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Feb 17, 2024 3:27 pm

Purdue, UConn selected as top seeds in NCAA bracket preview

Purdue

If the regular season were to end today, Purdue would be the overall No. 1 seed, as revealed Saturday afternoon by the NCAA tournament men’s basketball selection committee in their annual bracket preview.

Ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25, the Boilermakers were given the top seed over last season’s champion and current AP No. 1 UConn, which was seeded second.

If that result were to hold, it would be a second straight season that the Boilermakers earned a No. 1 seed, though the Boilermakers were upset in the first round in last season’s tournamen by No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson, just the second time a No. 1 seed lost to a No. 16 in the first round.

The third No. 1 seed was No. 3 Houston, sitting at first in the Big 12 during its first season in the power league. Arizona, in its final year in the Pac-12 (and set to join the Big 12 next year) rounded out the four No. 1 seeds.

“Getting the No. 1 seed is significant,” said committee chairman Charles McClelland, who is commissioner of the SWAC. “You have the opportunity to choose which region you go in. Good for the teams, also good for the fans.”

The No. 2 seeds were North Carolina, Tennessee, Marquette (ranked fourth in the AP) and Kansas.

The 3 seed line consisted of Alabama, Baylor, Iowa State and Duke.

Rounding out the Top 16 were Auburn, San Diego State, Illinois and Wisconsin as 4 seeds. San Diego State, which loss to UConn in last season’s championship game, is the lone inclusion not currently ranked in the AP poll.

“This was a good process to go through, whether you have been on the committee for a number of years or if it was your first time,” McClelland said. “Parity is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but I believe we have seen much more of it than in most years, which makes me think we are in for a wild ride down the stretch of the season and as we get to March Madness. As is the case with millions of college basketball fans around the world, the committee is excited and ready.”

McClelland said Dayton, Clemson and Creighton were also considered for a No. 4 seed.

The committee will make their selections for real on Selection Sunday, March 17.

–Field Level Media

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