Kentucky, Syracuse, UNC, MSU secure No. 1s
Failing to win conference tournament titles didn’t prevent Kentucky, Syracuse and North Carolina from earning No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
Winning the Big Ten Conference title game may have ensured Michigan State received the final No. 1 seed for the Big Dance when the field of 68 was announced Sunday.
Kentucky (32-2), which lost to Vanderbilt 71-64 in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game Sunday, received the No. 1 overall seed and will face the Mississippi Valley State/Western Kentucky winner in the first round.
Syracuse (31-2) was also considered a lock for a No. 1 seed and a loss to Cincinnati in the Big East tournament semifinals did nothing to change that. The Orange will open play in the East Regional against UNC Asheville.
North Carolina (29-5) landed the top seed in the Midwest despite falling to Florida State 85-82 in Sunday’s ACC tournament title game. The Tar Heels will face the Lamar/Vermont winner and could be staring at an enticing matchup against second-seeded Kansas.
Michigan State held off Ohio State 68-64 for the Big Ten tourney championship to secure the No. 1 seed in the West and a first-round matchup against Long Island.
Ohio State (East), Duke (South) and Missouri (West) joined Kansas as No. 2 seeds. The Jayhawks, who lost to Baylor in the Big 12 semis, were given serious consideration for a No. 1 seed, selection committee chairman Jeff Hathaway said.