Princeton, West Virginia, Maryland, Florida Gulf Coast, VCU, Arizona. Plenty of experts believe that UCLA will go all the way to the national championship game, and the Bruins seem to be getting more support than No.2 seed Kentucky. A potential second-round matchup looms against No. 10 seed Marquette, coached by former Duke point guard and longtime assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski. Wichita State did not deserve a 10; the Shockers should have been a four or a five.

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Strangely, there will be no controversy about which teams were left out.

This year's Final Four is at University of Phoenix Stadium, and in order for Nova to get back to the Final Four again this season, they'll have to take care of business in Buffalo, then head back to Madison Square Garden to take care of business in the East Regional.

SMU has been flying under the radar pretty much the entire season, mainly since the Mustangs play in the American Athletic Conference.

As good as last year's title team was, they failed to accomplish the conference double.

Dayton's time as host will conclude with one more 11-seed brawl, this time between Providence and USC. Vanderbilt is a team that knocked off the Florida Gators three times (yes, three times), and a team that will also be partaking in the 2017 NCAA tournament. At 19-15, Jamie Dixon's squad likely needed the win over the Cyclones. At 21-12, the Bears don't have a great RPI and fell to 1-8 against RPI top-50 teams.

No surprise, then, this NCAA Tournament bracket had its fair share of eye-opening first-round matchups that should generate some buzz. Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, whose son plays for the Wildcats, took to Twitter along with talk-show host Seth Myers and ESPN's Mike Wilbon to acknowledge the historic day for their alma mater.

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