Who are NCAA tournament’s No. 1 seeds? It’s anyone’s guess

Story Topics
Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

Another round of upsets capped a wild regular season, casting uncertainty over the coveted top seeds for the NCAA tournament and leaving defending champion Kentucky facing the very real chance of being left out of the 68-team field.

The selection committee was set to unveil its brackets Sunday evening. A year ago, the process was far less complicated, with the Wildcats, North Carolina and Syracuse all clear No. 1s.

Committee chairman Mike Bobinski, the athletic director at Xavier, said a few days ago he considered as many as seven teams to be in the running for the top line of the four regional brackets.

Gonzaga, which is No. 1 in The Associated Press rankings for the first time, will be making its 15th straight NCAA appearance after winning the West Coast Conference. The Zags are expected to land the top seed out West.

Beyond that, it was a bit of a mystery after the topsy-turvy season. Gonzaga was the fifth team to hold the lead spot in the rankings, following Indiana, Duke, Louisville and Michigan.

“As I walk into our process this year, I would tell you I’ve probably got seven teams in my mind for the first four spots,” Bobinksi said last week, as the selection committee was beginning its work. “That will come into focus the next few days, but it’s more than four for the top four.”

Duke, the projected leader in the RPI rankings, was upset by Maryland in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Indiana lost in the semifinals for the Big Ten tourney. Another possible top seed, Georgetown, went down in the Big East semis.

Louisville made a strong push for a No. 1 with a 10-game winning streak capped by a stunning victory in the Big East title game, coming back from a 16-point deficit early in the second half for a 78-61 rout of Syracuse. Kansas was also in the mix after blowing out Kansas State 70-54 in the Big 12 final.

“I think we’re deserving to be in the discussion,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “I think we’ll be for sure one of the five or six most highly ranked teams on the seed line.”

Others were trying to make a late impression on the committee, which likes to have its major work wrapped up before the final hours, but may not have that luxury this time.

Miami, for instance, was attempting to make up for a late-season slide by winning its first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title after holding on for the regular-season crown. The Hurricanes were facing North Carolina in Sunday’s championship game.

In the Big Ten, Ohio State took on Wisconsin for the tournament championship, with the Buckeyes hoping to wrap up at least a second seed but possibly in the mix for a No. 1.

Another school from the sunshine state, Florida, hoped to impress the committee by doubling up in the Southeastern Conference. The Gators won the regular-season title and faced Mississippi in the final of the league tournament Sunday.

But the SEC’s most prominent basketball school was in danger of missing out altogether.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player