However, the Lady Bears held a #1 seed in 2016 and fell to Oregon State in the Elite Eight, so they will have to avoid doing the same this year before worrying about playing on the first weekend in April.
As we can clearly see, UO has their work cut out for them. A Rhode Island berth would be a first for head coach Dan Hurley, closing a hole in his otherwise impressive resume.
UofL gets a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region and will play Jacksonville State, of the Ohio Valley Conference, Friday in Indianapolis.
Early in the season, you would have been forgiven for thinking that Hatchard would spend the season pinned to the bench and seeing garbage time minutes at best.
The upstart Michigan Wolverines are NOT this good. But a win against MI that ended in a court-length pass from Nathan Taphorn to Dererk Pardon for a buzzer-beating basket - a play similar to the famed Grant Hill heave to Christian Laettner in the 1992 NCAA tournament - erased any doubts and signaled this would be the year.
The fourth and final spot could go to either Gonzaga - which finished 32-1 and won the West Coast Conference tournament - or the victor of the Pac-12 tournament, assuming it comes from the Oregon/Arizona/UCLA trio.
The other 1 seeds are Villanova (East), Kansas (Midwest) and Gonzaga (West). Yet, how good are the Zags really?
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At Orlando: 4-Florida vs. 13-East Tennessee State; 5-SMU vs. 12-North Carolina-Wilmington. The Wildcats took every team's best shot and have come out no worse for wear. The Cats are a different team now, and arguably have surpassed Gonzaga.
Jay Wright said he was forced to pull Brunson from last year's championship game for strategic reasons.
Kentucky was made the No. 2 seed in the South Regional. OR is the third seed while Big 10 regular season champ Purdue is the fourth seed in the Midwest. Duke won four straight, including the ACC Tournament Title, to claim the high seed.
Repeating as champs is extremely difficult, but in a basketball laboratory, one would be hard pressed to find a team more prepared for that challenge than the Villanova Wildcats. 3 seed while Butler is the the fourth seed.
If you want to pick a team from the Big East that's flying under the radar to watch out for in the NCAA tournament, Seton Hall is that team.
Player to watch: Josh Hart is the reigning Big East Player of the Year, the reigning Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player and a true National Player of the Year candidate. And the best talent is always very young, with the very best at two schools, Duke and Kentucky.
I labeled the Dogs as a pretender in my article Tuesday, and that holds true heading into Selection Sunday.
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