Top-ranked Gonzaga has earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.
The Bulldogs (31-2) were the top seed in the West Region when the brackets for the tournament were released on Sunday. The Bulldogs will open the tournament on Thursday in Salt Lake City against No. 16 seed Southern in the second round.
Earning a No. 1 seed adds another first in a season of new accomplishments for Gonzaga. They enter the tournament with 31 wins, the most in school history. The No. 1 ranking in the AP poll was another first for the Bulldogs and they now have a paved path to the Final Four where they don’t have to leave the West Coast.
There was debate about whether Gonzaga’s resume was worthy of a No. 1 seed, but the Bulldogs enter the tournament having won 14 straight games.
Louisville earned the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament, while Kansas and Indiana also received No. 1s after a topsy-turvy regular season and another round of weekend upsets.
The selection committee had its work cut out after five teams swapped the top ranking in The Associated Press poll, capped by West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga moving to the lead spot for the first time in school history.
But it’s No. 4 Louisville (29-5) that leads the 68-team field after a stunning turnaround to beat Syracuse for the Big East championship. No. 7 Kansas (29-5) defeated rival Kansas State for the Big 12 title, No. 3 Indiana (28-6) held on despite falling to Wisconsin in the Big Ten semifinals, while the Zags also got a coveted spot.
Pac-12 Tournament champion Oregon (26-8) drew a 12 seed in the Midwest Region and will open against Oklahoma State in San Jose on Thursday.