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Sun March 16, 2014
Near Upset of FL Not Enough To Improve UK Seeding
Despite taking the Gators to the wire in the SEC Championship game, the Wildcats are a #8 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky will take on the #9 seed Kansas State Wildcats Friday in Saint Louis.
Here's how the events of Selection Sunday unfolded:
Florida has been named the No. 1 overall seed in the men's NCAA basketball tournament. The 32-2 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 which will take on the EKU Colonels in its opening round game. Finally, the third seed is Syracuse, despite a mediocre finish to the regular season.
The top seed in the West Region is Arizona and the 30-4 Wildcats open play Friday in San Diego against Weber State. Wisconsin's Badgers are the second-seed in the West and will start their 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 St. Louis on Friday to start 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. The Kentucky Wildcats are a #8 seed taking on #9 Kansas State Friday in Saint Louis.
In the East the top-seed is ACC champion Virginia. The 28-6 Cavaliers start play Friday in Raleigh, N.C. Villanova's Wildcats will be the second-seed with Iowa State the third-seed.
— Florida held off Kentucky to win the Southeast Conference championship and extend its winning streak to 26 in a row. The Gators beat the Wildcats 61-60 to cap a perfect run through the Southeastern Conference this season. The 32-2 Gators built a 16-point lead early in the second half, but Kentucky nearly pulled off an improbable comeback to hand the Gators their first loss since early December. Two missed free throws gave the Wildcats a final possession, but James Young slipped trying to drive into the lane.
— There was an upset in the Big Ten championship game as eighth-ranked Michigan was soundly trounced by in-state rival Michigan State, the 22nd-ranked team in the AP poll, 69-55. Adreian Payne scored 18 points for the Spartans and Gary Harris and Branden Dawson each added 15 in the win, which gave State its second Big Ten tournament title in three years. The third-seeded Spartans (26-8) are getting healthy and will have some momentum entering the NCAA tournament with four wins in five games.
Top-seeded Michigan was led by Big Ten player of the year Nik Stauskas who had 17 points.
Virginia's Cavaliers and Saint Joseph's Hawks have clinched conference championships and with them automatic bids to the NCAA tournament.
The 28-6 Cavaliers beat Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game, 72-63, to claim their first ACC tournament title since 1976. Malcolm Brogdon had the big day for the Cavs with 23 points while tournament MVP Joe Harris added 15 points, including a backbreaking 3-pointer with just under 2 minutes remaining. Jabari Parker scored 23 points on 9-of-24 shooting for the third-seeded Blue Devils who were making their 31st appearance in the championship game.
— Saint Joseph's secured the Atlantic 10 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. The win gave the Hawks their first A10 tournament title since 1997. The fourth-seeded Hawks arrived to the tournament on the NCAA tournament bubble. They all but clinched an at-large berth with a win over fellow bubble team Dayton in Friday's quarterfinals, then made that moot by capturing the conference's automatic bid.
— Louisiana-Lafayette got a career-high 27 points from Xavian Rimmer to rally from a 9-point deficit in the last three minutes of regulation to force overtime and eventually beat Georgia State 82-81 for the Sun Belt Conference title. The third-seeded Ragin' Cajuns, who are 23-11, earned an automatic bid to their first NCAA tournament since 2005.