INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Stanford, Duke and defending champion Michigan State were selected as No. 1 seeds for the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year yesterday, joined at the top of the brackets by Illinois.
Arizona was the lone school not to repeat as a No. 1 seed from last season.
The top six conferences dominated the field, receiving 29 of the 34 at-large berths.
The Big Ten”s seven teams matched the record for the most in the tournament. Besides the Fighting Illini and the Spartans, Indiana (No. 4 seed), Ohio State (No. 5 seed), Wisconsin (No. 6 seed), Iowa (No. 7 seed) and Penn State (No. 7 seed) will all represent the conference in the tournament.
The first-ever 65-team field starts play Tomorrow night in Dayton, Ohio, with Northwestern State facing Winthrop in the opening-round game.
The winner between the two lowest-ranked teams advances to play Illinois (24-7) in the Midwest”s first round in Dayton on Friday.
Stanford (28-2), the unanimous No. 1 team in the AP poll for the last two weeks, is the top seed in the West, while Duke (29-4) plays in the East and Michigan State (24-4) is in the South.
The No. 2 seeds were Kentucky, North Carolina, Arizona and Iowa State, while the No. 3s were Boston College, Florida, Mississippi and Maryland. The teams selected as No. 4 seeds were UCLA, Oklahoma, Kansas and Indiana.
Following the Big Ten”s seven selections were the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 and Southeastern Conference with six each. The Big East and Pacific-10 each had five teams chosen.
Five schools Alabama State, Cal State-Northridge, Hampton, Northwestern State and Southern Utah are making their first NCAA tournament appearances. Holy Cross, which hasn”t been in the field since 1983, ended the longest drought.
North Carolina extended its own record with a 27th consecutive appearance, while Arizona (17), Indiana (16), UCLA (13), Kansas (12), Temple (12), Cincinnati (10) and Kentucky (10) have the next longest current streaks.
Georgia ties two records with its selection. The Bulldogs became the fifth team, and first since Villanova in 1991, to be chosen as an at-large team with 14 losses and are the 11th team, and first since Texas in 1997, to be chosen as an at-large with just 16 wins.
The selection also tied a coaching record. Jim Harrick of Georgia and Lefty Driesell of Georgia State joined Eddie Sutton as men who have taken four schools to the tournament.
Harrick also took UCLA, winning the title in 1995, Rhode Island and Pepperdine to the tournament, while Driesell also led Maryland, Davidson and James Madison.
Sutton, in the field again with Oklahoma State, also took Creighton, Kentucky and Arkansas to the tournament.
Oklahoma State (20-9) was a sentimental choice for many. The Sooners had to play the final month of the season after the plane crash that killed 10 people, including two players.