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NCAA Basketball News and Notes for March 14

Just like that…it is officially March Madness. With the field of 68 officially set on Selection Sunday, brackets around the country are being filled out at a feverous pace. With all the excitement around the upcoming tournament, let’s take a second to digest some of the biggest stories of the week around college basketball.

No. 1 Seeds Are Set

With Selection Sunday in the rearview mirror, it is time to start evaluating brackets, and the easiest way to evaluate each region is by looking at their top seeds.

In the West Region, the Gonzaga Bulldogs (26-3) got the top spot. Not only are they the top seed in the West, but they are the No. 1 overall seed and have the best odds of winning the National Championship at +300.

The Bulldogs are led by junior forward Drew Timme, who is averaging 17.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game.

In the East Region, it is the Baylor Bears (26-6) with the top overall spot. They will face off against No. 16 Norfolk State in their opening round, and the Bears are +1000 to win it all.

This season, the Bears are led by James Akinjo (13.4 points, 5.7 assists, 2.1 steals) and Adam Flagler (13.4 points, 3.1 assists).

The South sees the Arizona Wildcats (31-3) as the top seed. The Wildcats are +600 to win it all and will face the winner of Bryant and Wright State, who have to play a play-in game as part of the First Four.

Sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin leads the Wildcats’ offense averaging 17.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.

Last but not least is Kansas, who is the No. 1 seed in the South Region. They will play the winner of Texas Southern and Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. The Jayhawks are +1300 to win it all this year.

Kansas is led by senior guard Ochai Agbaji, who is averaging 19.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game.

Will Wade Out At LSU

Given the scandal surrounding illegal payments to a recruit from several years ago, it is no surprise that Will Wade is out at LSU. The only thing surprising is how long it took.

On Saturday, the Tigers announced that Wade was fired as a result of infractions from 2017, his first year with LSU. Bill Armstrong, an associate head coach, was also let go.

This season, LSU finished 22-11 overall and 9-9 in the SEC. They are a No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament and will face No. 11 Iowa State in the first round.

While this is far from over for LSU, as it is very likely they will face stiff penalties for some of these infractions, it is officially over for Wade.

Georgia Finds Crean’s Replacement

After recently letting head coach Tom Crean go, it did not take long for the Georgia Bulldogs to find his replacement. On Sunday, it was reported that Mike White, the head coach at Florida, will be moving to Georgia to take over the Bulldogs’ program.

This season, Georgia finished dead last in the SEC, with a 6-26 overall record and a 1-17 record in the conference. For comparison’s sake, White’s now-former Florida program of Florida finished 19-13 and 9-9 in the conference.

Still, while White performed admirably as head coach for the Gators, he still did not achieve the same type of success that his predecessor, Billy Donovan, had.

Now, White will get a fresh start at a program that really has nowhere but up to go. For Georgia fans, they hope that arrow can start pointing up sooner than later.

Volunteers Win SEC

Sticking in the SEC, on Sunday, the Tennessee Volunteers (25-7) won the SEC tournament for the first time since 1979. In the victory, they beat Texas A&M 65-50.

Santiago Vescovi had a game-high 17 points, while Josiah-Jordan James and Kennedy Chandler combined for 30 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists.

After winning the SEC tournament, the Volunteers now move on as a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament to face No. 14 Longwood in the first round.

Tennessee has the 10th-best odds in the nation of winning the National Championship at +2500.

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