The 65-team NCAA Tournament field was announced early Sunday evening with Kansas coming out on top as the overall No. 1 seed. Kansas will take on No. 16 seed Lehigh in the Midwest Region.
Joining Kansas with No. 1 tournament rankings are No. 2 overall Kentucky, No. 3 Duke, and No. 4 Syracuse. This came as a surprise to experts that anticipated Syracuse snagging the No. 3 overall spot, but the Orangemen will still get to play their first game in Buffalo.
Duke's spot in the top four also led to slight disappointment for the West Virginia Mountaineers, who hoped for a No. 1 seed after defeating the Georgetown Hoyas to win the Big East Tournament on Saturday. The Mountaineers had to settle for a No. 2 seed, and the team will take on No. 15 Morgan State in the East.
Other surprises included the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida edging out teams like Rhode Island and Virginia Tech. The 23-win teams will have to settle for bids to the National Invitational Tournament.
North Carolina, which won the NCAA tournament last year, did not make the cut this time around. Indiana, UCLA, Connecticut and Arizona also did not secure a spot on the bracket. It was the first time since 1996 that all five of those big-name schools failed to make the tournament, The Associated Press reported.
Wofford College earned an NCAA tournament bid after winning the Southern Conference the previous Monday, and in doing so were awarded with a No. 13 seed and the school’s first ever trip to the Big Dance.
The University of Houston also earned a No. 13 seed, making super-coach Tom Penders the only coach in NCAA history to take basketball teams from four different colleges to the prestigious tournament.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff will play Winthrop in the opening-round game on Tuesday and the tournament goes into full effect on Thursday.