Get those pencils out, it's NCAA bracket time

We know who's in and who's not.

The Gophers, by the way, are not.

So start studying for your office pool bracket.

The NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament on Sunday announced the 68 teams that earned spots in this year's field. Many of the participants were known earlier by virtue of winning their conference tournaments, and a couple dozen other teams were assured of places.

There is the usual complaining by some of the teams that just missed getting in, but perhaps less than usual. The University of Minnesota, for example, had been thought to be "on the bubble" until Friday's lopsided loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Conference tournament. The NCAA selection committee, as expected, found the Gophers not worthy of a spot in "The Dance" but the National Invitation Tournament welcomed them with open arms, giving them the top seed in their 32-team field.


Minnesota on Tuesday night hosts a game with a team no one has heard of — High Point (N.C.) — which is probably tickled to be in the NIT.

That same night, four of the 68 NCAA teams begin the big tournament with a pair of first-round games in Dayton, Ohio. There are two more games Wednesday, and then on Thursday, the tourney begins in earnest with 16 games.

There are 16 more Friday, eight more Saturday and eight more Sunday.

In a week from now, we'll know who is moving on to the Sweet 16.

And most of us will know if our office pool bracket has any chance of winning.

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