Red Raiders No. 3 seed in NCAA bracket preview

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl celebrates with guards Davion Mitchell left and Jared Harper in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday Feb. 10 2018 in Athens Ga. Auburn won 78-61

Ultimately, the committee did a fairly good selecting their top 16 teams with a few odd missteps. The No. 3 seeds are Clemson, Texas Tech, Michigan State and North Carolina.

The Cavaliers were the No. 1 overall seed and assigned to the South Regional in preliminary bracketing released Sunday by the tournament selection committee.

Auburn hosts Kentucky on Wednesday (8 p.m. CT, ESPN2) and travels to SC on Saturday (2:30 p.m. CT, SEC Network).

The NCAA selection committee revealed the top 16 teams Sunday and where they would be seeded if the tournament were to begin this week.

Three of last year's four preliminary No. 1 seeds - Villanova, Kansas and Gonzaga - played their way to actual No. 1s, with the Bulldogs reaching the tournament final before losing to North Carolina.

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Virginia (23-2), Villanova (23-2), Xavier (23-3) and Purdue (23-4) were all named No. 1 seeds.

"Virginia's a dominant defensive team, but they're much better offensively than they've been", committee chair and Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen said during the selection show. If those seeds held, Xavier would get preference for the Midwest Region in Omaha because it is the higher seed.

Michigan State - which now holds an overall record of 24-3 and has gone 12-2 in Big Ten play - was not ranked a No. 1 or No. 2 seed. Auburn was named the top No. 2 seed, which makes it No. 5 overall.

Numerous top seeds have suffered recent losses, but those were balanced out by key wins early in the season.

Tennessee, Ohio State, Arizona and Oklahoma were the No. 4 seeds. Kansas (19-6, 8-4 Big 12) lost to Baylor this week and has dropped two of three to fall a game behind Texas Tech in its bid to win a 14th straight Big 12 championship.

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