The committee has spoken.
Duke, Villanova, Wisconsin, and Kentucky enter March Madness as the teams to beat.
Undefeated Kentucky tops the Midwest bracket. “I think I have the best team and the best players,” coach John Calipari told ESPN. “Does that mean we’ll win? No.” The Midwest bracket also includes Maryland, Kansas, and Notre Dame.
Villanova, which won the Big East Tournament Saturday night and enters March Madness with a 32-2 record, opens against Lafayette. The bracket also contains UVA, Oklahoma, and Louisville.
ACC Tournament also-rans Duke received the South’s top seeding. Led by freshman big man Jahlil Okafor, Duke compiled a 29-4 record. They fell to eventual winners Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament. Gonzaga, Iowa State, and Georgetown also populate the South bracket.
Wisconsin, which bested Michigan State to win the Big Ten Tournament on Sunday afternoon, enjoys top billing in the West. The 31-1 squad led by center Frank Kaminsky faces the potential of Baylor, UNC, and Arizona as roadblocks in the West.
The play-in games pit Manhattan against Hampton, with the winner playing Kentucky; Boise State against Dayton for the privilege of taking on Providence in an 11-6 matchup; North Florida versus Robert Morris with the victor tipping off with Duke; and BYU-Ole Miss for the chance to grab the 11 seed and face Xavier.
The play-in games start on Tuesday. The tournament crowns a champion on April 6.