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A look at the 2019 NCAA Tournament seedings, 1 through 68

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Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) celebrates a bucket and an Iowa State foul on Kansas guard Quentin Grimes (5) during the first half, Saturday, March 16, 2019 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot (44) celebrates a bucket and an Iowa State foul on Kansas guard Quentin Grimes (5) during the first half, Saturday, March 16, 2019 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

While Selection Sunday is one of the best days of the year for college basketball fans, it also marks the end of months worth of speculation and prediction about which teams would be headed where in the NCAA Tournament.

Beyond that, the unveiling of the bracket brings with it disappointment for some teams, heavy scrutiny from the media and the reality that not every team can be pleased with whether it got in or its draw.

Still, most years the committee does a more-than-admirable job with an almost-impossible task and puts together an intriguing and interesting field that promises to entertain.

One of the more fun things to do before the games begin — the First Four tips off in Dayton on Tuesday and the rest of the action begins Thursday, with No. 4 seed Kansas opening NCAA Tournament play at 3 p.m. in Salt Lake City against No. 13 seed Northeastern — is to take a look at just how close we were to having a different bracket altogether.

How were the 1 seeds stacked? Who almost got a 3 seed instead of a 4. How close were the 8s and the 9s from avoiding that potential second-round matchup with a 1 seed?

All of those questions, and many more, can be answered easily by taking a look at the final overall rankings for the field, released Sunday night not long after the bracket came out.

As you can see below, Kansas, at No. 13 overall, was that close to being a 3 seed and likely was edged out of that spot by Texas Tech, which won the Big 12 regular season title and split with the Jayhawks this season.

But remember, seed isn’t everything. Had Kansas been a 3 seed instead of a 4, it’s all but guaranteed that the Jayhawks would have been a 3 in some region other than the Midwest.

So while 3 is certainly higher than 4, in this case, being the 4 might wind up benefiting the Jayhawks because, if they’re able to survive two rounds in Salt Lake — neither of which will be anywhere close to easy — KU will be coming home to play the Sweet 16 and possible Elite Eight games in Kansas City, Mo., 40 miles from campus.

That’s not a bad fate for a team that lost 9 games and fell lower than the 2 line for the first time since 2009.

There’s a long way to go before we get to that point, and we may never get there, but it’s always interesting to look at how closely things came to producing a completely different bracket than the one that is now being feverishly filled out by the rest of the college basketball world.

One other thing that jumped out to me regarding the overall rankings is where the committee put Michigan and Michigan State. The Spartans beat their in-state rivals three times this season, including one final time in Sunday’s Big Ten tournament title game. Their reward? Being the No. 8 overall seed and landing in the same region with top overall seed Duke while the Wolverines got the No. 6 spot and avoided that fate.

There’s no telling why that happened, but given the conference affiliation, geographic location and head-to-head results between the two, it seems like Michigan State got a raw deal there.

They’re just one of 20 or so teams out there that probably feels they got a raw deal — hello No. 1 seed North Carolina coming to KC to potentially play KU or Iowa State — and this look at the overall rankings gives you a real feel how some of those things could have been avoided.

That said, I’m always impressed by the Selection Committee’s work and there’s little doubt that the hours upon hours they spend creating this thing are done in the interest of releasing the best, fairest, most competitive bracket they can put together.

The bottom line is simple: Regardless of where you’re seeded, who you play, where you should’ve been seeded or what road you think would have been easier, the only thing that matters is whether you win the game against the teams thrown in your way.

Let the games begin. And while you continue to fill out your brackets, be sure to register for our KUsports.com bracket for a chance to win cash money. The Top 3 finishers win $500, $250 and $100 cash, thanks to our sponsor, Truity Credit Union.

Enjoy the tournament, everybody!

  1. Duke (29 – 5)
  2. Virginia (29 - 3)
  3. North Carolina (27 - 6)
  4. Gonzaga (30 - 3)
  5. Tennessee (29 - 4)
  6. Michigan St. (28 - 6)
  7. Kentucky (27 - 6)
  8. Michigan (28 - 6)
  9. Houston (31 - 3)
  10. Texas Tech (26 - 6)
  11. LSU(26-6)
  12. Purdue (23 - 9)
  13. Kansas (25 - 9)
  14. Florida St. (27 - 7)
  15. Kansas St. (25 - 8)
  16. Virginia Tech (24 - 8)
  17. Marquette (24 - 9)
  18. Auburn (25 - 9)
  19. Wisconsin (23 - 10)
  20. Mississippi St. (23 - 10)
  21. Villanova (25 - 9)
  22. Maryland (22 - 10)
  23. Buffalo (31 - 3)
  24. Iowa St. (23 - 11)
  25. Louisville (20 - 13)
  26. Nevada (29 - 4)
  27. Cincinnati (28 - 6)
  28. Wofford (29 - 4)
  29. VCU(25-7)
  30. Syracuse (20 - 13)
  31. Ole Miss (20 - 12)
  32. Utah St. (28 - 6)
  33. Washington (26 - 8)
  34. UCF(23-8)
  35. Baylor (19 - 13)
  36. Oklahoma (19 - 13)
  37. Iowa (22 - 11)
  38. Seton Hall (20 - 13)
  39. Minnesota (21 - 13)
  40. Florida (19 - 15)
  41. Ohio St. (19 - 14)
  42. Belmont (26 - 5)
  43. Temple (23 - 9)
  44. Saint Mary's (CA) (22 - 11)
  45. Arizona St. (22 - 10)
  46. Murray St. (27 - 4)
  47. St. John's (NY) (21 - 12)
  48. Oregon (23 - 12)
  49. New Mexico St. (30 - 4)
  50. Liberty (28 - 6)
  51. UC Irvine (30 - 5)
  52. Vermont (27 - 6)
  53. Saint Louis (22 - 12)
  54. Northeastern (23 - 10)
  55. Yale (21 - 7)
  56. Old Dominion (26 - 8)
  57. Georgia St. (23 - 9)
  58. Northern Ky. (26 - 8)
  59. Montana (26 - 8)
  60. Colgate (24 - 10)
  61. Bradley (20 - 14)
  62. Abilene Christian (27 - 6)
  63. Gardner-Webb (23 - 11)
  64. Iona (17 - 15)
  65. Prairie View (22 - 12)
  66. Fairleigh Dickinson (20 - 13)
  67. North Dakota St. (18 - 15)
  68. N.C. Central (18 - 15)

Comments

Greg Ledom 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt, I think your backwards on the seed designations in the body of your article for Spartans and Wolverines. Enjoyed the article though, it will never be without controversy no matter how good the committee thinks they did. Anything past game one of the tourney for our beloved Hawks will be gravy as far as I’m concerned. Get to K.C. and I’ll be estactic! Rock Chalk!!

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