Xavier gets No. 1 in NCAA Tournament West Region

ANALYSIS Over the last month Theo Pinson has been UNC's best player

The top-seeded Cavaliers (30-2) got several crucial contributions from role player Jack Salt down the stretch and will play for the tournament title Saturday night in Brooklyn against 12th-ranked and sixth-seeded North Carolina, a 74-69 victor over second-seeded Duke. It's the third 1-seed in the past five seasons under coach Tony Bennett, who guided his team to a regional final two years ago but has yet to take the next step: the Final Four. The offensive duo of Maye and Berry is among the strongest inside-outside pairs in the country and is certainly able to carry North Carolina deep into the NCAA tournament, but if the Tar Heels go cold from the perimeter, they could also lose to anybody. The South Region does not get easier from there: Cincinnati, Tennessee, Arizona and Kentucky are the No. 2 through 5 seeds, respectively.

For the second straight year, the A.C.C. placed nine teams in the tournament. The Southeastern Conference, which has made a concerted effort to transfer its success in football to the hardcourt, got 8 of its 14 teams into the field.

Clemson: Picked in the preseason to finish 13th in the ACC, the Tigers set a program record with 11 regular-season wins in ACC play and then won their tournament opener 90-82 over Boston College to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2011. Villanova, under Coach Jay Wright, is displaying consistent excellence. Notre Dame, USC, Baylor, Louisville and Oklahoma State were all left out of the tournament.

It continues to be hard for mid-major conferences to place their teams. "Just keep preparing like we've been doing all year". The Retrievers upset Vermont in the America East Conference title game Saturday 65-62 on a late 3-pointer.

For the first time, the basketball committee released preliminary rankings in February.

More news: Jordan Barnett Won't Play in Missouri's NCAA Tournament Opening Game

On the season, North Carolina basketball averages 82.8 points, 42.7 rebounds and 18.1 assists per game.

Challenged about Oklahoma's seed by TBS's Charles Barkley, Rasmussen said, "The games in November count the same as the games in February". Carolina would score just three points over the next eight minutes as Virginia opened up a 58-49 lead and held off a late push with timely free throw shooting. Both figures are the highest since the line was moved back a foot in 2008.

As a team, Virginia shot 46.7 percent and 27.8 percent from three.

But if Division I's average adjusted tempo is a little more than 68 possessions per game, per KenPom.com, there is a decided outlier: With 59.2 possessions per game, Virginia is the slowest team in college basketball. It may also be the best.

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