NCAA selects Villanova as No. 1 overall seed

- The NCAA committee has revealed the tournament field of 68 and defending national champion Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed. That’s the school’s top seed for only the third time in its history.

The Wildcats, in the East Regional, will begin defense of their title in Buffalo against the winner of the play-in game between Mount St. Mary's and New Orleans on Thursday night. In the second round, either Virginia Tech or Wisconsin awaits.

But lurking down the bracket: Duke is the No. 2 seed in the East. The Blue Devils surged late to an Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament title.

Kansas, North Carolina and Gonzaga join 2016 champ Villanova as No. 1 seeds their NCAA Tournament Regions.

Not many surprises there, though Duke -- left at No. 2 despite a four-win-in-four-night performance in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament -- and Syracuse and Illinois State, who got left out altogether, may have been searching for answers. 
 
   Northwestern was plenty happy: Though it was no surprise, the Wildcats were jumping up and down, taking selfies and celebrating after being officially invited into March Madness for the first time in the program's history. The Wildcats were seeded eighth in the West, and will open against Vanderbilt on Thursday. 
 
   With the brackets set, the action begins Tuesday and Wednesday with opening-round games that will include matchups between the last at-large teams invited into the draw: No. 11 seeds Providence vs. Southern California and Kansas State vs. Wake Forest. 
 
   The Final Four is April 1 and 3 in Phoenix. Villanova, which won the title last year on a buzzer-beating jump shot by Kris Jenkins, will open its quest for back-to-back titles against the winner of an opening-round game between New Orleans and Mount Saint Mary's. 
 
   Some head-scratchers: 
 
   --Wichita State, ranked 20th in the nation in the latest Associated Press poll, was given a No. 10 seed. 
 
   --Syracuse, a controversial bubble team that made it to the Final Four last year, was left out this time -- its 84 ranking in the RPI and lack of solid road wins dooming its hopes. 
 
   --North Carolina got top seeding over Duke despite losing two of three to the Blue Devils, including in the ACC Tournament. 
 
   --Illinois State of the Missouri Valley Conference was left out, as the selection committee again mainly shunned the little guys, giving all four of the final bubble spots to teams from the six biggest conferences.
 
   Early candidate for toughest region: The South, with North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA and Butler the top four seeds.
 
A closer look at the East Regional:
 
 
Villanova
   Philadelphia, 31-3.
   Nickname: Wildcats. Coach: Jay Wright.
   Conference: Big East. Bid: Big East champion.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 1.
   Tournament Record: 57-35, 36 years. Last appearance: 2016.
   Scoring: Team (77.7); Josh Hart 18.9; Jalen Brunson 14.8; Kris Jenkins 13.4; Mikal Bridges 9.9.
   Rebounds: Team (33.4); Josh Hart 6.5; Darryl Reynolds 5.4; Mikal Bridges 4.5; Kris Jenkins 4.2.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (14.3/11.2); Jalen Brunson 4.2/2.1; Josh Hart 3.1/1.9; Mikal Bridges 2.0/1.3; Kris Jenkins 2.0/1.5.
   3-pointers: Team (.370); Kris Jenkins 86; Josh Hart 72; Mikal Bridges 42; Jalen Brunson 42; Donte DiVincenzo 36.
   Last Ten: 9-1.
   
Mount St. Mary's
   Emmitsburg, Md., 19-15.
   Nickname: Mountaineers. Coach: Jamion Christian.
   Conference: Northeast. Bid: NEC champion.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 16.
   Tournament Record: 1-4, 4 years. Last appearance: 2014.
   Scoring: Team (68.3); Elijah Long 15.4; Junior Robinson 14.1; Miles Wilson 11.3.
   Rebounds: Team (30.3); Chris Wray 5.9; Mawdo Sallah 5.4; Elijah Long 5.4.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (11.1/13.1); Elijah Long 4.4/3.4; Junior Robinson 2.9/2.5.
   3-pointers: Team (.357); Greg Alexander 69; Junior Robinson 66; Elijah Long 45.
   Last Ten: 7-3.
   
