Sports

Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois and Michigan land No. 1 seeds in NCAA Tournament

WCC Championship Basketball
Posted at 7:10 PM, Mar 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-14 19:13:42-04

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois and Michigan have landed the No. 1 seeds in this year's NCAA Tournament.

After a year without March Madness, the bracket is back. The pandemic forced the cancellation of the tournament by the NCAA last year. This year, the entire field is heading to Indianapolis, which hosting the whole tournament this year.

Starting with the First Four on Thursday, every game will be played in Indiana. The first round will be played Friday and Saturday.

Gonzaga will be the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament in its bid to complete the first undefeated season in 35 years. The Bulldogs were the top seed in the West Region and will open against the First Four winner between Norfolk State and Appalachian State. Gonzaga has an opportunity to match the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers, the last team to finish a season undefeated.

Virginia is the No, 4 seed in the West Region. The Cavaliers were the champions in 2019 and there was some concern that COVID-19 issues might keep them out of the NCAAs after they had to withdraw from the ACC tournament.

Baylor is the top seed in the South in the tournament and could face either North Carolina or Wisconsin in the second round. The Bears are a No. 1 seed for the first time.

Colgate, which locked up its spot in the Patriot League title game earlier Sunday, will face third-seeded Arkansas as an intriguing No. 14 seed. Colgate is one of the top scoring teams in the country.

Illinois is the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region of the tournament and could face Loyola-Chicago in round two. Loyola, which made a memorable Final Four run in 2018, is back in the NCAAs for a third straight tournament.

Syracuse is the No. 11 team in the Midwest Region, one of several bubble teams to get good news during the bracket reveal. Utah State is the No. 11 seed in the South. Drake, which lost the Missouri Valley Conference title game to Loyola, earned an at-large bid, but the Bulldogs will have to play Wichita State in a First Four game Thursday.

Michigan is the top seed in the East Region of the tournament, giving the Big Ten two No. 1s in the field of 68 teams along with Illinois. The region also includes a marquee matchup in the First Four involving two of the biggest names in college basketball: Michigan State and UCLA play Thursday.

Louisville, Colorado State, Saint Louis and Mississippi were the first four teams left out and those teams will be on standby to replace any team from a multi-bid league that has to withdraw because of COVID-19 issues.