Florida Secures Top Overall Seed – NCAA Roundup
UNDATED (AP) — There was a double celebration in Gainesville, Florida, and Charlottesville, Virginia, on Sunday.
Both top-ranked Florida and No. 6 Virginia won their conference tournament and also received No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tourney. Wichita State and Arizona were given the other top seeds in a tournament that gets underway in earnest on Thursday following a four-game first round Tuesday and Wednesday in Dayton.
Florida has been named the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. The Gators are the top seed in the South Region and will start play this Thursday in Orlando. This marks the second time the Gators have been the top overall seed.
The second seed in the South is Kansas and the third seed is Syracuse, despite a mediocre finish to the regular season.
Florida opens its tournament schedule against either Albany or Mount St. Mary's in Orlando on Thursday. Kansas has a second-round meeting with Eastern Kentucky Friday in St. Louis, and Syracuse is in Buffalo to open against Western Michigan.
The top seed in the West Region is Arizona, and the 30-4 Wildcats open play Friday in San Diego against Weber (WEE'-bur) State. Wisconsin is the second-seed in the West and will start its tournament experience in Milwaukee on Thursday, while third-seed Creighton plays on Friday in San Antonio.
The unbeaten Wichita State Shockers take their 34-0 record to NCAA play as the top-seed in the Midwest Region. This is the Shockers first-ever No. 1 seeding.
Michigan is the second-seed in the Midwest with Duke No. 3. A surprise in the Midwest is that defending national champion Louisville is the fourth-seed despite a convincing performance in winning the American Athletic Conference crown.
Wichita opens against Cal Poly in St. Louis on Friday, Michigan starts play versus Wofford Thursday in Milwaukee and Duke takes on Mercer in a second-round game at Raleigh.
The top-seed in the East is ACC-champion Virginia. The 28-6 Cavaliers start play Friday in Raleigh. Villanova will be the second-seed and open against Milwaukee Thursday in Buffalo. Third-seed Iowa State begins its tournament play versus North Carolina Central in San Antonio.
The NCAA tournament seedings and pairings were announced after the last five conference tournament finals were completed on Sunday.
Florida held off Kentucky 61-60 to win the SEC championship and extend its winning streak to 26. Patric Young and Michael Frazier II each had 14 points for the Gators, who blew most of a 16-point lead in the second half before improving to 32-2.
Virginia beat Duke 72-63, to claim its first ACC tournament title since 1976. Malcolm Brogdon had the big day for the Cavs with 23 points. Tournament MVP Joe Harris added 15 points, including a backbreaking 3-pointer with just under 2 minutes remaining.
The Big Ten tournament crown goes to 22nd-ranked Michigan State as Adreian Payne scored 18 points in the Spartans' 69-55 trouncing of No. 8 Michigan. Gary Harris and Branden Dawson each added 15 to help the Spartans win the tourney for the second time in three years.
Saint Joseph's secured the Atlantic 10's automatic NCAA bid with a 65-61 win over 23rd-ranked Virginia Commonwealth. Langston Galloway hit for 19 points in the win and had a key 3-pointer in the closing minutes of play to help secure the Hawks' first A10 tournament title since 1997.
Louisiana-Lafayette got a career-high 27 points from Xavian Rimmer and rallied from a 9-point deficit in the last three minutes of regulation to beat Georgia State 82-81 in overtime for the Sun Belt Conference title. The Ragin' Cajuns earned an automatic bid to their first NCAA tournament since 2005.