Number One Seed Not All It's Cracked Up to Be

Chris Yow@@ChrisYow14Analyst IMarch 5, 2008

With a win over Duke this week, North Carolina will all but secure the number one overall seed in the NCAA tournament in a few weeks. But is that a desirable place to be for the Tar Heels? How about the other three number one seeds?

Since 1979, when the NCAA began seeding teams, only five times have number one seeds met in the championship game. Since the tournament was expanded to 64, then 65 teams, in 1985, never have four number one seeds made the Final Four.

A few times have been close. In 1993 three number one seeds made it to the semifinals accompanied by a number two seed. In 1997, Arizona was a number four seed along with three other number one seeds and three of the four fell to the Wildcats (it is not possible to beat all four number one seeds).

If North Carolina is still ranked atop the AP poll by Selection Sunday, they will attempt to become only the ninth team to go into the tournament ranked number one and win the national title.

Only one team has really solidified that number one seed, UCLA. Barring a first round exit in the Pac-10 tournament, the Bruins should have locked in a top seed.

Duke still has a shot, with wins at UNC and  against Wisconsin and Marquette. They make their case even strong if they get a win over the Heels this week at home.

Memphis will win the C-USA tournament and secure a top spot, unless UAB pulls the upset as only the Blazers can do against the Tigers. UAB has a history of making (possible) number one seeds pay. Remember 2004 and overall number one Kentucky falling to Mike Anderson's Blazers? 

That would be the only way Memphis doesn't lock that number one seed down.

But, again, is that number one seed really that attractive lately? Last season, two number ones and two number two seeds made up the Final Four, but just one season prior not a single one seed made the Final Four at all. Thanks, George Mason.

With so many teams vying for that seemingly automatic first round win, does it really matter what the number is beside your school's name when the Sweet 16 rolls around?

No.

The Sweet 16 and the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament are virtually impossible to predict. But once teams are there, it is all about good basketball. It matters not what conference you played your regular season in. Nor does it matter whether you won 28 games or 19. All that matters is how you play the next time you take the court.

Do not worry about what seed you get, instead be glad you received one. Probably close to 20 teams are sitting at home wishing they just had the opportunity.

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