Selection Sunday is over and March Madness is officially underway!
Sixty-eight teams have made the field, and many people are now scrambling to fill out their brackets!
So we asked an expert to weigh in. Shelby Mast joined the Good Morning Show via Skype. He's a bracketologist and works with our news partners at USA Today and on his own website Bracket WAG.
He commented said the only surprise of the tournament may have been Tulsa, other than that the committee did a good job. He also commented on the lack of mid-major conference teams. Mast said the bigger conference teams are given more opportunities to play better teams because of the conferences they're in. On the other hand, the small conference teams have to try to fight for those games and it doesn't always work out for them.
He also gave a brief explanation of how the selection process works. He said it starts in November with committee members being given a list of conferences to study and watch all year long. Then they meet starting the Wednesday before selection Sunday and determine which teams should make the field based on what they've seen and the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index). Mast said he likes that the RPI is based on results, as opposed to how many points teams score or the strength of a team's defense.
Mast said there were some minor controversies on Selection Sunday, including Michigan State's seeding. But he mentioned the biggest controversy was the fact that someone leaked the bracket before they were revealed on the CBS Selection show.
When asked for his overall thoughts on the tournament field, he said this tournament is shaping up to be one of the most competitive tournaments. He said there are a lot of lower seeded teams that are very, very good and a lot of higher seeded teams that aren't as good as expected.
He also shared his thoughts on what we can expect from each region.
Includes teams like Virginia, Purdue, Iowa State Utah, and Dayton, and Syracuse. Mast's prediction for winner of the Midwest: Michigan State. He has them beating Virginia to move to the Final Four.
Includes teams like Oregon, Oklahoma, Duke, Texas, Yale, and others. Mast said while he was surprised Oregon got a one seed, they're deserving. He has them going on to the Final Four. When asked about defending national champions Duke, Mast said he has Duke losing in the first round to UNC-Wilmington because of Duke's lack of depth and Wilmington's excitement to play on the big stage.
Mast's prediction for the Midwest winner? Oklahoma.
Includes teams like UNC, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Xavier, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Mast called the region 'stacked' and should feature some great games. When asked how he thinks UNC will do, he said he had them playing Kentucky in the Sweet 16 and losing to Kentucky in what would be a very close game.
Mast's prediction for East region winner: Kentucky
The South region features teams like Kansas, Villanova, Miami, Connecticut, Arizona, and more. Mast said he has Kansas winning the south as one of the best team's in the nation. Mast's prediction for winner: Kansas
FINAL FOUR & CHAMPION
So he predicted Kansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Michigan State would be the Final Four. Mast's prediction for 2016 National Champion? Michigan State! Mast said Tom Izzo's coaching and Denzel Valentine's senior leadership are a recipe for success.
If you want to start making your selections, click here for the WFMY News 2 printable brackets.
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