The 2016 National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament is finally upon us. An exhilarating college basketball season defined by parity among the nation’s best programs has cumulated into the 68 team tournament that captivates the country’s attention for three weeks.

As so called “experts” endlessly scrutinize the field of teams and determine who they think will earn a trip to Houston in April, millions of brackets are made and money is blindly thrown into pools picking hopeful winners. Make sure your recliner is working and snacks are ready because as history has showed us, nothing short of madness will ensue in the coming weeks.

To start with, it is only fair to recognize the teams that barely missed the cut to make it into this loaded group of 68. St. Bonaventure, Saint Mary’s and most notably, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rival Monmouth were snubbed from this year’s tournament as they were unable to secure an at-large bid to the dance. Although each team had a remarkable season, the committee deemed their tournament resume isn’t strong enough to compete with the mediocre big boys from major conferences such as Vanderbilt, Michigan and Syracuse.

For the teams who were selected to participate in the tourney, the field is highlighted by traditional blue bloods Kansas and North Carolina, both of whom garnered a number one seed. After winning their respective conference tournament titles, each squad is primed to compete for yet another championship in their program’s storied history. On the other hand, resurgent Virginia and upstart Oregon earned the other two number one seeds in the bracket.

With that said, there has only been one time in the NCAA Tournament’s 76-year history where all number one seeds have reached the Final Four. So it is a pretty solid bet that one or multiple of the aforementioned teams will not be making an appearance in Houston. That leaves us with the outsiders, the teams who certainly have enough talent to cut down the nets, but may not have been able to put it all together during the regular season.

This group starts with second seeded Michigan State, a program who seemingly finds a spot in college basketball’s last weekend each and every year. With a roster filled with stud upperclassmen, nobody will be surprised if the Spartans are playing basketball in April once again.

The reigning national champion Duke Blue Devils are back as a four seed, but no team wants to see this group in the tournament as the Durham boys have one of the most talented groups in the country. Not to be forgotten, the underappreciated crew at Kentucky returns to the dance as the four seed despite being dangerous as ever to once again hoist the trophy.

And now to everyone’s favorite part, the upset alerts. The underdog schools that stun the tournament headliners and make news of their own, creating the madness that America craves each March. The 12th seeded Chattanooga Mocs have a shot at knocking off fifth seeded Indiana in the first round with a host of speedy guards that could really cause the Hoosiers trouble.

14th seeded Fresno State has a slight, yet possible chance to send third seeded Utah back to Salt Lake with their cold-blooded shooters. And finally, do not be taken aback if 12th seeded Yale bests fifth seeded Baylor. The Ivy League plays well in the tournament and Yale is one of the best teams the Ivy League has produced in a long time.

No matter what transpires over the next few weeks, the NCAA Tournament will provide us with some of the most exciting moments and unbelievable performances we have ever seen. The cream of the crop will rise to the top, unless the underdog makes March truly special and provides us what we all love to see, utter madness.

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