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Alabama won the Southeastern Conference regular season last week.
The Crimson Tide won the SEC Tournament on Sunday.
And Sunday night, Alabama (29-5) received its first No. 1 seed in the history of the NCAA Tournament. The Tide will play just 57 miles away from campus in Birmingham at 2:45 p.m. eastern time Thursday against a No. 16 seed. That will be the winner of a play-in game between Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Southeast Missouri State, which play at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday on truTV.
Another No. 1 seed was Houston (31-3) in the Midwest Region. The Cougars will play No. 16 seed Northern Kentucky (22-12) on Thursday in Birmingham at 9:20 p.m. on TNT.
Kansas Coach Bill Self To Coach In NCAA Tournament
The other top seeds were Kansas (27-7) in the West and Purdue (29-5) in the East.
Kansas announced Sunday afternoon that coach Bill Self will return for the NCAA Tournament after missing the Big 12 Tournament with an illness. He was rushed to the emergency room last week. Kansas has not released what his illness is.
The Jayhawks will play No. 16 seed Howard (22-12) at 2 p.m. Thursday on TBS in Des Moines, Iowa.
Purdue will play at 6:50 p.m. Friday on TNT in Columbus, Ohio, against the winner of a play-in game between Texas Southern and Fairleigh Dickinson. That game will be at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday on truTV.
The Crimson Tide will carry a hot streak into the NCAA Tournament in search of its first Final Four in history at Houston, April 1-3. But that will be with the baggage it has carried for three weeks now.
MURDER ON THE STRIP: WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE?
“Alabama sidestepped criminal activity in which Brandon Miller was associated with,” CBS NCAA Selection Show host Greg Gumbel said after the Tide and star player Miller received their No. 1 seed. “But he was not charged.”
Miller and his teammates have played unfazed through constant questions about the incident.
If Alabama gets by its first opponent, it will play the winner out of No. 8 seed Maryland (21-12) and No. 9 seed West Virginia (19-14) on Saturday. Maryland and West Virginia meet at 12:15 p.m. Thursday on CBS in Birmingham. Should Alabama go 2-0, its next stop will be Louisville, Kentucky.
Auburn Will Also Be In Birmingham
Other SEC teams to reach the NCAA Tournament were Auburn, Missouri, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. The SEC tied the Big Ten with most teams invited with eight.
Vanderbilt (20-14) finished 11-7 in the SEC and won 10 of its last 11 games before falling to Texas A&M on Saturday in the SEC Tournament semifinal. But it did not reach the NCAA Tournament. A loss to last place LSU (14-19, 2-16 SEC) on Feb. 22 didn’t help. The Commodores are a No. 3 seed in the NIT and play Yale at 9 p.m. Tuesday on ESPNU.
No. 9 seed Auburn (20-12) will play Thursday in Birmingham along with Alabama, but the Tigers are in the Midwest Region. Auburn will play No. 8 seed Iowa (19-13) at 6:50 p.m. on TNT. If Auburn and Alabama meet in the NCAA Tournament, it will be in the national championship game on April 3 in Houston.
No. 7 seed Missouri (24-9) will play No. 10 seed Utah State (26-8) at 1:40 p.m. Thursday on TNT in Sacramento, California, in the South Region.
Mississippi State (21-12) is a No. 11 seed, but it has a catch to its invite. It must beat fellow No. 11 seed Pittsburgh (22-11) in a play-in game on Tuesday (9:10 p.m., truTV) in Dayton, Ohio, to advance to the first round. A State win will pit it against No. 6 seed Iowa State (19-13) on Friday in Greensboro, N.C., in the Midwest Region at 3:10 p.m. on truTV.
No. 8 seed Arkansas (20-13) will play No. 9 seed Illinois (20-12) on Thursday in Des Moines in the West Region at 4:30 p.m. on TBS.
NCAA Pushes Texas A&M To A No. 7 Seed?
Texas A&M (25-9) raised some eyebrows by getting only a No. 7 seed after finishing second in the SEC regular season and reaching the SEC Tournament title game. The Aggies will play No. 10 seed Penn State (22-13) in Des Moines on Thursday in the West Region at 9:55 p.m. on TBS. Penn State is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011.
CBS announcers picked an upset of No. 4 seed Tennessee (23-10) by No. 13 seed Louisiana (26-7) on Thursday in Orlando, Florida, in a 9:40 p.m. game on CBS.
No. 6 seed Kentucky (21-11) will play No. 11 seed Providence (21-11) on Friday in Greensboro, N.C., at 7:10 p.m. on CBS.
Former Kentucky national championship coach Rick Pitino and his Iona team (27-7) received a No. 13 seed and will play No. 4 seed Connecticut (25-8) at 4:30 p.m. Friday on TBS in Albany, N.Y., in the West Region.
TCU (21-12) received a No. 6 seed and will play on Friday in Denver at 10:05 p.m. on truTV against the winner of a play-in game between Arizona State and Nevada on Wednesday (9:10 p.m., truTV). But CBS analyst Clark Kellogg flubbed TCU’s nickname, calling the Horned Frogs, the “Frog Horns.”
The first four out were not a surprise. Those were disappointing North Carolina along with Oklahoma State, Rutgers and Clemson.
The last four in were Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Arizona State and Nevada.