Tennessee has been ranked No. 1 in The Related Press ballot the previous three weeks, has one loss this season and owns Division I’s longest successful streak.
But it surely wasn’t sufficient for the NCAA Division I Males’s Basketball Committee to present the Volunteers the highest total seed in its preliminary rankings. The committee revealed its preliminary rankings Saturday and it was Duke, not the Vols, incomes the No. 1 total seed.
The Blue Devils had been No. 1 within the East Area and the Vols topped the South, with Virginia within the Midwest and Gonzaga out West incomes the opposite No. 1 seeds.
“They’re heading to the East by the slightest of margins,” committee chairman and Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir mentioned. “There was a really shut dialog between the No. 1 seed and the No. 2 seed, however the energy of schedule received out in Duke’s case.”
Duke was slated to play in Washington, D.C., in an East Area that features Michigan, Marquette and Iowa State. Tennessee tops a South Area in Louisville, Kentucky, with North Carolina, Purdue and Nevada. Virginia led a Midwest Area in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri, that additionally consists of Kentucky, Houston and Wisconsin. The West Area in Anaheim, California, had Michigan State, Kansas and Louisville with the Zags.
The preliminary rankings provided a preview of the committee’s ideas 5 weeks earlier than Choice Sunday, on March 17. The NCAA ditched the RPI this season for its personal rating system, the NCAA Analysis Instrument, to pick groups for the NCAA match. The NET depends on recreation outcomes, energy of schedule, recreation location, scoring margin, offensive and defensive effectivity and high quality of wins and losses.
Duke (20-2, 8-1 ACC) has losses to Gonzaga and Syracuse, however blew out Kentucky in its season opener, knocked off Auburn and Texas Tech and performs within the loaded ACC. Tennessee’s solely loss was to then-No. 2 Kansas. It has the longest successful streak at school historical past, with 17 straight victories.
The Vols (21-1, 9-0) moved to No. 1 within the AP Prime 25 in Week 12 after Duke’s loss to Syracuse.
“After I say they’re the No. 2 seed, actually, within the committee’s thoughts, it was 1A and 1B,” Muir mentioned.
Muir went on to say defending nationwide champion Villanova was the final crew out of the rankings, with Virginia Tech, Texas Tech and LSU additionally being thought of. Kentucky, the highest No. 2 seed, was positioned in Kansas Metropolis as an alternative of enjoying simply down the street in Louisville, so it could possibly’t play No. 1 Duke till the Closing 4.
Kansas was moved out West for aggressive stability within the bracket. Lawrence is about 40 miles from the Dash Heart in Kansas Metropolis. Nevada, No. 6 within the AP ballot, was the No. 14 total seed within the preliminary rankings after opening the season 21-1. The Wolf Pack’s loss got here at New Mexico on Jan. 5, and Muir mentioned they had been near incomes a No. three seed.
“We’re so comfortable to be a part of in the present day, however we all know there’s 5 weeks of basketball to be performed and a number of work to be accomplished by a number of groups, together with ourselves,” Nevada coach Eric Musselman mentioned. “We simply need to get higher in all sides of the sport. We now have a number of robust venues on the street. With eight video games to play, something can occur.”
Louisville was positioned in Anaheim as a result of the South Area shall be performed on the Cardinals’ dwelling court docket, giving them an unfair benefit.