- Associated Press - Sunday, March 16, 2014

Virginia earned the No. 1 seed in the East Region after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament championships, and will face No. 16 Coastal Carolina in the first round on Friday in Raleigh, N.C.

The Cavaliers (28-6) have won 16 of their past 17 games and beat Duke 72-63 on Sunday to claim the ACC tournament title for the first time since 1976. Virginia leads the nation in scoring defense.

Malcolm Brogdon, a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard, leads the Cavaliers with 12.6 points per game.

Coastal Carolina (21-12) earned its first trip to the tournament in 21 years by beating Winthrop 76-61 in the Big South Championship last weekend. The Chanticleers’ veteran coach Cliff Ellis has also led South Alabama, Clemson and Auburn to the NCAA tournament.

_____

No. 8 seed Memphis opens NCAA tournament play in the East Region on Friday in Raleigh, N.C., against No. 9 George Washington, which makes it into the field for the first time in seven seasons.

The Tigers (23-9) finished in a tie for third place in the newly-created American Athletic Conference and have had several impressive victories, including two over Louisville. But coach Josh Pastner’s bunch has been inconsistent and was blown out by UConn 72-53 in the quarterfinals of the AAC tournament earlier this week.

George Washington (24-8) finished in a tie for third place in the Atlantic 10 - a powerful conference that sent six teams to the Big Dance. The Colonials have won five of their past seven games, including victories over NCAA tourney teams UMass and St. Joseph’s.

_____

Big Ten tournament champion Michigan State will open the NCAA tournament against Delaware Thursday in Spokane, Wash.

The fourth-seeded Spartans (26-8), NCAA tournament regulars, earned an automatic berth by upsetting Michigan 69-55 in the tournament championship on Sunday.

The Blue Hens (25-9) won their first NCAA tournament berth since 1999 with a come-from-behind victory against William & Mary in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship.

Delaware, a No. 13 seed, has three players - Devon Saddler (19.7), Davon Usher (19.4) and Jarvis Threatt (18.1) - who average 18 points or more.

Michigan State is getting healthy at the right time.

Coach Tom Izzo has started the same five players for the last five games, and the Spartans have won four of them.

Story Continues →