Number One Seeds

Selection Sunday is behind us, the First Four and more importantly, the 2016 NCAA Tournament is ahead. While there are surprises with some of the overall selections and seeding, there’s nothing surprising about the number one teams: Kansas in the South regional, Oregon in the West, North Carolina in the East and Virginia in the Midwest.

There are debutants, like in every year. Stony Brook Seawolves out of the America East conference. Stony Brook finished with 14-2 record in the regular season and also won the conference tournament by beating Vermont. It’s the fourth time they won the regular season title, but the first for them as conference tournament champions. Cal State Bakersfield out of the WAC are also making their debut, finishing third in the conference during the regular season (11-3) but winning the tournament for the first time thanks to a win over New Mexico State.

And while there are schools making their first appearance, there are others who simply haven’t been to the big dance for quite a while. Yale won the Ivy League for the second time in a row, but they haven’t been to the tournament since 1962. Green Bay Phoenix didn’t have much of a regular season in the Horizon League, but they stunned Valparaiso in the conference tournament and beat Wright State in the final, making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1996. Hawai’i had a great season in the Big West, winning both the regular season and the conference tournament, marking their first NCAA Tournament since 2002.

And while we always find surprising names that have been long gone among the Automatic bids, the At-Large group has one team that’s been away for a very long time: Oregon State, who we wrote about just last week. The Beavers finished with a 9-9 conference record in the Pac-12 and 19-12 overall, but the selection committee liked their CV enough to give them a #7 seed, facing VCU in the first round.

As for conferences, four have 7 bids in the tournament: The ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12. The Big East got five teams in, the American conference has four, the Atlantic 10 and the SEC each have three bids in the tournament while the Missouri Valley conference has two. When it comes to state pride, Texas has five schools in the big dance (Baylor, Stephen F. Austin, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech), followed by six states with four teams: California, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

The defending champions, Duke, didn’t falter like Kentucky in 2013 and Uconn last season, getting a #4 seed, facing UNC Wilmington in Providence as part of the West Regional. Wisconsin, who lost in last year’s final, despite the rough season and coaching change, are back in it for another go, this time being a #7 seed in the East Regional, facing Pittsburgh in St. Louis to start their road. The other Final Four members from last season are also here: Kentucky as a #4 seed and Michigan State as a #2 seed.

2016 NCAA Tournament Bracket

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First Four

#11 Vanderbilt vs #11 Wichita State

#16 Florida Gulf Coast vs #16 Fairleigh Dickinson

#11 Michigan vs #11 Tulsa

#16 Holy Cross vs #16 Southern

South

#1 Kansas vs #16 Austin Peay

#8 Colorado vs #9 Connecticut

#5 Maryland vs #12 South Dakota State

#4 California vs #13 Hawai’i

#6 Arizona vs #11 Vanderbilt/Wichita State

#3 Miami vs #14 Buffalo

#7 Iowa vs #10 Temple

#2 Villanova vs #15 UNC Asheville

West

#1 Oregon vs #16 Holy Cross/Southern

#8 Saint Joseph’s vs #9 Cincinnati

#5 Baylor vs #12 Yale

#4 Duke vs #13 UNC Wilmington

#6 Texas vs #11 Northern Iowa

#3 Texas A&M vs #14 Green Bay

#7 Oregon State vs #10 VCU

#2 Oklahoma vs #15 Cal State Bakersfield

East

#1 North Carolina vs #16 Florida Gulf Coast/Fairleigh Dickinson

#8 USC vs #9 Providence

#5 Indiana vs #12 Chattanooga

#4 Kentucky vs #13 Stony Brook

#6 Notre Dame vs #11 Michigan/Tulsa

#3 West Virginia vs #14 Stephen F. Austin

#7 Wisconsin vs #10 Pittsburgh

#2 Xavier vs #15 Weber State

Midwest

#1 Virginia vs #16 Hampton

#8 Texas Tech vs #9 Butler

#5 Purdue vs #12 Arkansas Little-Rock

#4 Iowa State vs #13 Iona

#6 Seton Hall vs #11 Gonzaga

#3 Utah vs #14 Fresno State

#7 Dayton vs #10 Syracuse

#2 Michigan State vs #15 Middle Tennessee

Image: Source