May 22, 2024


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The seeds for the NCAA Men’s Championship bid are wide open

The seeds for the NCAA Men’s Championship bid are wide open

Oates was asked about his message to his team going into the tournament.

“It is clear that we do not lose sight of the tragedy that marked our season,” he said. “He’s always there. But today with the team, we’ll celebrate this win without losing sight of it. Going forward, we’ll keep the team focused on the task at hand, just as we did without losing sight of the fact that it’s an incredibly sad situation. Our guys have done a very good job.” in that “.

If the sight of Alabama chipping away at Houston upset NCAA officials, it was hard to make a case for anyone else to be the top seed.

Start with Kansas, the No. 1 ranked champion in the Western Region, who has a stellar resume but this weekend was without his coach, Bill Self, who missed the Big 12 tournament after being hospitalized with an undisclosed medical issue. The Jayhawks were blown out on Saturday by Texas in the conference title game but were still ranked No. 1.

So was top seed Houston, which posted a scintillating 31-3 record, but lost to Memphis in the American Athletic Conference title game on Sunday and had a relatively easy schedule. The Cougars also lost to Alabama earlier this season.

Purdue, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, looked like the best team in the country for more than three months with 7-foot-4 Zack Eddy, but had a run in February that included four losses in six games. The Boilermakers won the Big Ten championship on Sunday, but not before nearly collapsing in the last minute against unranked Penn State.

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

But the Bruins, who won the Pac-12 regular season title by four games, lost to Arizona in the championship title game without their two best defensemen, forward Adem Bona and guard Jaylen Clark, with the latter looking unlikely to return this season. The Bruins, who are on a 12-game winning streak on Saturday night, became a popular pick as a favorite before Clark suffered a lower-body injury in the regular season finale.

After UCLA rallied to beat Colorado in the Pac-12 Quarterfinals on Thursday, Bruins senior forward Jaime Jacques Jr. said when asked what he’d be like without Clark: “We’re still trying to figure it out. This is our first game without him. He brings a lot to our team. He brings strength and energy.” He’s our X-factor when it comes to defensive end, too. On offense he can do so many things.”