Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Auburn basketball headed to NCAA Tournament for first time since 2003

Auburn basketball headed to NCAA Tournament for first time since 2003

Yet they have not made the Final Four since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, and their last national semifinal came in 1984, when they were knocked off by a Houston team led by the star center Hakeem Olajuwon. The selection committee revealed the full group on Selection Sunday, and as expected, the Huskers were left out.

And, despite all Virginia has accomplished this season - going from unranked in the preseason to No. 1 and winning both ACC titles after being picked to finish sixth in the league - the Cavaliers said they're not within a half-court heave of being satisfied. They drew the No. 12 seed in Davidson. In can be done as UCLA has had four 3+ wins streaks this season, but that was not in the tournament.

As CBS Sports noted, it's only happened twice in the history of the expanded NCAA Tournament (since 1985) that a major conference team has won at least 13 games in its conference but failed to receive an at-large bid.

The fun begins March 11, when the NCAA makes its announcement on the 68 teams that will have a chance to play for glory this year.

The No. 1 seeds for the NCAA Tournament are Virginia, Villanova, Kansas and Xavier with the top-ranked Cavaliers getting preferential seeding in the South Region. Theyw ill have a tough test against No. 6 Miami as an 11-seed, but as any avid tournament watcher knows well, there is always an 11 that advances.

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While the Spartans were a better regular season team than Purdue and likely should have received that 2-seed in Detroit, they were also stronger than North Carolina, another team they beat. No matter how this pans out, Texas A&M has reached the NCAA Tournament. "We're fresh", Bryce Brown said. In the last reveal on February 19, UConn, Mississippi State, Louisville and Notre Dame were projected as No. 1 seeds.

Virginia, who defeated North Carolina 71-63 Saturday to win the ACC Tournament and run their record to 31-2, was joined on the one line by Big East tournament champions Villanova; Big 12 regular season and tournament champions Kansas; and Big East regular season champions Xavier. The No. 2 seed is Duke, with Michigan State at No. 3. Miller and Tony Bennett also used to coach together with Team USA. The Horned Frogs celebrated when they found out Sunday that they were heading to the big dance.

However, beyond the top two teams in the conference, Baylor and Texas, the Big 12 isn't getting much national respect. "At Tulsa, I remember one of our players, when we were getting ready to watch, saying, 'OK, just not 8 or 9 in the East, ' because that's when Duke was 32-0".

Four of Oklahoma's non-conference losses were to teams that eventually won their conferences - Connecticut, Oregon, DePaul and Arkansas-Little Rock - and South Dakota State finished second in its conference.

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