Kansas, Villanova, Virginia and Xavier are top seeds in NCAA March Madness
From the top seed in the NCAA Tournament — Virginia — to those that barely made it into the bracket — Arizona State and Syracuse — it feels as though everyone involved in March Madness is on the bubble this year.
The No. 1 seeds for the NCAA Tournament are Virginia, Villanova, Kansas and Xavier with the top-ranked Cavaliers getting preferential seeding in the South Region.
The first four games in Dayton, Ohio, will be LIU-Brooklyn against Radford and St. Bonaventure against UCLA on Tuesday night, and North Carolina Central against Texas Southern and Arizona State against Syracuse on Wednesday night.
The Midwest looks like the bracket of death with No. 1 seed Kansas opening up in Wichita. The No. 2 seed is Duke, with Michigan State at No. 3. Those three have combined for 39 Final Four appearances.
Oh, and Auburn is the No. 4 seed after earning the top seed in the SEC Tournament.
North Carolina’s resume earned the reigning national champion Tar Heels a No. 2 seed in the West Region and a home-state opener despite having 10 losses.
The Tar Heels (25-10) open Friday in the West Region against 15-seed Lipscomb in Charlotte.
UNC is 33-1 in NCAA Tournament games in its home state, with the only loss in 1979.
The Tar Heels entered Sunday fourth in RPI and had a nation-best 14 Quadrant 1 wins, two more than any other team. That included two wins over Duke, a win at Tennessee, a home win against eventual Big Ten Tournament champ Michigan and a neutral-court win against Ohio State.
UNC won nine of 11 games before falling to top-ranked Virginia in Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference title game.
The ACC leads the way with nine teams in the field.
Bubble bursts: Who’s out of the 68-team field
Several big-named programs and successful teams found themselves without a NCAA tournament game to their name Sunday.
Notre Dame had a seven-game losing streak while preseason All-American Bonzie Colson was out injured and couldn’t do enough by the time he returned.
Louisville had a chaotic season mired by the firings of coach Rick Pitino and AD Tom Jurich amid the FBI case.
Saint Mary’s lacked high-quality victories, but it’s tough on a West Coast Conference team to get those opportunities.
Oklahoma State beat Kansas twice and had victories against Texas Tech and West Virginia. The Cowboys also lost an assistant coach in the FBI scandal.
Middle Tennessee made its first Top 25 appearance and dominated the Conference USA regular season, but came up short in the conference tournament.
USC was seeded second in the Pac-12 Tournament and lost the conference final.