DETROIT (AP) – Top-ranked Virginia has received the first overall seed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which begins with first-round games Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio.
The Cavaliers has the No. 1 seed in the South Region after going 31-2 while winning the ACC regular-season and tournament championships. Virginia will open against UMBC on Friday.
Cincinnati is the No. 2 team in the South, followed by Tennessee and Arizona. The Volunteers are the only top-4 seed in the South to lose in the conference tournaments.
The East is led by Villanova, the Big East champions and 2016 national champs. Second seed Purdue, third seed Texas Tech and No. 4 Wichita State failed to win their conference tourneys.
Conversely, the Midwest Region 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 and Auburn fourth. The Jayhawks, Blue Devils and Spartans have combined for 39 Final Four appearances.
Xavier’s loss in the Big East semifinals didn’t stop the Musketeers from landing the top seed in the West. ACC tournament finalist North Carolina is No. 2, Big Ten champion Michigan is third and West Coast Conference winner Gonzaga is fourth.
Providence received a No 10 seed in the West after its stunning run to the Big East finals. Other bubble teams to make the NCAA Tournament are Arizona State, Oklahoma, Syracuse.
Notre Dame and Louisville were left out of 68-team field, as were Southern California, Baylor and Saint Mary’s.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TOURNAMENT FINALS
Bearcats and two Wildcats win conference tournaments
Cincinnati and a pair of unranked Wildcats were able to grab the last three automatic berths in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament by capturing their conference tourneys.
Gary Clark’s free throw with 4.3 seconds remaining allowed the eighth-ranked Bearcats to escape with a 56-55 triumph over No. 25 Houston in the American Athletic Conference title game. Clark finished with 20 points for Cincinnati, which rallied by holding the Cougars to 20 percent shooting and 18 points in the second half.
The Bearcats hadn’t won a conference tournament championship since gaining the Conference USA crown in 2004.
The other automatic bids went to Kentucky and Davidson.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 29 points to lead Kentucky to its fourth straight SEC tournament crown, 77-72 over No. 13 Tennessee. Gilgeous-Alexander was 10 of 16 from the field and added seven rebounds to help the Wildcats claim their 31st conference tournament title.
Kevin Knox added 18 points and Quade Green had 10 for Kentucky.
Davidson is the Atlantic 10 tournament champion after beating 25th-ranked Rhode Island, 58-57 behind Kellan Grady’s 17 points. Conference co-player of the year Peyton Aldridge added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats, who were in serious danger of missing the tournament before improving to 21-11.
E.C. Matthews led the way with 20 points and eight rebounds for Rhode Island, which was trying to win a second consecutive conference tournament title.
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