ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 7: Head coach Gregg Marshall of the Wichita State Shockers directs his team against the Illinois State Redbirds during the MVC Basketball Tournament Semifinals at the Scottrade Center on March 7, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Photo: Dilip Vishwanat
Photo: Dilip Vishwanat

March Madness: 7 early thoughts on the NCAA tournament bracket

The 2017 NCAA Tournament bracket is out. Let the overanalyzing begin! 

Here is are seven quick initial thoughts after a first glance: 

1. Dayton-Wichita State in the first round is another example of the committee hating fun. 

Is there anyone out there who would not prefer to see each of these teams, which have proven themselves in the tournament in the past, get to take on mediocre major conference teams that don't deserve to be there instead of one having to knock out the other? 

RELATED: Tip time set for Flyers-Shockers 

I realize the later rounds are better if they are mostly blue bloods, but the tournament’s most endearing moments are often when teams like the Flyers and Shockers break through to join them. 

Knowing only one can even make the second round just stinks. 

2. I laughed out loud at the reveal of the Kentucky-Northern Kentucky first-round matchup. 

At least the committee has as sense of humor, I guess, but it just might be the evil kind.  

There's a lot to unpack with the Norse having to make their tournament debut against Kentucky, the most successful team in tourney history aside from UCLA. 

RELATED: 6 tips for filling out your bracket this year

I got the impression a lot of people in the region were looking forward to rooting for both teams in the Big Dance, but now that’s impossible. 

Seems kinda unfair to both of them, to be honest, but then nobody said life is fair. 

3. That’s not the only intrastate matchup. 

No. 3 seed Florida State can’t be too excited about having to face a fired-up Florida Gulf Coast program that already knows what it’s like to knock off Goliath. 

4. The two best teams in the country may be in the East region. 

On my first trip down Bracket Filling Out Lane, I ended up with a lot of chalk there, including Villanova against Duke in the regional final. 

Luke Kennard and the Blue Devils are a bit of an enigma, perhaps as likely to win it all as they are to flame out on the first weekend. 

5. Oklahoma State and Michigan enter going in different directions.  

The Wolverines became media darlings over the weekend by overcoming a scary situation with their plane to become Big Ten tournament champions. They had been playing well before entering postseason play… pretty much since somehow losing to Ohio State.  

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State lost its last three. The Cowboys have played 10 games against top 25 teams but won only one. 

6. Since everyone perennially doubts Gonzaga (until the Bulldogs make a Final Four), the West is kind of a weird bracket. 

There are a bunch of fun matchups but no dominant-looking teams.  

7. Notre Dame must be excited to play Princeton and potentially West Virginia in Buffalo, N.Y. 

Will be interesting to see what the fan representation is like there, although I suppose the Fighting Irish like to think they have fans everywhere. 

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