by Mark Mayer | Get out the bracket sheets and good luck in the office pools, for at 3 p.m. PT the 64 +1 teams that comprise the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament field will be selected.
The Las Vegas sports books will be busy all night gathering odds and setting the lines on the opening round matchups, which take place at various sites this Thursday and Friday. UCLA, North Carolina and Memphis figure to be three of the four No. 1 seeds in the Dance with Kansas and Texas likely fighting it out for the final choice.
Two-time defending national champion Florida and last year’s NCAA runnerup Ohio State seem at this point to be on the outside looking in. Prior to today’s NCAA selections, tourney championships will be decided in the ACC, Big 10, Big 12 and SEC.
The unofficial opening of the Dance is Tuesday night at Dayton, Ohio with the play-in game between the No. 64 and 65 teams. The winner of that elimination contest will face the committee’s overall No. 1 rated team, most likely top-ranked North Carolina.