The NCAA's Selection Committee must be a sarcastic group. Vanderbilt was rewarded for their SEC Tournament Championship Game win with a matchup against a team that was ranked in the top 25 for much of the season.
Vandy will open their NCAA Tournament against Ivy League champion Harvard on Thursday. The Crimson put together a 26-4 season and posted wins over Florida State and St. Joseph's in a banner year for the Boston university. The team has used tight defense and crisp shooting to put together arguably the best season in school history.
Harvard was ranked in the top 25 in nine of the 17 weeks of the 2011-2012 season. Conversely, Vanderbilt was nationally ranked for just five weeks this year. The two teams share one common opponent - Monmouth. Vandy beat King Rice's Hawks 95-73, while the Crimson recorded a 70-61 road win against them six weeks later.
The rest of Vanderbilt's bracket is filled with tough teams. Syracuse, Ohio State, Florida State, and Wisconsin are the top four seeds in their region. A matchup with the Badgers would be the most likely result from a second-round win over Harvard on Thursday.