New Orleans
   New Orleans, 20-11.
   Nickname: Privateers. Coach: Mark Slessinger.
   Conference: Southland. Bid: Southland champion.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 16.
   Tournament Record: 1-4, 4 years. Last appearance: 1996.
   Scoring: Team (73.1); Erik Thomas 19.5; Christavious Gill 11.6; Nate Frye 10.3.
   Rebounds: Team (35.9); Erik Thomas 7.8; Travin Thibodeaux 7.5; Makur Puou 4.6.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (15.8/16.8); Travin Thibodeaux 3.3/2.9; Christavious Gill 2.7/1.8; Nate Frye 2.6/1.9; Trevin Boyles 2.5/2.4; Erik Tomas 2.3/2.7.
   3-pointers: Team (.322); Christavious Gill 60; Jorge Rosa 30.
   Last Ten: 8-2.
   ------
 
Wisconsin
   Madison, 25-9.
   Nickname: Badgers. Coach: Greg Gard.
   Conference: Big Ten. Bid: At large.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 8.
   Tournament Record: 36-21, 22 years. Last appearance: 2016.
   Scoring: Team (73.1); Bronson Koenig 14.0; Ethan Happ 13.9; Nigel Hayes 13.5.
   Rebounds: Team (38.4); Ethan Happ 9.1; Nigel Hayes 6.4; Vitto Brown 4.1.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (13.9/11.0); Nigel Hayes 2.8/1.6; Ethan Happ 2.8/2.2; Bronson Koenig 2.1/1.3.
   3-pointers: Team (.345); Bronson Koenig 89; Zak Showalter 46; Vitto Brown 38; D'Mitrik Trice 36.
   Last Ten: 5-5.
   
Virginia Tech
   Blacksburg, Va., 22-10.
   Nickname: Hokies. Coach: Buzz Williams.
   Conference: Atlantic Coast. Bid: At large.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 9.
   Tournament Record: 6-8, 8 years. Last appearance: 2007.
   Scoring: Team (79.3); Zach LeDay 16.3; Seth Allen 13.4; Ahmed Hill 11.6; Chris Clarke 11.4; Justin Robinson 10.3; Justin Bibbs 9.2.
   Rebounds: Team (32.5); Zach LeDay 7.4; Chris Clarke 7.3.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (15.1/13.5); Justin Robinson 4.8/2.5; Seth Allen 3.3/2.9; Chris Clarke 3.3/2.0.
   3-pointers: Team (.403); Justin Bibbs 65; Ahmed Hill 59; Ty Outlaw 53; Seth Allen 51; Justin Robinson 39.
   Last Ten: 6-4.
   ------
 
Virginia
   Charlottesville, 22-10.
   Nickname: Cavaliers. Coach: Tony Bennett.
   Conference: Atlantic Coast. Bid: At large.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 5.
   Tournament Record: 28-20, 20 years. Last appearance: 2016.
   Scoring: Team (66.6); London Perrantes 12.5; Devon Hall 8.7; Mike Shayok 8.6.
   Rebounds: Team (32.9); Isaiah Wilkins 6.2; Devon Hall 4.4; Jacl Salt 3.9.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (14.3/9.5); London Perrantes 3.8/1.7; Darius Thompson 2.2/1.0.
   3-pointers: Team (.393); London Perrantes 63; Kyle Guy 50; Devon Hall 32.
   Last Ten: 5-5.
   
UNC Wilmington
   Wilmington, N.C., 29-5.
   Nickname: Seahawks. Coach: Kevin Keatts.
   Conference: Colonial Athletic Association. Bid: CAA champion.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 12.
   Tournament Record: 1-5, 5 years. Last appearance: 2016.
   Scoring: Team (85.2); C.J. Bryce 17.6; Chris Flemmings 15.8; Denzel Ingram 14.5; Devontae Cacok 12.3.
   Rebounds: Team (35.9); Devontae Cacok 9.6; Chris Flemmings 5.5; C.J. Bryce 5.5.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (16.1/10.4); Denzel Ingram 5.4/1.7; C.J. Bryce 3.0/1.9; Jordan Talley 2.6/1.1; Chris Flemmings 2.1/2.1.
   3-pointers: Team (.366); Denzel Ingram 105; Ambrose Mosley 70; Chris Flemmings 68; C.J. Bryce 42.
   Last Ten: 9-1.
   ------
 
Florida
   Gainesville, 24-8.
   Nickname: Gators. Coach: Mike White.
   Conference: Southeastern. Bid: At large.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 4.
   Tournament Record: 42-17, 19 years. Last appearance: 2014.
   Scoring: Team (78.3); KeVaughn Allen 13.9; Canyon Barry 12.1; Devin Johnson 10.9; Kasey Hill 9.8.
   Rebounds: Team (37.3); x-John Egbunu 6.6; Devin Robinson 6.1; Kevarrius Hayes 4.3.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (12.6/11.8); Kasey Hill 4.6/3.1; Chris Chiozza 3.7/1.5.
   3-pointers: Team (.366); KeVaughn Allen 71; Canyon Barry 41; Justin Leon 41; Devin Robinson 37.
   Last Ten: 7-3.
   x-injured
   
