Illinois, North Carolina, Duke and Washington head NCAA field
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Illinois, North Carolina, Duke and
Washington are the top seeds for the 2005 NCAA Tournament.
Illinois (32-1), the top seed in the Chicago bracket, has been the top-ranked
team in the polls for the past 14 weeks and just wrapped up a Big Ten
Tournament championship in Chicago on Sunday with a 54-43 victory over
Wisconsin. The Fighting Illini are a top seed for the third time in their
history, having also earned No. 1 seeds in 1989 when they went to the Final
Four and in 2001 when they lost in the regional final.
North Carolina (27-4), a No. 1 seed for the 10th time in its storied history,
has the top spot in the Syracuse bracket. The Tar Heels, who won the ACC
regular season crown and lost in the tournament semifinals, last earned a top
seed in 1998. They won the NCAA title in 1982 and 1993 as a No. 1 seed.
Duke (25-5), No. 1 in the Austin bracket, won the ACC Tournament crown for the
sixth time in seven years on Sunday with a 69-64 victory over Georgia Tech and
garnered a top seed for the ninth time. The Blue Devils reached the Final Four
last year as a No. 1 seed before losing to eventual national champion
Connecticut in the national semifinals and won their last NCAA Tournament
crown in 2001 as a top seed.
Washington (27-5) received a top seed for the first time after capturing the
Pac-10 Tournament title on Saturday. The Huskies, whose previous best seed in
the NCAA Tournament was No. 5 in 1985, will play out of the Albuquerque
bracket. Last year, Washington lost a thrilling 8-9 first-round game to UAB,
This year’s Final Four will take place at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
The national semifinals are scheduled for Saturday, April 2 with the
championship game set for Monday, April 4.