If the NCAA tournament started today, Duke, Tennessee, Virginia and Gonzaga would be No. 1 seeds, the NCAA selection committee unveiled Saturday as part of its annual top-16 seed announcement previewing 2019's March Madness. The NCAA revealed the top four seeds in each tournament region for the third consecutive year.
"Duke and Tennessee were essentially No. 1 and No. 1a; it was that close," said NCAA committee chair Bernard Muir in a statement. "A slight edge in some of the metrics was the difference in Duke getting the overall top seed. Virginia was a solid No. 3 team on the top line, and Gonzaga got the fourth No. 1 seed based largely on the teams they’ve beaten and the quality of the opponents they’ve lost to."
Muir added on CBS that "strength of schedule won it for this Duke team." The Blue Devils, who face Virginia on the road Saturday, beat the Cavaliers on Jan. 19 in the first meeting between the two ACC powers.
Virginia however leads the NET, the NCAA's new metric replacing the RPI this season. Fourteen of the 16 teams announced Saturday were in the top-16 of the NET rankings.
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