BOZICH: Cards #1 Overall, IU #1 in East, UK Out Of NCAA Field - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH: Cards #1 Overall, IU #1 in East, UK Out Of NCAA Field

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Louisville is the top seed in the Midwest, and Indiana the top seed in the East for the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Louisville is the top seed in the Midwest, and Indiana the top seed in the East for the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The debate raged on social media for more than 24 hours:

Which team deserved the overall top seed in the NCAA Tournament and fan-friendly booking in the Midwest Regional in Indianapolis – Indiana or Louisville?

Cardinals fans pointed to Louisville's smashing performance while winning the Big East Tournament as well as a share of the conference regular-season title. The Cards have also won 13 of their last 14.

Indiana fans and coach Tom Crean had a response: The Big Ten was the toughest conference in the land, and the Hoosiers didn't share the regular-season title with anybody. They were the only team to win at Michigan and Michigan State and also delivered at Ohio State. Credit the Hoosiers with wins against Georgetown and North Carolina, too.

On Sunday, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee delivered the tiebreaker. The winner was:

Louisville, Rick Pitino, Peyton Siva and the rest of the Cardinals. U of L was named the top overall seed, as well as the top seed in the Midwest Regional.The Cards' remarkable second-half rally against Syracuse in the Big East final Saturday was an eye-opener.

Greg Anthony, Seth Davis and Doug Gottlieb, three top college basketball analysts, all said that Louisville was their pick to win the tournament.

The Cards open Thursday against either North Carolina A&T or Liberty in Rupp Arena in Lexington. A&T finished sixth in the MEAC in the regular season while Liberty lost 20 games. U of L couldn't schedule an easier first round game.

With a victory, the Cardinals will face either Colorado State or Missouri. The Cards have already beaten Missouri once this season, 84-61 last November in The Bahamas – without Gorgui Dieng. Colorado State is led by Larry Eustachy, a former national coach of the year at Iowa State.

So if the Cards take care of business, they'll play their first two games 70 miles East in Lexington and then 115 miles North at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. That is the definition of fan friendly.

The second seed in the Midwest is Duke. You guessed it? It could be shades of 1992 -- Rick Pitino against Mike Krzyzewski for a trip to the Final Four, which will be played in Atlanta on April 6 and 8.

As for Indiana, the Hoosiers are also a top seed, but in the East Regional. IU will begin play about 3 hours from their campus in Dayton, Ohio.

Their opponent? Another winner of a playoff game matching 16 seeds – LIU-Brooklyn and James Madison. James Madison finished fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association, while LIU-Brooklyn finished in a three-way tie for second place in Northeast Conference. If the Hoosiers win, their second game will be against North Carolina State or Temple.

Tom Crean's team was hurt by losing three of its last six games, including Saturday to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Conference semifinals. The two-seed in IU's bracket is Miami (Florida), winner of the ACC regular-season and tournament titles.

Kentucky did not receive an at-large invitation, eliminating itself with an ugly defeat against Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. The Wildcats are the first defending NCAA champion since North Carolina in 2010 that will not defend its title.

Western Kentucky not only made the field, but they did it without having to participate in a play-in game. But that's the only break the Hilltoppers got. They have to play in the South Regional against top-seed Kansas in Kansas City on Friday.

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