NCAA Tournament Set to Start Amid Scandal

The 2018 NCAA Men’s basketball tournament starts today, and college basketball fans are eagerly anticipating the start of the tournament, hoping to see some exciting basketball and their favorite teams win some games.

The conference tournaments already provided us with some samples of the madness to expect in the tournament, and fans are hoping the tournament delivers more excitement. For those of you who still haven’t filled out your brackets, check out our printable 2018 March Madness Bracket.

After all the teams selected to play in the tournament were announced, with a lot of teams that deserved to be in the tournament left out for one reason or another.

The tournament will fully begin on Thursday and Friday.

While the NCAA is hoping the tournament is successful in terms of ratings and attendance, this year’s tournament is under a dark cloud because of an FBI investigation into corruption in the NCAA.

Shortly after the tournament ends, a commission led by Condoleezza Rice is expected to deliver recommendations stemming from the FBI investigation that has led to charges being filed against some assistant coaches, apparel company employees and agents.

Over a dozen teams that were implicated in the FBI investigation are playing in the tournament, while others that were expected to be in the tournament were left out because of the reported severity of their violation of NCAA rules.

Louisville, which fired head coach Rick Pitino after allegations of improper behavior during recruiting, had hoped they would be invited to the Big Dance after being stripped of their 2013 national championship, was reportedly left out because of the scandal.

Meanwhile, Arizona, whose coach was allegedly caught on an FBI wiretap discussing paying Deandre Ayton $100,000 to commit to their program, is one of the top seeds in the tournament.

With the corruption scandal being the biggest the NCAA has faced, there is a very good chance that whichever team ends up winning the NCAA tournament this season will probably be implicated in the FBI investigation and will also have their championship taken away after the investigation is over.

Despite the dark clouds surrounding the NCAA tournament, there will still be some great basketball games to watch.

The Midwest Region will likely provide the most excitement in the early rounds because it is the toughest region. Kansas, Michigan State and Duke will have to contend with each other at some point if they can avoid getting upset.

Oklahoma, which features freshman sensation Trae Young, could pull off a few upsets if Young plays like he did earlier in the season.

Boise will be the hottest destination in the early rounds because of the potential matchup between Kentucky and Arizona, who won the SEC and Pac-12 respectively. 

St. Mary’s fans will be upset they won’t be able to watch their team in the tournament because they were snubbed by the committee despite a 28-5 record and a win over Gonzaga during the regular season. Proving that the committee considers other variables when making their selection instead of how well a team played during the season.

Want the latest breaking MSU news delivered straight to your email for FREE? Sign up for the DAILY Spartan Nation newsletter WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE! Don’t miss any of the latest up the second updates on Michigan State Sports when you follow on Twitter @HondoCarpenter