The Louisville Cardinals have been named the number one overall seed in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament.
The three other number one seeds are Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Connecticut.
U of L will open tournament play Friday in the Midwest Regional in Dayton, taking on the winner of Tuesday’s play-in game between 16 seeds Morehead State and Alabama State. Morehead State is making its first tournament appearance in 25 years.
“I think the number one seed is a tremendous accomplishment for our basketball team,” Pitino said in a statement. “It speaks volumes for what it means to win the Big East regular season and tournament championships. I know our players are excited about it. We’ve sat here in other years when we were in Conference USA, thinking we deserved a number two or three seed when it didn’t come to fruition, so this is very exciting for our team.”
“When you have a play-in game, you have a disadvantage in preparation because you don’t know which team you’ll play for two days of practice. We’ll just scout and prepare for them both. If we were to get by our first-round game, we’d be playing the Ohio State – Siena winner, and Ohio State is right in Dayton’s back yard. Our fans will be close as well, and it’s great they will only have to drive only two and a half hours,” he said.
Meanwhile, Western Kentucky University, seeded 12th, will face number 5 seed Illinois in the South Regional Thursday in Portland, Oregon.
The Kentucky Wildcats were eliminated from the Southeastern Conference Tournament and did not receive an at-large NCAA bid. They’ll open play in the National Invitation Tournament Tuesday night against UNLV in Lexington.
The NCAA women’s tournament pairings will be announced Monday evening.