The NCAA selection committee unveiled the 68-team bracket for this year's tournament Sunday evening, and two local universities officially received their itineraries.
American University and George Washington University are Washington's representatives (Georgetown was not invited to the tournament for the third time in 10 years and first time since 2009, which is fine because the Hoyas would probably lose to another double-digit seed anyway).
For more on what to expect from the Eagles and Colonials, here is your handy guide to next week's Madness:
Seed: No. 15 in West Region
Opponent: No. 2 Wisconsin
Game site/time: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wi.; 12:40 p.m. Thursday (truTV)
Record: 20-12 (13-5 in Patriot League)
How They Got In: Won Patriot League tournament, earned automatic bid
What You Need To Know: One year after finishing 10-20, the Eagles will make their third-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since back-to-back trips in 2008 and 2009.
Under first-year head coach Mike Brennan, American was arguably the most unselfish team in the country; the Eagles recorded an assist on 65.7 percent of their field goals this season, the highest in the nation. The Eagles also allow just 58.6 points per game, sixth-fewest in the country.
That being said, expect a low-scoring game against the Badgers, who under head coach Bo Ryan have proven capable of being one of the NCAA's stingiest teams. This will likely be a grind-'em-out affair, and if American can prevent Wisconsin from pulling away early, it should make for an entertaining contest.
“We have played well defensively,” Brennan told reporters, “but playing a team like Wisconsin, you have to have almost a perfect game to give yourself a chance to be in it at the end.”
Seed: No. 9 in East Region
Opponent: No. 8 Memphis
Game site/time: PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.; 6:55 p.m. Friday (TBS)
Record: 24-8 (11-5 in Atlantic 10)
How They Got In: At-large bid
What You Need To Know: This second-round game will feature two teams looking to snap lengthy tournament droughts. The Colonials are making their first appearance since 2007, but have not won a tournament game since 2006. Meanwhile, the Tigers are in for the eighth time in nine years, but they have not advanced past the first weekend since 2009.
George Washington features five players who average double figures and could be bolstered by the return of one of them, forward Kethan Savage, who broke his foot on Jan. 18. Forward Isaiah Armwood's prior tournament experience will surely help; he went twice with Villanova before transferring to George Washington.
As for Memphis, it sputtered down the stretch, winning four of its final eight games. Yet the Tigers did defeat powerhouse and defending national champion Louisville twice this season, so they are no pushover.
Other "Local" Schools
Mount St. Mary's, located in Emmitsburg, Md., will be one of eight teams to take part in a play-in game. The Mountaineers will face Albany for the opportunity to face No. 1 Florida in Orlando.
The University of Virginia earned a No. 1 seed after winning the ACC regular-season and tournament titles. They will face the winner of the aforementioned Memphis/George Washington game on Sunday in Raleigh.
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