NCAA announces tournament’s No. 1 seeds
Duke, Virginia, North Carolina and Gonzaga will be the four No. 1 seeds for this year’s NCAA tournament, the association announced Sunday.
It’s “Selection Sunday” and the NCAA announced the bracket of all 68 teams that will compete in March Madness starting on Tuesday.
Thirty-two teams receive automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments, and 36 teams receive at-large bids from the NCAA Selection Committee.
The Final Four will be held on April 6 and the national championship game will be held April 8 in Minneapolis.
The Duke Blue Devils also were the top overall seed in the tournament and will face the winner of a First Four game between North Carolina Central and North Dakota State, The Associated Press reported.
Virginia is set to play Gardner-Webb, North Carolina will play Iona and Gonzaga will play the winner of a First Four game between Fairleigh Dickinson and Prairie View.
The No. 2 seeds were Michigan State, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky.
The Atlantic Coast Conference had three No. 1 seeds — Duke, Virginia and North Carolina — for the first time, the AP said. It’s only the second time a conference has done that. It was last done in 2009 when the Big East had Louisville, Connecticut and Pittsburgh.
Belmont earned its first at-large bid in its history. The Bruins will face Temple in a First Four game in the East region, the AP said. Belmont is making its eighth tournament appearance.
Sixth-seeded Villanova, the champions of the Big East, find themselves in an unfamiliar spot — they failed to score a top-two seed for the first time since 2013, the AP said.
“It’s going to be a special year, I promise,” Villanova coach Jay Wright told hundreds of fans at their on-campus arena.
The Wildcats are trying to become the first team to repeat as national champions since Florida in 2006 and 2007.