The seeds for the NCAA men’s tournament show a wide-open field

Oates was asked what message his team has going into the tournament.

“Obviously, we’ll never lose sight of the tragedy that marked our season,” he said. “It’s always there. But today with that team, we are going to celebrate this victory without losing it. Going forward, we’re going to focus on the task at hand with the team, just as we’re not looking at the fact that it’s an incredibly sad situation. Our guys have done it well. “

If NCAA officials were uncomfortable with Alabama cutting down the nets in Houston, it was hard to make anyone else the overall seed.

Start with Kansas, the No. 1 national champion in the West Region, which has an impressive resume but was without coach Bill Self this weekend, who was hospitalized with chest tightness and balance issues during the Big 12 Conference tournament. . The Jayhawks were swept by Texas on Saturday in the conference title game, but were still awarded the No. 1 seed.

Houston, the Midwest’s No. 1 seed, also shined 31-3 in Sunday’s American Athletic Conference title game loss to Memphis. Houston’s best win was against 4th seed Virginia. And the Cougars lost to Alabama earlier this season. And Purdue, the top seed in the East Region with its 7-foot-4 center Zach Eddy, looked like the nation’s best team for more than three months but lost in February. That includes four losses in six games. The Boilermakers won the Big Ten Tournament on Sunday, but almost fell short in the final minute against unranked Penn State.

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A week ago, UCLA had a strong case for the first overall seed.

But the Bruins, who won the Pac-12 regular-season title in four games and lost to Arizona in the conference finals, are unlikely to return this season with two of their top defenders, Adam Bona and guard Jaylen Clark. The Bruins, who were riding a 12-game winning streak Saturday night, had become a popular choice before Clark suffered a lower-body injury in the regular-season finale.

Bruins senior forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. after UCLA rallied to defeat Colorado in the Pac-12 quarterfinals on Thursday. Asked how they’ll fare without Clarke said: “We’re still trying to figure it out. This is the first game without him. He brings a lot to our team. He brings intensity, energy. He’s our X factor when it comes to the defensive end. He can do a lot of things on offense.

He added: “But that being said, we’ve got a lot of guys who can step up.”

UCLA has not provided any updates on Clark’s status since the start of its conference tournament. UCLA coach Mick Cronin, when asked that he had no incentive to release more information about Clark’s condition, said he was prohibited from saying more about Clark’s injury due to privacy rules. Kansas announced Sunday that Self had been released from the hospital and was expected to join his team.

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