Mar 18, 2024 - Sports

Purdue takes top spot as March Madness gets underway

Illustration of a basketball with a bracket pattern

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Selection Sunday has come and gone and the brackets for the NCAA men's and women's tournaments are set.

Why it matters: In 49 other states it's just basketball … but this is Indiana!

  • Purdue is in the top spot as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region.
  • The Boilermakers' tournament starts Friday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse against either Montana State or Grambling State.
  • Indiana State was snubbed and will miss out on the 2024 tournament despite a stellar season and a compelling Cinderella story.

State of play: Let the madness begin. Each year hundreds of thousands of people — from celebrities to presidents and high school students — set out to correctly predict the winner of the Big Dance.

Yes, but: It's nearly impossible to have a perfect bracket. And that's OK. We aren't asking for perfection — we just want to have some fun.

How it works: Sign up for our Axios Indianapolis group on ESPN and enter a bracket for the men's or women's side or both! Once the tournament wraps up, we'll see who had the most accurate predictions and select a winner from each group.

  • You'll earn some bragging rights and maybe a piece of swag.
  • The password is "Axios" if it asks for one.
  • Entries must be completed by 12pm Thursday.

The bottom line: There's no pressure. Once you've submitted your bracket, let us know how you chose your winners. Coolest mascot? Random selection? Personal favorites?

💭 Arika's thought bubble: This is always the time of year I wish I'd watched more college basketball, so I'll be making my selections based on deeply held and largely nonsensical grudges.

💭 Justin's thought bubble: Like my beloved Boilermakers, I too have a recent history of disappointing NCAA Tournament performances. That's because I pick with my heart, not my head. So just like every year they're in it, it's Purdue all the way and the rest will sort itself out.

💭 Lindsey's thought bubble: My women's bracket will be decided by personal rooting interest (Go Hoosiers!). And then I'll spend way too much time overanalyzing stats for the men's bracket only to end up with terrible choices.

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