It’s actually amazing this hasn’t happened before.
During CBS’s two-hour long selection show, a copy of the full bracket was leaked online and quickly went viral, ruining the suspense that is slowly (very slowly) unveiled on the telecast.
— Chris Miller (@cmillscsn) March 13, 2016
Although no one was for sure whether it was the real deal at first, once it nailed both Kansas’ and Oregon’s regions, viewers realized it was the real thing.
— DNS Google (@DNSGoogle) March 13, 2016
Leaked bracket or not, not everyone was thrilled with the 68-team field—especially those hoping to see Monmouth’s inventive bench celebrations. The Hawks went 27–7, won the MAAC regular season championship, posted wins over UCLA, Notre Dame, USC, and Georgetown but lost to Iona in the MAAC Tournament Championship game and were subsequently denied a trip to the NCAAs.
NEW: The leaked bracket only added to the perceived travesty. Monmouth will not play in the NCAA Tournament: https://t.co/h0K7mlBot3
— Josh Newman (@Joshua_Newman) March 13, 2016
For others, like fans of Syracuse, the news was a welcome relief for a powerhouse program that had a down season while enduring Jim Boeheim’s nine-game suspension. The Orange was awarded a 10-seed and will play 7th-seeded Dayton in their opener.
Report: Syracuse earns No. 10 seed, will face Dayton in first round according to leaked bracket (appears legit). https://t.co/v2b2YWTRTn
— Syracuse Basketball (@syrbasketball) March 13, 2016
Kansas, seeded first in the South Region, was awarded the top overall seed, while Oregon was the top seed in the West, North Carolina in the East, and Virginia in the South. The combined 23 losses among the four No. 1 seeds is the most ever–a not-so-surprising feat given that six different teams held the top spot in the AP poll this year.
Michigan State was a surprise as a No. 2 seed in the Midwest. The Spartans beat Purdue Sunday in the Big Ten Tournament Championship game but likely to the late ending, they didn’t rise to a No. 1 seed as most thought would happen. The Spartans—the only team outside the Big 12 to beat No. 1 Kansas—along with Oklahoma, Xavier, and Villanova were awarded two-seeds.