Unbeaten Gonzaga University is the No. 1 overall seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament, and longtime coach Mark Few’s team will face the winner of Thursday’s Norfolk State-Appalachian State play-in game in the first round.
Selection Sunday also revealed that Baylor, Illinois and Michigan are the other No. 1 seeds for the NCAA Tournament. See the 68-team tourney bracket here.
Norfolk State (MEAC Tournament champ) and Appalachian State (Sunbelt Conference Tournament winner) will square off on Thursday at Assembly Hall on the University of Indiana campus in Bloomington.
The Bulldogs improved to 26-0 by beating Brigham Young in the West Coast Conference Tournament final on March 9 in Las Vegas.
Gonzaga University awaits tourney opener
Gonzaga University begins its tournament title quest on Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
ESPN college hoops analyst Dick Vitale predicted the Bulldogs will complete a perfect season on April 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
“They’ve beaten (Iowa, Kansas and Virginia) easily, so I think that’s a confidence builder,” Vitale told reporters on Selection Sunday, according to The Spokesman-Review. “I like the Zags’ chances, man. I like them big time. They’re going to pull a Bobby Knight (coach of unbeaten Indiana in 1976). They’re going 32-0 and they’re going to win this tournament.”
No. 1 in poll for entire season
It’s hardly surprising that the Bulldogs received the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament.
After all, Gonzaga University has been ranked No. 1 by The Associated Press since the season tipped off.
Which is one big reason why Few has lofty expectations for his team.
“What we’ve been through this year and to have this incredible run, heck to be undefeated on March 14 is crazy, especially with the preseason we played and even just getting through our league season,” Few commented on ESPN. “We’ve carried the No. 1 target on our shoulder all year. I think that’s an incredible accomplishment.”
First time as top overall seed
Although the Bulldogs have been a No. 1 seed on three occasions in past NCAA Tournaments (2013, 2017, 2019), this year’s March Madness marks the first time Gonzaga University is the top overall seed.