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NCAA tournament: Ohio State is seeded No. 1 overall

Ohio State will play in the East Region. Other top-seeded teams are Pittsburgh in the Southeast, Kansas in the Midwest and Duke in the West.

March 13, 2011|By Diane Pucin
  • Duke's Nolan Smith cuts down the net after the Blue Devils' 75-58 victory over North Carolina in the ACC championship game on Sunday in Greensboro, N.C.
Duke's Nolan Smith cuts down the net after the Blue Devils' 75-58… (Robert Willett / McClatchy-Tribune )

No surprise when the first words from the NCAA selection show were uttered.

The No. 1 overall seeded team is Ohio State. Analyst Kenny Smith says Ohio State "is the elite of the elite right now." Yes, Kenny Smith. This selection show should be livened up with the addition of Smith and Charles Barkley.

Ohio State will play in the East Region. Kansas is seeded No. 1 in the Southwest. Pittsburgh is No. 1 in the Southeast. Duke gets the No. 1 seeding for the West.

The East winner will meet the West in one national semifinal; Southeast will meet Southwest in the other semifinal.

First reaction: Duke, always Duke. Might have picked Notre Dame over Duke. ESPN analyst Seth Davis suggests Duke might have been happier being a No. 2 in the East and not have to come to Anaheim for the regional semis and finals.

Here's a region-by-region breakdown:

East Region, Friday and Sunday in Cleveland.

Ohio State will play winner of Texas San Antonio and Alabama State.

George Mason, Cinderella again? Mason gets faltering Villanova in first round.

West Virginia, seeded fifth. Alabama Birmingham and Clemson are forced into a play-in game? That doesn't bode well for USC does it?

Kentucky, seeded fourth, gets Princeton. Will anyone outside of Lexington root for the Wildcats?

North Carolina, seeded second, will play in Charlotte, of course, so good luck Long Island. Washington is seeded seventh, must go to Charlotte and play Georgia. Is that a reward for winning Pac-10 tournament?

Wouldn't it have been nice if Larry Bird had been with Indiana State? Xavier, seeded sixth, against No. 11 Marquette? Personal note here: This will be an in-house alma mater battle. Kenny, it's not X-avier.

And in the West Region. . . .

Duke also goes to Charlotte, as No. 1 seeded team and will get Hampton. Michigan is seeded eighth and will play Tennessee in Charlotte.

Arizona, seeded fifth, will get Memphis in Tulsa, Okla. Memphis Coach Josh Pastner has Arizona history.

Texas is the fourth seeded team in the West.

San Diego State gets a No. 2 seeding , a trip to Tucson and a first-round matchup against Northern Colorado, NCAA tournament rookies. Can't get much better for the Aztecs. Temple has won 12 of its last 14 games, gets a No. 7 seeding and a date with Penn State. A football rivalry taken to the hardcourt!

Connecticut gets seeded third but not much rest. The Huskies, coming off five straight wins in the Big East tournament, get a Thursday start against Bucknell. Arizona and Texas might play in Tulsa.

And does Duke get a break, seeded No. 1 while San Diego State is No. 2? Yes.

In the Southwest Region. . . .

USC makes history. The Trojans get into the tournament but have to play a play-in game against Virginia Commonwealth. Win? Play Georgetown in Chicago. Not impossible. So Trojans fans, book your itinerary . . . LAX to Dayton to Chicago.

No. 1-seeded Kansas goes to Tulsa and gets Boston University. At least it's not, like, Lehigh. UNLV gets a No. 8 seeding, after finishing third in Mountain West, and will go to Tulsa to face g a not great Illinois team.

Notre Dame is seeded No. 2 and draws Akron in Chicago. Whoever will Gerry Faust root for? Louisville, seeded fourth, becomes the seventh Big East team into the field of 68.

In the Southeast Region. . . .

UCLA doesn't get much respect. The Bruins are seeded seventh and shipped to Tampa, Fla., to play Michigan State. The Spartans haven't played great lately but they'll defend like crazy.

Last year's finalist, Butler, is back and seeded eighth. Bulldogs play Old Dominion in their opener. It's like a bracket-buster Saturday game.

Maybe UCLA and UC Santa Barbara can share a charter to Tampa because UCSB is headed their as well, seeded 15th, to play No. 2 Florida.

Charles Barkley: "Florida is not a No. 2 seed."

Selection Sunday wrapup. . . .

Gene Smith, head of the NCAA tournament selection committee and Ohio State athletic director, is asked first about Colorado not making it. Colorado, after all, beat Kansas State three times. And beat Texas. Both those teams are in. Colorado out.

And about Alabama beating Georgia twice but Georgia getting in and Alabama being left out. Smith basically said that head-to-head thing didn't' matter. Also left broken-hearted again, Virginia Tech. And then there's West Coast Conference regular-season champion St. Mary's, no respect for the Gaels.

The disrespect applies to you, too, USC. Smith says, "Some are fortunate to get in and they're playing in Dayton."

Smith said there is already a chartered plane in Los Angeles to transport the Trojans to Dayton. At least they get to travel in style.

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