UNDATED (AP) — 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.
Among the intriguing early matchups is No. 8 seed Creighton and its star, Marcus Foster, against ninth-seeded Kansas State. Foster began his career with the Wildcats.
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.
The first four teams out of the field were Baylor, Saint Mary’s, USC and Notre Dame, while the Fighting Irish and Bonzie Colson were left out when Davidson won its conference tournament and forced Rhode Island into taking an at-large bid.
Syracuse was the last team into the field.
North Carolina’s resume earned the reigning national champion Tar Heels a No. 2 seed 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 ACC title game.
Michigan State is staying home as the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region, where the Spartans will open against 14th-seeded Bucknell at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
Michigan State (29-4) won the Big Ten regular season championship and lost in its tournament semifinals to rival Michigan, which handed the Spartans two of their four losses.
The Spartans are in the NCAA Tournament for the 21st consecutive year.
Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo always says he hopes to “win the weekend” in the NCAA Tournament. He hasn’t been able to do that the past two years, getting knocked out in first and second rounds.
Izzo clearly knows how to win this time of year, though. He’s won 47 NCAA Tournament games, a total that ties John Wooden for seventh on the all-time list.
Davidson’s run to the Atlantic 10 Tournament title apparently stole a bid that otherwise would have gone to Notre Dame.
Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen, the chair of the Division I men’s basketball committee, said on the TBS studio show announcing the NCAA Tournament brackets that the Fighting Irish were the last team left out of the field.
Davidson almost certainly wouldn’t have gotten an at-large bid, but it got into the field by upsetting Rhode Island in the A-10 final. Rhode Island wound up getting the at-large bid that would have gone to Bonzie Colson and the Fighting Irish.
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