68 teams in total.
31 automatic bids.
37 at-large bids.
All teams seeded 1-16 and dispatched to four regions, comprising one giant bracket.
That sounds like one extremely tough task for the NCAA Division I Selection Committee to complete. Nevertheless, the Selection Committee must take in all of the information available (RPI, strength of schedule, top-50 wins etc.) and determine the field for the 2012 NCAA Tournament. How do they do it? What's the selection process like?
"It's unbelievable how we go through the process and evaluate and compare team to team," said LSU athletic director Joe Alleva last Sunday, one of the 10 committee members. "It's just so thorough, unbelievable and very, very time-consuming. There's probably 50 to 55 that are all so close to choose from. There are probably 20 teams that could fit into those last five or six spots. The first 30 are easy to pick, the last seven you're splitting hairs."
As of a couple hours before the Selection Sunday show, ESPN's Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has BYU, South Florida, N.C. State and Seton Hall as the last four teams in the big dance. He has Drexel, Washington (the Pac-12 regular season champs), Mississippi State and Iona as the last four teams out.
Will the Selection Committee prove Lunardi wrong? Scroll down for live Selection Sunday updates and click here to follow HuffPost Sports' March Madness coverage.
|@ YahooForde : Wolfpack are the 68th team announced, relief in Raleigh. Sorry to Seton Hall, Washington, Miss State, Drexel. Oy, Drexel.|
|@ ESPNAndyKatz : UNC-Kansas Elite Eight? Roy vs. Bill Self? Let's see if it happens. Lot of upset possibilities here.|
|@ ESPNHomeCourt : RT @RealJayWilliams: Teams that were close but no cigar: Seton Hall, Washington, MSST, Drexel & Miami.|
|@ ESPNAndyKatz : Drexel, Washington, Miss State, Miami all out.|
|@ lukewinn : Iona over Drexel. Wow.|
No. 2 Kansas will play No. 15 Detroit
No. 7 Saint Mary's will play No. 10 Purdue
No. 3 Georgetown will play No. 14 Belmont
No. 6 San Diego State will play No. 11 N.C. State
No. 1 North Carolina will play the winner of Lamar/Vermont for No. 16 seed
No. 8 Creighton will play No. 9 Alabama
No. 5 Temple will play the winner of South Florida/Cal for the No. 12 seed.
No. 4 Michigan will play No. 13 Ohio
|@ YahooForde : Nervous list: USF, NW, Miss State, Drexel ... who am I missing?|
|@ ESPNAndyKatz : Second time Gonzaga has to come east in a 7-10 game to play a regional team (Davidson in Raleigh) and now WVU in Pittsburgh.|
|@ GaryParrishCBS : Putting West Virginia in Pittsburgh creates a disadvantage for higher-seeded teams. That's wrong.|
|@ GoodmanCBS : Would assume that Drexel should be a lock now than Iona is in.|
No. 2 Ohio State will play No. 15 Loyola (MD)
No. 7 Gonzaga will play No. 10 West Virginia
No. 3 Florida State will play No. 14 St. Bonaventure
No. 6 Cincinnati will play No. 11 Texas
No. 1 Syracuse will play No. 16 UNC Asheville
No. 8 Kansas State will play No. 9 Southern Miss
No. 5 Vanderbilt will play No. 12 Harvard
No. 4 Wisconsin will play No. 13 Montana
|@ GoodmanCBS : Iona makes it. How? No clue. Insane.|
|@ lukewinn : Memphis-St. Louis has to be one of the strongest 8/9 games of all time.|
|@ ESPNAndyKatz : OK. Let me digest. Murray gets a six and will play in Louisville. Like that for Racers. And Iona gets rewarded for winning MAAC. BYU/CSU in.|
|@ PeteThamelNYT : Wow. Iona got in. Committee rewarding little teams. They can send a thank you card to Brad Stevens at Hinkle Fieldhouse.|
No. 2 Missouri will play No. 15 Norfolk State
No. 7 Florida will play No. 10 Virginia
No. 3 Marquette will play the the winner of BYU and Iona (for the No. 14 seed)
No. 6 Murray State will play No. 11 Colorado State
If Iona makes it, who do they knock out?
No. 1 Michigan State will play No. 16 LIU
No. 8 Memphis will play No. 9 Saint Louis
No. 5 New Mexico will play No. 12 Long Beach State
No. 4 Louisville will play No. 13 Davidson
|@ ESPNHomeCourt : Thoughts on the South Region everyone? RT @dgoneil1: There are about 300 potential storylines in the South region.|
|@ GoodmanCBS : LOVE the potential UConn-Kentucky matchup on Saturdday --- if Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond come to play against Iowa State.|
No. 2 Duke will play No. 15 Lehigh.
No. 7 Notre Dame will play No. 10 Xavier.
No. 3 Baylor will play No. 14 South Dakota State.
No. 6 UNLV will play No. 11 Colorado
No. 8 Iowa State will play No. 9 UConn.
No. 5 Wichita State will play No. 12 VCU.
No. 4 Indiana will play No. 13 New Mexico State.
Kentucky will play the winner of the play-in game between Miss. Valley State and Western Kentucky.
|@ ESPNAndyKatz : I was convinced Atlanta would get Kentucky. It's an SEC city. Huge get for Atlanta.|
|@ GaryParrishCBS : So the way the bracket is put together we could have a UK-UNC title game.|
UNC gets the third No. 1 seed and will play in the MIDWEST REGION. The fourth No. 1 seed goes to Michigan State and they will play in the WEST REGION!