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March 19, 2013

Selection Sunday’s Top Seeds

The last games were played, and the choices were made; Selection Sunday set the field of 68, and the first round of games begins March 19 and 20.

By Cindy Ferguson

The matches haven’t even started, but the upsets have already begun; some of the NCAA tournament committee’s choices have left fans shaking their heads. Nonetheless, the committee’s chair, Mike Bobinski, promised that this year’s Madness “should be one of the best tournaments of all time”.

One thing is for sure though: last year’s champions will not be making a repeat performance. The Kentucky Wildcats (21-6) didn’t make the bracket, an omission that has left many surprised. But with the loss of six players to the NBA draft, and an injury from a key player this season, the Wildcats entered the 2012-13 without veteran experience, and the team struggled to come together.

Bobinski argued for the committee’s choice. “We vetted Kentucky as hard as anybody,” the chair said. “We watched them play without Nerlens Noel the last few weeks. It was a sad injury. But they just didn’t show it on the road”.

The committee’s chair, Mike Bobinski, promised that this year’s Madness “should be one of the best tournaments of all time”.

The Louisville Cardinals (29-5) took the top seed in the NCAA – no big surprise for a team that entered the preseason as favorites in the Big East, was ranked No. 2 at the start of the season, and has earned its second straight Big East championship.

There were a few slip-ups early in the season: three straight losses in January, and one five-overtime loss at Notre Dame. But the Cardinals haven’t lost a game since. Now, they have to be sure to keep up an offense that sometimes struggles in shooting, but if they can keep up the momentum from the last several games, they may find themselves in the Final Four.

“We know we will be challenged right away in one of the toughest brackets I’ve seen in quite some time,” said Louisville coach Rick Pitino. “I think our guys are up for the challenge. We look forward to it”.

Other top seeds include Gonzaga, Indiana, and Kansas. Gonzaga (31-2) set a school record and has been ranked No. 1 in both coach and AP polls. The team went undefeated in the West Coast Conference.

“I was just honored to be in the conversation”, said coach Mark Few. “When this team plays at its highest level, we can definitely beat anybody”.

Gonzaga edged out the Miami Hurricanes, who were a close challenge. Miami (27-6, 15-3) won both the ACC regular-season and conference tournament, but was ranked No. 2 –the first time a team that won both ACC titles missed out on first seed.

The Indiana Hoosiers (27-6) took the top seed even after an upset loss against the Wisconsin Badgers this weekend, 68-56. Still, the team is ranked 3rd in points per game and 7th in field goal percentage, and boasts some of the top players in the country, including Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo.

The Kansas Jayhawks have gone 29-5 this season and have earned their sixth Big 12 Tournament title in the past 8 years. The Jayhawks have had a strong season, apart from a few bumps midway –the team lost three straight for the first time in 8 years– but have finished the season with 10 out of 11 games.

About the Author

Cindy Ferguson is a high-ranking sports writer, currently writing reviews on NHL Hockey for the sports betting industry. Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety on your site, make sure to leave all links in place and do not modify any of the content.