Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Purdue top preliminary NCAA rankings

Ultimately, the committee did a fairly good selecting their top 16 teams with a few unusual missteps.

If the tournament started today, the Blue Devils would be the No. 2 seed in the East Region with Villanova as the top seed, Texas Tech as the No. 3 seed and Ohio State seeded fourth. If they Spartans win out to finish their regular season and then go on to win the Big Ten Tournament, they would improve their case to be a top-2 seed or better in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

South: 1. Virginia, 2.

The NCAA Tournament selection committee has Auburn among the top five teams in the country. The four No. 2 seeds are Auburn, Kansas, Duke and Cincinnati. Last season, 15 of the preliminary top 16 remained in that group for the bracket a month later.

Villanova was selected as the second No. 1 seed (East Region).

Kansas was the sixth overall seed and part of a stacked West region that included Arizona, North Carolina and Purdue.

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The Tigers, now 20-4 overall and 9-3 in second-place in the ACC, play at Florida State Wednesday night for a 7:05 tipoff. Auburn, 3. Clemson, 4.

Numerous top seeds have suffered recent losses, but those were balanced out by key wins early in the season.

The No. 2 Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1 ACC) travel to No. 25 Miami (18-6, 7-5 ACC) on Tuesday to face the Hurricanes at 9 p.m.at the Watsco Center.

Michigan State, the team likely to take over the No. 1 spot in the AP poll on Monday, was the No. 11 overall seed (No. 3 seed in South Region).

"The committee was pretty strong in its consensus of the No. 1 teams, but there was a lot of dialogue all the way through the first quadrant because the teams are so close", Rasmussen said.


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