Evaluating the four biggest surprises of the NCAA tournament

Big Ten Basketball Tournament - Semifinals

The 2017 NCAA tournament field is set, and the 68 best teams in the country are locked in and ready to begin their push to a championship. Interestingly, for the first time in as long as I can remember, the committee seems to have done a pretty good job, at least in getting the right teams into the tournament.

As for the actual seedings, well, that's just a completely different story. As always, the selection committee left us with some surprising choices with the seedings, but none stood out more than the five below.

Whether it was being seeded too high or too low, each of the four teams below didn't wind up in the right spot.

Wisconsin being a No. 8 seed

Listen, I understand the Big Ten wasn't amazing this year, but this can't be real. Wisconsin is a No. 8 seed, while Maryland, who lost to the Badgers by 11 this season, is a No. 6 seed. Oh, and Wisconsin also made the Big Ten final, but that still wasn't enough to place them ahead of Minnesota, who somehow earned a No. 5 seed.

The Badgers don't deserve to be as high as Minnesota, but they certainly should be above Maryland. Realistically, it wouldn't have been shocking to see those two teams' seedings swapped when the bracket was released.

SMU landing as a No. 6 seed

The Mustangs were ranked as the No. 12 team in college basketball heading into the American Conference tournament while boasting an impressive 30-4 record. How'd they respond? By trucking through and taking down the title with an impressive 15-point victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats, who also earned a No. 6 seed.

SMU should have not only been above Cincinnati, but they also should have been somewhere around a No. 4 seed in a worst-case scenario.

Creighton seeded too highly

The Creighton team that just was handed a No. 6 seed isn't the same as the one we saw earlier in the season. After point guard Maurice Watson Jr. got injured, the team went from being 18-1 and ranked No. 7 in the country, to a 7-8 stretch after the year. Looking at the full body of work is fine, but it seems that some other teams wound up getting hurt in their seedings due to specific team situations.

Wichita State being under-seeded

The Shockers never seem to get much love, do they? This is a group who's also 30-4 this season, and while they lost against a few key nonconference opponents, they turned a corner and became a completely dominant and scary team down the stretch. Don't believe it? They knocked off Illinois State, who was probably the next team who would have made the dance, the last two times they played by a total of 61 points.

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