Which March Madness participants also had strong football seasons?
Since today and tomorrow serve as unofficial national holidays with the NCAA Tournament getting underway, we thought we'd take a look at which schools getting involved in the madness also took part in college football's postseason extravaganza.
We'll break things down by division-by-division.
San Diego State
- A Thursday afternoon first round match-up between Oklahoma State and Oregon easily takes the cake as the best hypothetical gridiron duel. Notre Dame vs. Iowa State and Wisconsin vs. Ole Miss claim the silver and bronze medals.
- Notre Dame vs. Ohio State has the potential for the best football parallel in the second round.
- Speaking of Ohio State, they join North Carolina and Miami as football squads ineligible for postseason play that saw their hardwood counterparts reach the Big Dance.
- With a Big East title, Sugar Bowl win and No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, Louisville the clear favorites to take home the mythical power sports championship but Ohio State and Florida could easily snatch it away.
- For those keeping score at home, the Big East, Big Ten and Big 12 lead the way among conferences with four teams apiece. They are followed by the Big Ten and Pac-12 with three and the SEC and Mountain West with two teams each.
- If Cincinnati manages to upset Creighton on Friday, we'll get a Belk Bowl rematch between the Bearcats and Blue Devils.
South Dakota State
- The FCS faces the thinnest margin for error among all four football divisions, as a conference tournament championship is typically required to receive an NCAA Tournament invite.
- With that in mind, we're awarding the power sports championship to the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State, runners-up in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and basketball champions of the Summit League.
- The exception to that rule is Villanova, where the basketball Wildcats can earn a No. 9 seed in the Big Dance with a 20-13 record out of the Big East.
Division II (7)
Midwestern State (Texas)
Minnesota State - Mankato
New Haven (Conn.)
- The NCAA sends 24 teams to the Division II football playoffs and 64 teams to its basketball tournament.
- The power sports championship goes to Minnesota State - Mankato, who reached the football semifinals and the regional finals in basketball.
Division III (8)
Christopher Newport (Va.)
Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas)
North Central (Ill.)
St. Norbert (Wisc.)
St. Thomas (Minn.)
- Thirty-two teams are invited to the Division III football playoffs, while 61 teams play in the basketball tournament.
- The power sports championship is a dead heat between Mary Hardin-Baylor and St. Thomas. Each school had the misfortune of running into Mount Union in the football playoffs (UMHB in the semifinals and St. Thomas in the title game), while both basketball squads are among the eight teams still alive for the basketball championship. This one is too close to call right now.