Virginia ranked as a No. 1 seed in Feb. 9 “NCAA March Madness Bracket Preview” show

Story by Zach Pereles

UVA basketballVirginia was selected as a No. 1 seed — and the third overall seed — in the NCAA selection committee’s first March Madness Bracket Preview of 2019.

The Cavaliers are behind first overall seed Duke and second overall seed Tennessee. The final No. 1 seed is Gonzaga at fourth overall.

Virginia (20-1, 8-1 ACC) is currently atop the NET ratings, the NCAA’s Evaluation Tool, which was first introduced before this season, replacing the RPI.

From the NCAA website:

“The most important thing about the NET is that if you beat good teams, don’t lose to bad teams and have quality wins away from home on a road or neutral court, you’re going to have a solid net ranking.

The primary component of the NET is the TVI, a results-based factor that considers the strength of the opponent and the location of the game. If you beat a team that you’re expected to beat, then it doesn’t do as much for your ranking. Losing to teams that you were expected to beat will hurt your ranking.”

Virginia has done a terrific job in all of those areas, hence the top ranking. The Cavaliers own neutral or road wins over Wisconsin, Maryland, Clemson and NC State, all of which rank inside KenPom’s top 50. The Cavaliers’ lone loss was on the a road at Duke. Essentially, Virginia has defeated every team it should and also has several impressive wins, while its lone loss isn’t damaging.

Of course there are still 36 days until Selection Sunday, and a lot can change between now and then, especially considering Virginia has six regular-season matchups against teams currently in the KenPom top 50, starting with Saturday night’s matchup with Duke.

Here is how the top 16 teams were ranked in the first reveal of the bracket.

  1. Duke
  2. Tennessee
  3. Virginia
  4. Gonzaga
  5. Kentucky
  6. Michigan
  7. North Carolina
  8. Michigan State
  9. Purdue
  10. Kansas
  11. Houston
  12. Marquette
  13. Iowa State
  14. Nevada
  15. Louisville
  16. Wisconsin

EAST

  1. Duke
  2. Michigan
  3. Marquette
  4. Iowa State

SOUTH

  1. Tennessee
  2. North Carolina
  3. Purdue
  4. Nevada

MIDWEST

  1. Virginia
  2. Kentucky
  3. Houston
  4. Wisconsin

WEST

  1. Gonzaga
  2. Michigan State
  3. Kansas
  4. Louisville


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