April 18, 2024

Westside People

Complete News World

UConn, Houston, Purdue and North Carolina earn No. 1 seeds

UConn, Houston, Purdue and North Carolina earn No. 1 seeds

Defending national champion UConn, a day after winning the Big East championship and improving to 31-3, was selected as the No. 1 overall seed on Sunday during the NCAA Tournament selection show.

The Huskies, who have won seven in a row and finished 7-2 this season against teams in the Associated Press' top 25, are joined on the top line by Houston, Purdue and North Carolina, three teams that have been consistently in the top 10 this season but have lost in tournaments. Their conferences last week.

UConn will open its title defense at Barclays Center in Brooklyn against Stetson on Friday. If the Huskies advance, they will play either Florida Atlantic or Northwestern.

For the Cougars and Boilermakers, Sunday's picks mark the second time in as many years they've reached the top spot. They were joined last season by Alabama and Kansas, who heard their names called this season, but not on the top line.

Houston will have to navigate the likes of Duke, Kentucky and Marquette in the South Region if the Cougars can reach the Final Four for the first time since 2021. The Cougars were rewarded for being Big 12 regular season champions and reaching the conference tournament title game before losing to Iowa State. They will face No. 16 seed Longwood, the Big South champion, in Memphis, Tennessee, in the first round on Thursday. Houston will be a top seed for the third time in school history.

For North Carolina, the No. 1 seed is the fourth and final seed, and it came after much debate among the committee. The Tar Heels will open Thursday in Spokane, Washington against a winner from Tuesday's First Four.

See also  Mexico vs Colombia Live Match: Score Updates (2-0) | 09/27/2022

“There was a lot of discussion, obviously North Carolina got it,” Dr. Charles McClelland, chair of this year's committee, told CBS. “We looked at some head-to-head matchups, but overall, North Carolina had a great season.” Show selection. “They did what they were supposed to do in the regular season.”

Purdue will also play as a top-four applicant. The 29-4 Boilermakers will begin their campaign Friday in Indianapolis. Purdue, which lost in the first round last season to Fairleigh Dickinson, has won six of its past seven games.

Purdue's path could include a showdown with No. 4 seed Kansas or No. 5 Gonzaga, two teams accustomed to much better seeds this time of year, just to get to No. 16. To reach the Final Four, the path could go through No. 2. -Seed Tennessee or No. 3 seed Creighton, both coming off disappointing appearances in their respective conference tournaments.

Dan Hurley's team has been the most dominant team for most of the season, and the Huskies maintained that last week at Madison Square Garden. Purdue had its best collection of wins and Houston was in first place by most metrics, but their upsets in the Big Ten and Big 12 championships, respectively, loomed in the committee room on Sunday.

With several upsets in conference tournaments this weekend, and several automatic bid teams stealing spots from bubble teams, McClelland called this year's decisions “the toughest” in years.

The Big East Conference was among the conferences well represented on the outside of the cut line. Hurley, speaking with reporters in Storrs, Conn., after the selection presentation, took issue with St. John's and Seton Hall, the Huskies' conference rivals, not making the tournament.

See also  Dodgers starter Dustin may still have an elbow injury: How it affects the LA rotation

“I'm probably a little embarrassed by the league, for such a proud league,” Hurley said of the Big East, which finished with three teams in the tournament, including Marquette and Creighton. “It's all just kind of a game of chance. It really comes down to what the committee values.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.