Five weeks and a day before Selection Sunday, the Big East was rewarded for its strength at the top of its league by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. In its reveal of what the top 16 seeds would look like if the dance was set to begin, the conference placed three teams among that group.
Seton Hall (South) and Villanova (West) were given three-seeds while Butler (East) was seeded fourth. Since the Big East was reconfigured in 2013-14, it has never placed three teams in the top 16. Last year, it sent four teams the tournament — the highest being Marquette as a No. 5. A 3-seed would be Seton Hall’s highest since it was a No. 2 in 1993. That was also the last time the Pirates, given the 11th-overall seed, won the Big East regular season crown.
There weren’t any surprises in the seedings. Baylor (South), Kansas (Midwest), Gonzaga (West) and San Diego State (East) received the four top seeds, and Duke (East), Louisville (South), Dayton (Midwest) and West Virginia (Midwest) were the No. 2’s. It nearly mimicked the NET rankings, the ratings tool the committee now relies upon in selections. The top eight seeds are also in the top 10 of the NET. No. 8 Arizona, which has a thin résumé, was not part of the top 16.