March Madness Is Heating Up! Here’s What To Know


| LAST UPDATE 03/07/2023

By Bernadette Forster
Jalen Wilson March Madness 2023
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The NCAA Tournament is one of the most exciting and anticipated events in college basketball. It's a time when teams from all over the country come together to compete for a chance to be crowned national champions. The tournament features 68 teams, with 32 of those spots being automatic bids earned by winning their respective conference tournaments.

On Monday night, two more teams secured their spots in the Big Dance as conference tournament action continued to heat up around college basketball. These teams were Louisiana and Furman, who won the Sun Belt and SoCon Tournaments, respectively. Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns defeated South Alabama 71-66 in the Sun Belt Tournament final. This victory marked their first appearance in March Madness since 2014. Themus Folks led Louisiana with an impressive performance, scoring 23 points to help his team overcome a strong showing from South Alabama's Isaiah Moore.

Jalen Slawson March Madness
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Meanwhile, Furman's Paladins avenged last year's heartbreaking loss in the SoCon title game by beating Chattanooga 88-79 in this year's championship match. The top-seeded Paladins jumped out to an early lead before holding off a rally from the seventh-seeded Mocs. Jalen Slawson led the way for Furman with 20 points, helping his team secure its first NCAA Tournament bid since 1980. With these victories, both Louisiana and Furman have earned their way into March Madness alongside other automatic qualifiers such as Liberty (ASUN), Winthrop (Big South), Iona (MAAC), UNC Greensboro (SoCon), and Morehead State (Ohio Valley). However, many more spots are still up for grabs as power conferences prepare to begin their tournaments this week.

As Selection Sunday approaches, fans can expect even more excitement and drama as teams battle it out for spots in March Madness. With automatic bids on the line and dreams of Cinderella runs dancing in players' heads, it truly is the best time of year for college basketball fans. Monday was not short on thrilling games either, as several conference tournament championship games took place across different leagues. In addition to Louisiana and Furman's victories, there were also quarterfinals and semifinals underway in other tournaments such as Big Sky, CAA, Horizon League, Southland, Summit, and WCC. Overall, it was another exciting day of college basketball that showcased why this sport is so beloved by millions of fans across America. As we inch closer to Selection Sunday and ultimately March Madness itself, you can be sure that there will be plenty more memorable moments yet to come!

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