ETSU
   Johnson City, Tenn., 27-7.
   Nickname: Buccaneers. Coach: Steve Forbes.
   Conference: Southern. Bid: Southern champion.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 13.
   Tournament Record: 2-10, 9 years. Last appearance: 2010.
   Scoring: Team (79.9); T.J. Cromer 19.1; Desonta Bradford 10.6; Tevin Glass 8.9; A.J. Merriweather 8.6; Hanner Mosquera-Perea 8.4.
   Rebounds: Team (36.4); Tevin Glass 6.2; Hanner Mosquera-Perea 4.6; Desonta Bradford 4.5.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (14.8/14.8); Desonta Bradford 4.0/2.4; .J. Cromer 3.2/2.7.
   3-pointers: Team (.383); T.J. Cromer 103; DeVontavius Payne 47; David Burrell 28; Desonta Bradford 28.
   Last Ten: 9-1.
   ------
 
SMU
   Dallas, 30-4.
   Nickname: Mustangs. Coach: Tim Jankovich.
   Conference: American Athletic. Bid: AAC champion.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 6.
   Tournament Record: 10-13, 11 years. Last appearance: 2015.
   Scoring: Team (73.7); Semi Ojeleye 19.0; Shake Milton 13.2; Sterling Brown 13.2; Ben Moore 11.6; Jarrey Foster 9.8.
   Rebounds: Team (39.5); Ben Moore 7.8; Sterling Brown 6.6; Semi Ojeleye 6.7; Jarrey Foster 5.2; Shake Milton 4.1.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (16.7/11.4); Shake Milton 4.5/1.8; Sterling Brown 3.1/2.0; Ben Moore 2.5/1.6; Jarrey Foster 2.2/1.2.
   3-pointers: Team (.397); Shake Milton 79; Semi Ojeleye 71; Sterling Brown 58; Jarrey Foster 31.
   Last Ten: 10-0.
   
Providence
   Providence, R.I., 20-12.
   Nickname: Friars. Coach: Ed Cooley.
   Conference: Big East. Bid: At large.
   Region: East. Seed: No. xx.
   Tournament Record: 15-19, 18 years. Last appearance: 2016.
   Scoring: Team (70.2); Rodney Bullock 15.7; Emmitt Holt 12.4; Kyron Cartwright 11.4; Jalen Lindsey 10.2.
   Rebounds: Team (33.5); Rodney Bullock 6.4; Emmitt Holt 5.2; Jalen Lindsey 4.3.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (14.2/12.6); Kyron Cartwright 6.7/2.9.
   3-pointers: Team (.368); Jalen Lindsey 70; Rodney Bullock 43; Kyron Cartwright 30.
   Last Ten: 8-2.
   
Southern Cal
   Los Angeles, 24-9.
   Nickname: Trojans. Coach: Andy Enfield.
   Conference: Pac-12. Bid: At large.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 11.
   Tournament Record: 12-19, 17 years. Last appearance: 2016.
   Scoring: Team (78.7); Bennie Boatwright 14.6; Chimezie Metu 14.5; Jordan McLaughlin 13.1; Elijah Stewart 12.4.
   Rebounds: Team (36.1); Chimezie Metu 7.8; De'Anthony Melton 4.9; Bennie Boatwright 4.3; Elijah Stewart 4.0.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (15.3/11.2); Jordan McLaughlin 5.5/2.2; De'Anthony Melton 3.4/1.8.
   3-pointers: Team (.363); Elijah Stewart 69; Jordan McLaughlin 44; Jonah Mathews 40; Bennie Boatwright 38; Shaqquan Aaron 37.
   Last Ten: 5-5.
   ------
 
Baylor
   Waco, Texas, 25-7.
   Nickname: Bears. Coach: Scott Drew.
   Conference: Big 12. Bid: At large.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 3.
   Tournament Record: 11-12, 10 years. Last appearance: 2016.
   Scoring: Team (72.7); Johnathan Motley 17.3; Manu Lecomte 12.4; Al Freeman 9.5; Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. 9.2.
   Rebounds: Team (38.0); Johnathan Motley 9.9; Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. 7.0; Ishmail Wainright 5.1.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (15.7/13.4); Manu Lecomte 3.9/2.1; Jake Lindsey 3.2/1.1; Ishmail Wainright 3.2/1.5; Johnathan Motley 2.4/2.9.
   3-pointers: Team (.359); Manu Lecomte 68; Al Freeman 41.
   Last Ten: 5-5.
   
