Virginia was the No. 1 overall seed, and deservedly so. They were sent to the South Region, where they will, in theory, play the regionals in Atlanta.
Seeing the Hoos get named as the No. 1 overall seed was the least surprising thing that we could have seen in this reveal. They will draw UMBC in the first round, and then take on the winner of Creighton and Kansas State in the second round assuming that they can dispatch the Retrievers.
The No. 2 seed in the South Region is Cincinnati, which means that we will have a rock fight if the seeds hold and the top two teams make it to the Elite 8; Cincinnati and Virginia are the nation’s top two defenses. The Bearcats draw Georgia State and D’Marcus Simonds in the first round of the tournament. What makes that matchup fascinating is that both of those teams fall into that category of elite defense, not quite elite offense. Those are the teams that I have trouble trusting in March.
If Cincinnati can get past the Panthers, they will take on the winner of No. 7 seed Nevada and No. 10 Texas.
The No. 3 seed in the South is Tennessee, who draws Wright State in the first round of the tournament, while No. 6 seed Miami draws Loyola-Chicago in the first round of the tournament. The Ramblers won at Florida back in December and will be one of the trendy upset picks in the first round of the tournament. They won both the Missouri Valley regular season and tournament, and as a No. 11 seed, they’re rated higher than Davidson, who won the Atlantic 10 tournament.
Speaking of Davidson … where this region gets really interesting is with the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds. Arizona is the No. 4 seed, and they drew a talented No. 13 seed Buffalo team in the first round. The No. 5 seed is Kentucky, and the Wildcats will face off with another set of Wildcats: No. 12 seed Davidson. These are two of the hottest teams in the country, and if they win, we get a battle between Arizona and Kentucky in the second round. This is where you want to be for the first weekend.