Ordinarily, I have this rule for teams who don’t like their seed or their ranking, or any of that other subjective stuff:

Shut up and play.

It’s going to be difficult for me not to break that rule on behalf of the outrageously snubbed Wisconsin Badgers. (Full disclosure: my undergraduate alma mater.)

I am happy for my grad-school alma mater, Northwestern, which will make its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance this year.

It’s fitting that the Wildcats will play Vanderbilt in a matchup of two fine academic institutions—the Northwestern of the South vs. the Vandy of the North. It’s also fitting that the Wildcats will play in Salt Lake City, which had arcane liquor laws when I cared about that sort of thing, just like Evanston, home to the Northwestern campus and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

But now, this forward-looking message: It’s going to be really interesting to see how the Big Ten fares in the NCAA bracket next year.

In Chapter Two of Delany’s March to the Sea—Chapter One being the recently completed conquest of Washington, D.C.—the Big Ten will play its conference tournament a week early in 2018, so that it can play in Madison Square Garden—and spread the gospel of Big Ten commandments to the Eastern heathen.

And that will give the NCAA Selection Committee actual, you know, time to seed the Big Ten teams properly. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.