March Madness bracket revealed: Villanova, Kansas, UNC and Gonzaga claim No. 1 seeds

Henry Bushnell

The 2017 NCAA tournament field is set. The bracket was released Sunday evening. Villanova is the top overall seed, followed by Kansas, North Carolina and Gonzaga on the top line.

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Villanova will be the No. 1 seed in the East regional after capping off a 31-3 season with Big East regular season and tournament titles. The Wildcats are the defending national champions, and with five key players back from last year’s squad, Jay Wright’s team looks like a prime contender to repeat.

Kansas will head to the Midwest regional as the second No. 1 seed. The Jayhawks won a 13th straight Big 12 regular season title, topping the conference standings by a whopping four games. If they advance to the Sweet 16, they’ll be accompanied by a large contingent of their own fans in Kansas City.

North Carolina claimed the third No. 1 seed despite an ACC semifinal loss to Duke. The Tar Heels, however, won the regular season crown by two games, and went 27-7 overall against an extremely tough schedule. Wins over Duke, Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame, Florida State and Wisconsin kept UNC on the top line over other contenders.

The fourth No. 1 went to Gonzaga despite competition from Duke and Arizona. The Bulldogs very nearly completed an unbeaten regular season, but lost their final game to BYU. They rebounded to bulldoze their way through the West Coast Conference tournament, though, and the committee felt their body of work merited a second No. 1 seed in five years.

Duke’s late charge failed to earn it a No. 1 seed. The Blue Devils won four games in four days at the ACC tournament in Brooklyn, beating Louisville, North Carolina and Notre Dame along the way. They stayed on the No. 2 seed line, however, and will head to the East region where they could match up with Villanova in the Elite Eight.

Below are all the matchups. The East champion will meet the West champion in the Final Four, while the South champion will meet the winner of the Midwest.

EAST REGION (Upper left quadrant)

1. Villanova (31-3)
16. Mount St. Mary’s/New Orleans

8. Wisconsin (25-9)
9. Virginia Tech (22-10)

5. Virginia (22-10)
12. UNC Wilmington (29-5)

4. Florida (24-8)
13. East Tennessee State (27-7)

6. SMU (29-4)
11. Providence/USC

3. Baylor (25-7)
14. New Mexico State (28-5)

7. South Carolina (22-10)
10. Marquette (19-12)

2. Duke (27-8)
15. Troy (22-14)

WEST REGION (Bottom left quadrant)

1. Gonzaga (32-1)
16. South Dakota State (18-16)

8. Northwestern (23-11)
9. Vanderbilt (19-15)

5. Notre Dame (25-9)
12. Princeton (23-6)

4. West Virginia (26-8)
13. Bucknell (26-8)

6. Maryland (24-8)
11. Xavier (21-13)

3. Florida State (25-8)
14. Florida Gulf Coast (26-7)

7. St. Mary’s (28-4)
10. VCU (26-8)

2. Arizona (30-4)
15. North Dakota (22-9)

MIDWEST REGION (Upper right quadrant)

1. Kansas (28-4)
16. North Carolina Central/UC Davis

8. Miami (21-11)
9. Michigan State (19-14)

5. Iowa State (23-10)
12. Nevada (28-6)

4. Purdue (25-7)
13. Vermont (29-5)

6. Creighton (25-9)
11. Rhode Island (24-9)

3. Oregon (29-5)
14. Iona (22-12)

7. Michigan (24-11)
10. Oklahoma State (20-12)

2. Louisville (24-8)
15. Jacksonville State (20-14)

SOUTH REGION (Bottom right quadrant)

1. North Carolina (27-7)
16. Texas Southern (23-11)

8. Arkansas (25-9)
9. Seton Hall (21-11)

5. Minnesota (24-9)
12. Middle Tennessee (30-4)

4. Butler (23-8)
13. Winthrop (26-6)

6. Cincinnati (29-4)
11. Kansas State/Wake Forest

3. UCLA (29-4)
14. Kent State (22-13)

7. Dayton (24-7)
10. Wichita State (30-4)

2. Kentucky (29-5)
15. Northern Kentucky (24-10)

Here is the full 1-through-68 seed list. Kansas State and USC were the last two teams in:

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