#1 Seeds – Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, and Michigan State.
Interestingly, 3 of these 4 top seeds (all except MSU) are heading into the tournament off a loss. Only the Spartans were able to win their conference tournament while the others were knocked out prematurely.
#2 Seeds – Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, Missouri
Duke is looking to make its 16th Final Four appearance while Missouri is still in search of its first.
Iona – The Gaels won the regular season MAAC title but were upset by Fairfield in their conference tournament. Not having played any team with an RPI above 50, many are wondering how this Mid-American team edged its way in. Look out, though. Iona edges out North Carolina as the highest scoring team in the country.
Washington – The Huskies become the first team from a “major” conference to miss the tournament after winning their regular season conference title. However, the Pac-12 was so weak this year, that most analysts are not surprised at the snub, especially after being upset by Oregon State in the conference tournament.
Drexel – The Dragons won an impressive 27 games this year, and over the second half of the season, won 19 straight games. Unfortunately they lost to VCU (last year’s Final Four Cinderella) in the Colonial Athletic conference tournament. This loss in conjunction with a weak strength of schedule doomed their chances.
Trends since 1979 (the current seeding era):
Only once has the Final Four been composed of all four #1 seeds (2008).
The Final Four has included no #1 seeds just three times.
(Last year, the Final Four had no #1 seeds or #2 seeds for the first time ever.)
The championship game has pitted two #1 seeds against each other only 6 times.
However, the eventual champion has been a #1 seed 18 times:
1 seed – 18 times
2 seed – 6 times
3 seed – 5 times (including UConn last year)
4 seed – 1 time (Arizona, 1997)
5 seed – never
6 seed – 2 times
7 seed – never
8 seed – 1 (Villanova, 1985)
9 and lower – never
Finally, the Selection Committee has been assigning a #1 overall seed since 2004. This would seem to denote the “best” team in the country; however, only once over the past 8 years has thet #1 overall seed gone on to win it all – Florida in 2007. Will Kentucky be able to overcome the pressure and break this trend?
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