(AP) – The Latest on Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament (all times local):
The No. 1 in West is Gonzaga, but it’s the 8-9 game in Salt Lake City that has historical significance. Eighth-seeded Northwestern, in the NCAA tournament for the first time, will face Vanderbilt with first-year coach Bryce Drew.
No major conference team had waited as long as Northwestern for their first NCAA bid.
Arizona is the No. 2 in the West, and Florida State is the No. 3 seed. Interesting first-round matchup for the Seminoles in Orlando: Florida Gulf Coast. Dunk City is back in the NCAAs.
Gonzaga is a No. 1 seed for the second time in school history, and it comes with some memories – not all of them good.
Gonzaga will face No. 16 seed South Dakota State on Thursday in Salt Lake City. The other time the Bulldogs received a No. 1 seed was 2013. And they were sent to Salt Lake City. And they were upset in the round of 32 by Wichita State as the Shockers made a run to the Final Four. This time, the Bulldogs could end up facing tournament first-timer Northwestern in the second round.
This is a different Gonzaga squad led by West Coast Conference player of the year Nigel Williams-Goss. The Bulldogs have five players averaging in double figures scoring, but the question will be how they handle a close game. Aside from its loss to BYU, Gonzaga’s only had one game decided by less than 10 points since Dec. 3.
– By Tim Booth reporting from Seattle.
Kansas missed out on a chance to get revenge on Iowa State in the Big 12 tournament when it lost to TCU on Friday.
The Jayhawks might get another crack at the Cyclones in the Sweet Sixteen.
As the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, Kansas will play in Kansas City – where Iowa State won the league tournament on Saturday – if it gets through the first two rounds.
The Cyclones, the fifth seed in the Midwest, beat Kansas in overtime in Lawrence in February and closed the regular season with nine wins out of 10. They’ll have to get past Nevada and possibly Purdue for a trip to the regional semifinals.
Given how many Kansas and Iowa State fans annually make the three-hour trip to Kansas City for the Big 12 tournament, tickets could be a hot item if the Jayhawks and Cyclones get a chance to renew their rivalry at the Sprint Center.
– By Luke Meredith reporting from Iowa.
North Carolina takes the top seed in the South. The Tar Heels won the ACC by two games, but were bounced from the conference tournament in the semifinals by Duke. The Tar Heels play Texas Southern in game one, with Arkansas or Seton Hall waiting in the second round in Greenville, South Carolina.
This is a region dripping with blue and championship history.
The second seed is Kentucky and No. 3 is UCLA. Along with North Carolina, those teams have 25 total championships.
Kentucky was still flying when the initial NCAA Tournament bracket was announced and probably didn’t learn until landing that it was a No. 2 seed and matched against in-state neighbor and newcomer Northern Kentucky, No. 15 seed.
The No. 8 Wildcats were heading back to Lexington after beating Arkansas 82-65 for the Southeastern Conference Tournament title on Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee.
Coach John Calipari and players usually head to his house after returning to watch the Selection Show, but weren’t back in time this year to discover they’re headed to Indianapolis – at least, not in front of assembled media stationed in the coach’s living room.
Little about the seeding or placement was a surprise, though Kentucky’s run through the SEC had stoked talk radio and social media buzz about possibly earning a No. 1 seed.
– By Gary B. Graves reporting from Kentucky.
Kansas is the No. 1 seed in the Midwest and will play in Tulsa, Oklahoma, against the winner of North Carolina Central and UC Davis. Davis is making its first NCAA appearance ever.
The Jayhawks lost their Big 12 Tournament opener without suspended star Josh Jackson.
The second round in Tulsa could have a matchup of blue bloods with Kansas taking on Michigan State – IF the Spartans can get out of the 8-9 game against Miami.
Louisville is the No. 2 seed in the Midwest, and Oregon is the 3.
Defending national champion Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed, a top seed for the third time in school history. The Wildcats will begin defense of their title in Buffalo against the winner of the play-in game between Mount St. Mary’s and New Orleans on Thursday night. In the second round, either Virginia Tech or Wisconsin awaits.
But lurking down the bracket: Duke is the No. 2 seed in the East.
Who will be the No. 1s? That’s the big question as the NCAA committee gets set to reveal the tournament field of 68.
Duke’s late surge to an Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament title has the Blue Devils in the conversation. The Blue Devils won four games in four days in New York, including victories against Louisville, North Carolina and Notre Dame.
Conventional wisdom has Villanova as a lock to be No. 1 overall. The experts have Kansas as a solid No. 1. Then it gets a little less certain.
Gonzaga has only one loss. North Carolina was the best team in the ACC during the regular season. Out in the Pac-12, Arizona seems to have the best case. And then there’s Duke with eight losses. No top seed has ever lost that many games.