Piecing together the 65-team NCAA basketball tournament bracket is never an easy task, and given the widespread mediocrity among many of the nation’s top conferences, putting together this season’s field was expected to be a particular challenge for the 10-member selection committee.
But in the days since they sequestered themselves in a downtown Indianapolis hotel earlier this week, a cloudy picture has been obscured even further.
The nation’s presumed elite teams, contending for the four No. 1 seeds, started falling one by one. Pittsburgh, Connecticut, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Michigan State all experienced early exits in various conference tournaments.