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The NCAA Tournament selection committee did not have an easy task trying to pick the three No. 1 seeds to join overall No. 1 Kansas. The quality of the top group of teams wasn’t what we are used to seeing. There was a feeling that Villanova played itself out of contention with a loss in the Big East tournament final to Seton Hall, and that proved to be true.
The other prevailing wisdom was that Michigan State was playing for a 1-seed Sunday in the Big Ten title game against Purdue. That turned out not to be the case.
The committee decided on Virginia instead, and the Cavaliers aren’t a terrible choice. Virginia had more Top 25 and top-50 wins, plus, a better record against the Top 25. UVA also played a better schedule, which is partly evidenced by Michigan State’s RPI of 12.
Winning a conference championship or a conference tournament isn’t a prerequisite for a No. 1 seed.
This is one of the strangest, and likely weakest, collection of No. 1 seeds in recent history.
- UNC is the first 1-seed that wasn’t above .500 against the top 50 in the RPI
- Virginia is the first 1-seed with four losses to teams outside the top 50
- Oregon is the first 1-seed with two losses to 100+ RPI teams.
That is the result of the parity in college basketball this year.