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Virginia Cavaliers No. 1 in preliminary NCAA rankings


Virginia (23-2), Villanova (23-2), Xavier (23-3) and Purdue (23-4) would get No. 1 seeds if the NCAA men’s basketball tournament started Sunday, according to a brackets preview released by the selection committee.

Virginia would be the No. 1 overall seed, despite its overtime loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday.

“When the committee started our meeting on Tuesday, I think there was a general agreement on who the top three teams were, but by late Saturday night that group had grown to four,” committee chairman Bruce Rasmussen said in a statement. “We initially felt Villanova was the overall top seed, but we flipped that Thursday morning after the Wildcats lost to St. John’s at home and Virginia won at Florida State.

“Despite UVA’s loss Saturday, we felt that based on their 13 wins in the first two quadrants, they deserved to remain on top. Villanova bounced back with a good win Saturday, so we kept them second. Purdue had two tough losses to quality teams, while Xavier picked up two good road wins to solidify the fourth No. 1 seed and ultimately leap Purdue on the seed list.”

The No. 2 seeds are: Auburn (22-3), Kansas (19-6), Duke (19-5) and Cincinnati (22-2).

The No. 3 seeds are: Clemson (20-4), Texas Tech (21-4), Michigan State (24-3) and North Carolina (19-7).

The No. 4 seeds are: Tennessee (18-6), Ohio State (22-5), Arizona (20-6) and Oklahoma (16-8).

This is the second straight year the selection committee has released a preview of the bracket. The official tournament bracket will be revealed on Sunday, March 11.

By region, the brackets would be:

South: 1. Virginia, 2. Cincinnati, 3. Tennessee, 4. Michigan State

East: 1. Villanova, 2. Duke, 3. Texas Tech, 4. Ohio State

Midwest: 1. Xavier, 2. Auburn, 3. Clemson, 4. Oklahoma

West: 1. Purdue, 2. Kansas, 3. North Carolina, 4. Arizona



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