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Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Purdue top preliminary NCAA bracket preview
12 February 2018, 12:40 | Pamela Mathis
Ryan M. Kelly Getty Images
Much like the College Football Playoff's in-season rankings, the preliminary seeds are created to heighten fan interest and prepare the selection committee for March's task of bracketing the 68-team field, set to be revealed March 11.
If they Spartans win out to finish their regular season and then go on to win the Big Ten Tournament, they would improve their case to be a top-2 seed or better in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
UA's 81-67 win over USC clearly helped the Wildcats stay among the top 16 seeds.
The committee is no longer using RPI top 50, top 100, top 200, and 201 and above as five dividing categories.
Complicated by a volatile week that included Virginia losing to Virginia Tech, Villanova to St. John's and Purdue to Ohio State and Michigan State, Sunday's seedings included only the top 16 and bracketed them by region.
Kansas was made a No. 2 seed in the West and Oklahoma a #4 seed in the Midwest.
After the announcements, CBS's Jerry Palm estimated the rest of the brackets and added of Arizona that he was "surprised they were seeded this high".
So while Virginia Tech's away win vs. Virginia was an RPI top-50 win a year ago, it is now a Quadrant 1 win. Cincinnati, 3. Michigan State, 4.
Villanova was selected as the second No. 1 seed (East Region). Duke, 3. Texas Tech, 4.
The No. 2 Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1 ACC) travel to No. 25 Miami (18-6, 7-5 ACC) on Tuesday to face the Hurricanes at 9 p.m.at the Watsco Center. Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona filled out the top four in the West Region in Los Angeles.
Mahrez returns to training
The Algeria global failed to show up at the King Power Stadium after his move to the Etihad Stadium fell through. De Bruyne, meanwhile, has registered more assists than any other player in Europe's top five leagues since 2012.