Official NCAA tournament seed list released

Virginia earns No. 1 overall NCAA Tournament seed on Selection Sunday

The most challenging region appeared to be the Midwest.

Auburn earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament with a 25-7 season and an SEC Championship, but apparently the Tigers are heading to The Dance with a new head coach.

The Big Ten has not won a national championship since No. 3 Michigan State won in 2000. No 1-seed has ever lost in the first round. Michigan State stays close to home with a first-round assignment against 14th-seeded Bucknell in Detroit.

Auburn will be the No. 4 seed in the Midwest. The only way they can match up against each other is if Arizona State and Rhode Island both make it to the Sweet 16. It's the third 1-seed in the past five seasons under coach Tony Bennett, who guided his team to a regional final two years ago but has yet to take the next step: the Final Four.

They range from teams that made it into the tournament off the so-called bubble - Alabama - to one of the best teams in the country.

The South Region will present Virginia with the toughest road to the Final Four in San Antonio of any No. 1 seed other than Kansas.

The Wildcats - who lost to eventual champion North Carolina on a last-second shot in last year's Elite Eight - face 12-seed Davidson (21-11) in Boise on Thursday. A win could set up a possible Sunday matchup with West Virginia, with top-seeded Villanova looming.

The Hurley brothers both have their teams in the NCAA Tournament. The Southeastern Conference, which has made a concerted effort to transfer its success in football to the hardcourt, got 8 of its 14 teams into the field. They improved to 17-14 the following year and have won at least 25 games each of the past two seasons. Villanova, under Coach Jay Wright, is displaying consistent excellence.

No. 2 seed North Carolina just missed out on a No. 1 seed after falling to Virginia in the ACC Tournament title game.

Bobby Hurley's team at Arizona State would have to win an extra game to get there. Sometimes teams fall into a haze during conference season, and Duke may be one of them. Those are major holes that can be exposed by better teams as we get later in the tournament.

"I told our players that everyone can play if they're in there", Bennett said in a teleconference Sunday after the pairings were released. He averaged 19.5 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 42 percent from 3-point range to become one of the front-runners for national player of the year. That game will be broadcast on TBS.

Some of the biggest names in college basketball are in the region.

UVA will face the upset-minded University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) on Friday, March 16 in Charlotte, N.C.

But if Division I's average adjusted tempo is a little more than 68 possessions per game, per KenPom.com, there is a decided outlier: With 59.2 possessions per game, Virginia is the slowest team in college basketball.

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