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Selection Sunday: Nova Earns NCAA Tournament’s Top Overall Seed

By Greg Welsh
On March 12, 2017

Seniors Darryl Reynolds, Kris Jenkins and Josh Hart react to their No. 1 status in the NCAA tournament. Caroline Foley/Villanovan

After a week of the chaotic conference championships, the dust finally settled today as the committee revealed their sacred and much anticipated bracket for the 2017 NCAA Tournament. In the coming days, millions of people will fill out their brackets across the country with the absolute certainty that they are the ones who have it just right. As we all know however, March has a mind of its own, and it is a virtual guarantee that bracket owners everywhere will be tearing their picks to shreds before long.

Nevertheless, as fans of the game, we all treasure this time of year, and the excitement and unpredictability of it makes it all the better. So let us take a look at the bracket that will be the guide for the 67 college basketball games taking place over the next three weeks, and focus in on the road to the Final Four in Phoenix for the Wildcats.

 After capturing both the Big East regular season and tournament championships, Villanova earned the number one overall seed in this year’s field, and are a part of the bracket’s East region. The remaining coveted number one seeds went to the Kansas in the Midwest, Gonzaga in the West and last year's championship runner-ups UNC in the South.

On Thursday, the ‘Cats will begin play in Buffalo, where they will take on the winner of a first four matchup between Mount St. Mary’s and the University of New Orleans. Should they win this No. 1 vs. No. 16 matchup, as history suggests they will, the Wildcats would then take on the winner of Wisconsin and Virginia Tech, a No. 8-to-

9 matchup that features a Badger team largely regarded as one of the most under seeded teams in the draw.

The difficult East region also consists of a Duke as the No. 2 seed, a team who many felt could have crept onto the No. 1 line following their ACC tournament victory on Saturday. The Blue Devils lurk as an imposing threat to Villanova’s quest to become the first team to repeat as national champion’s since Florida in 2007.

The East region’s top four seeds are rounded out by the Baylor Bears at three, and the afore mentioned Florida Gators on the four line. Also looming are the Virginia Cavaliers, the region’s No. 5 seed, who Villanova beat by just two points earlier this season in January. While the task will certainly be a difficult one, this year’s Wildcats have the talent, drive, and experience that make the goal of a National Championship a definite possibility. 

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