It’s mid-March so let the madness begin. The single greatest sports tournament is set to begin in four days. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is where dreams are made and legacies can last forever. While all eyes will be on Zion Williamson and the number 1 overall seed, Duke Blue Devils, the tournament is loaded with a lot of contenders.

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Here are a few things you will need to know about the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament before making your bracket picks.


All Eyes Will Be On Zion Williamson 

This tournament will be remembered as the Zion Williamson show. Just as he owned the ACC tournament, Williamson will dominant March Madness with a series of monster dunks, blocks, and brute force.  Duke comes into the tournament as the number one overall seed. With a healthy Williamson, the Blue Devils have only lost two games at full strength.

The ACC Was Rewarded With Three Number 1 Seeds

The Duke Blue Devils, Virginia Cavaliers, and North Carolina Tar Heels earned the top overall seeds. Duke, who lost just twice all season with a healthy Zion Williamson, snatched the No. 1 overall seed from Virginia with its ACC tournament title. It’s the first time a conference had three number 1 seeds since the Big East Conference did it in 2009.

The NCAA Tournament Committee Isn’t  Fans of Conference Tournaments

The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee has openly admitted in past years that it often doesn’t have enough time to factor in the results from Sunday’s conference tournament championship games into its bracketing process. That was evident once again in 2019.

Michigan State, which backed up its regular season Big Ten title with a tournament championship game win over Michigan on Sunday, was rewarded with the 2-seed in the same region as No. 1 overall seed Duke. The team they defeated is headed out West as the 2-seed in the same region as the lowest-rated 1-seed, Gonzaga.

Defending National Champions, Villanova, which won the Big East Tournament on Saturday, was undervalued and ranked as a 6th seed. The committee is clearly sending a message to all the conferences, regular season basketball matters more.

The Midwest Region is Going to be the Toughest Route to the Final Four

Three of the four winningest programs in the history of the NCAA tournament — North Carolina, Kentucky, and Kansas — are among the top four seeds in the region, and two of those teams (sorry, Jayhawks) seem fully capable of winning the national title.

There’s also strength in the middle of the region with red hot conference tournament champions Auburn (5-seed) and Iowa State (6-seed). The 7-seed, Wofford, also won its conference tournament and is currently tied with New Mexico State for the longest active winning streak in the country. The winner of this region will have truly earned their final four appearance.