New Mexico State
   Las Cruces, 28-5.
   Nickname: Aggies. Coach: Paul Weir.
   Conference: Western Athletic. Bid: WAC champion.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 14.
   Tournament Record: 10-24, 22 years. Last appearance: 2015.
   Scoring: Team (78.9); Ian Baker 16.6; Sidy N'Dir 13.7; Braxton Huggins 13.6; Eli Chuha 12.4; Jemerrio Jones 9.9.
   Rebounds: Team (39.8); Eli Chuha 9.0; Jemerrio Jones 8.5; Ian Baker 4.3.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (14.8/13.8); Ian Baker 4.1/2.2; Jemerrio Jones 2.9/2.0.
   3-pointers: Team (.337); Braxton Huggins 86; Ian Baker 62.
   Last Ten: 7-3.
   ------
 
South Carolina
   Columbus, S.C., 22-10.
   Nickname: Gamecocks. Coach: Frank Martin.
   Conference: Southeastern. Bid: At large.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 7.
   Tournament Record: 4-9, 8 years. Last appearance: 2004.
   Scoring: Team (72.1); Sindarius Thornwell 21.0; PJ Dozier 13.6; Duane Notice 10.1; Chris Silva 9.8.
   Rebounds: Team (36.3); Sindarius Thornwell 7.2; Chris Silva 5.7; Maik Kotsar 5.0; PJ Dozier 4.8.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (12.6/13.4); PJ Dozier 2.9/2.1; Sindarius Thornwell 2.8/2.4; Duane Notice 2.3/1.4.
   3-pointers: Team (.338); Duane Notice 60; Sindarius Thornwell 45; PJ Dozier 39; Rakym Felder 31.
   Last Ten: 4-6.
   
Marquette
   Milwaukee, 19-12.
   Nickname: Golden Eagles. Coach: Steve Wojciechowski.
   Conference: Big East. Bid: At large.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 10.
   Tournament Record: 41-32, 31 years. Last appearance: 2013.
   Scoring: Team (82.5); Markus Howard 13.2; Jajuan Johnson 11.8; Andrew Rowsey 11.5; Luke Fischer 11.0; Katin Reinhardt 10.9; Haanif Cheatham 9.0.
   Rebounds: Team (33.3); Luke Fischer 5.9; Sam Hauser 5.0; Haanif Cheatham 404; Jajuan Johnson 4.0.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (16.5/12.2); Jajuan Johnson 2.7/2.3; Andrew Rowsey 2.3/1.3; Markus Howard 2.2/1.9; Haanif Cheatham 2.3/1.6; Katin Reinhardt 2.1/1.4.
   3-pointers: Team (.430); Markus Howard 79; Andrew Rowsey 69; Sam Huaser 61; Katin Reinhardt 56.
   Last Ten: 5-5.
   ------
 
Duke
   Durham, N.C., 27-8.
   Nickname: Blue Devils. Coach: Mike Krzyzewski.
   Conference: Atlantic Coast. Bid: ACC champion.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 2.
   Tournament Record: 107-35, 40 years. Last appearance: 2016.
   Scoring: Team (80.7); Luke Kennard 20.1; Jayson Tatum 16.9; Grayson Allen 14.1; Amile Jefferson 10.9; Frank Jackson 10.7.
   Rebounds: Team (36.3); Amile Jefferson 8.2; Jayson Tatum 7.3; Luke Kennard 5.3; Harry Giles 4.0.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (13.1/11.3); Grayson Allen 3.5/2.2; Luke Kennard 2.5/1.6; Jayson Tatum 2.2/1.1.
   3-pointers: Team (.376); Luke Kennard 85; Grayson Allen 73; Frank Jackson 47; Matt Jones 45; Jayson Tatum 37.
   Last Ten: 7-3.
   
Troy
   Troy, Ala., 22-14.
   Nickname: Trojans. Coach: Phil Cunningham.
   Conference: Sun Belt. Bid: Sun Belt champion.
   Region: East. Seed: No. 15.
   Tournament Record: 0-1, 1 year. Last appearance: 2003.
   Scoring: Team (79.0); Jordan Varnado 16.5; Wesley Person 14.8; Jeremy Hollimon 12.0.
   Rebounds: Team (37.1); Jordan Varnado 6.9; DeVon Walker 6.5; Alex Hicks 4.1.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (13.4/12.6); Kevin Baker 3.1/1.8; Daniel Peace 2.2/1.5.
   3-pointers: Team (.368); Wesley Person 92; Kevin Baker 71; Jeremy Hollimon 46.
   Last Ten: 8-2.

 

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