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Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Purdue top preliminary NCAA bracket preview

Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Purdue top preliminary NCAA bracket preview

Xavier was the third No. 1 seed (Midwest Region) and Purdue, which lost twice this week, was the fourth No. 1 seed (West Region).

If the NCAA tournament were to be determined today, Arizona would be a No. 4 seed in the West, which is pretty consistent with how many have projected. Auburn, 3. Clemson, 4.

"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.

For instance, Auburn was moved out of the closer-to-home South because the top No. 2 seed can't go to the same region as the overall No. 1 seed.

Cincinnati, Michigan State and Tennessee were the projected No. 2-No. But keep in mind that Oklahoma and Arizona rank even lower than the Rams' in those metrics in addition to worse standings in resume-ranking metrics like RPI, yet those Power-5 schools snuck in as the last two No. 4 seeds.




This is the second straight year the selection committee has released a preview of the bracket.

The other three are Virginia (No. 1) on a neutral, Nevada (No. 15) on the road, and Alabama (No. 33) on the road. The No. 3 seeds would be Clemson, Texas Tech, Michigan State and UNC.

They also have four Quadrant 2 wins and only two losses outside Quadrant 1.

Midwest: 1. Xavier, 2. Of the 12 times the Vols have made the NCAA Tournament since it expanded to 64 teams in 1985, Tennessee has earned a No. 4 seed or better only five times.


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