The NCAA's selection committee did a solid job of seeding the initial field. Most of the slots made sense. There were few, if any, teams that appeared to be seeded higher or lower than they deserved.
The pairings led to another thrilling first weekend and set up an intriguing Sweet 16. This year's field features three teams from both the Big Ten and Pac-12. Not surprising. But a Sweet 16 with three teams from the SEC -- Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee -- is certainly unexpected. Stanford and Dayton, both double-digit seeds, are still alive. Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, Wichita State and Syracuse are not.
That's the nature of the tournament. Anything can happen.
Now it's time to take another look at the last 16 teams. What if they were reseeded according to the competition they've faced and how they've performed in the opening rounds of the Big Dance? Well, let's try it. And remember: Every remaining program has already accomplished plenty. They're all good teams with a shot at the ultimate crown.
Arizona toyed with Weber State in the round of 64. That was expected. But Gonzaga was a legitimate opponent as a No. 8 seed that appeared to possess the tools to give Arizona a fight. That didn't happen. The Wildcats topped the Zags by 23 points in a lopsided win that allowed them to showcase their championship potential. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Aaron Gordon each finished with 18 points. Nick Johnson, a shooting guard, had four blocks. Arizona is athletic and versatile and ranked No. 1 in adjusted defensive efficiency, per Ken Pomeroy. The Wildcats played better than any team in the field this weekend.
When Kentucky was the favorite to win the national title in 2012, it beat every team it faced by double digits until it reached the Final Four. Louisville defeated North Carolina A&T and Colorado State by 57 points combined in its first two NCAA tournament matchups last season. That's the expectation when you're the top overall seed. Early dominance. Even though the Gators had some rocky moments in their first game, they crushed Albany and Pitt by 28 points combined to reach the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive season. The Gators haven't lost since Dec. 2. The streak continues.
The real Kentucky finally stood up. When John Calipari signed one of the most highly anticipated recruiting classes in the history of college basketball, no one questioned the talent pool in Lexington. The only question about the Wildcats centered on whether the players would come together and develop the chemistry necessary to make a serious run. Their regular season was rocky. But they're playing like a team that finally realizes how good it can be. Wins over Kansas State and previously undefeated Wichita State proved that the Wildcats are good enough to compete for the national title. And Julius Randle, who finished with double-doubles in both games, is unstoppable right now.