Ohio State, Kansas, Pitt, Duke get No. 1 seeds

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 10:23 PM ET

Indianapolis, IN - Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh and Duke were given top seeds for the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

Ohio State, Kansas and Duke each captured their conference tournament titles, while Pittsburgh was the regular season champion in the competitive Big East, which garnered an unprecedented 11 selections in the now 68-team field.

The Buckeyes, the Big Ten regular season and tourney champs, were anointed the top overall seed and will be in the East Region. Kansas headlines the Southwest Region, Duke is in the West and Pitt looms large in the Southeast bracket.

The format of the tournament was modified in July. The first round -- referred to as the "First Four" -- commences on Tuesday with a matchup of No. 16 seeds as UNC-Asheville battles Arkansas-Little Rock (Southeast) prior to UAB playing Clemson for a No. 12 seed in the East Region.

Wednesday features USC vs. VCU, with the winner the No. 11 seed in the Southwest Region, and Texas-San Antonio and Alabama State fighting for the right to play top-seeded Ohio State.

All four games will be played at University of Dayton Arena.

Then the madness truly begin with 32 games contested on Thursday and Friday, and the winners going on to the third round over the weekend.

Ohio State (32-2) upended Penn State in the tourney title game immediately before the matchups were announced and will be heavy favorites on Friday. The Buckeyes have won seven in a row heading into the tournament.

Kansas (32-2), the Big 12 champion, has received a No. 1 seed four of the past five years and faces off against America East-champion Boston University on Friday. The Jayhawks won the title as a top seed in 2008, but were stunned last season by Northern Iowa in the round of 32.

Pittsburgh (27-5) lost in the quarterfinals of the Big East tourney to eventual champion Connecticut, but its body of work during the regular season in a conference that garnered a record 11 teams in the NCAA field was more than enough to give it one of the four top seeds. The Panthers will battle the winner of the UNC-Asheville and Arkansas-Little Rock winner on Thursday.

"We're obviously excited about the No. 1 seed, but honestly at this point, it doesn't mean a lot," Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon said. "What we've done in the past is beyond us. I'm proud of what we did, but now it's a matter of going forward and being a better team."

Duke (30-4) was the only No. 1 seed last year to reach the Final Four, eventually topping Butler in the title game for its fourth championship. The Blue Devils started the season No. 1 in the country, overcame an injury to freshman sensation Kyrie Irving and captured the ACC Tournament crown over North Carolina on Sunday. The national title defense begins on Friday against Hampton, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Tournament champ.

The No. 2 seeds in the field are North Carolina, San Diego State, Notre Dame and Florida. Syracuse, UConn, Purdue and BYU comprise the No. 3 seeds, while Kentucky, Texas, Louisville and Wisconsin round out the top four seeds in each region.

While the Big East is heavily represented -- the previous record for one conference was eight -- the Big Ten notched seven selections, while the Big 12 and SEC each had five.

Some of the bubble teams that were snubbed include: Alabama (21-11), which beat No. 10 seed Georgia twice in the past two weeks; Colorado (21-13), which upended No. 5 seed Kansas State three times this season; Virginia Tech (21-11), a 64-60 winner over Duke two weeks ago; and Harvard (23-6), which had an RPI of 37.

The Honda Center in Anaheim will host the West Regional semifinals and final on March 24 and 26, the same days the Southeast Regional is decided at New Orleans Arena. The Southwest's Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games will be played at Alamodome in San Antonio on March 25 and 27, while the East's Friday-Sunday scenario takes place at Prudential Center in Newark.

The Final Four will be April 2 at Reliant Stadium in Houston with the championship game two nights later.


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