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NEW YORK — Villanova is the selection committee's top overall seed, but Kansas is the favorite to win the NCAA Tournament, according to Las Vegas odds compiled by Pregame.com.
The Jayhawks are 8-to-1 to win the whole thing, followed by North Carolina and Villanova at 9-to-1. Gonzaga, Duke and Kentucky are 10-to-1 to win the championship.
Pac-12 rivals UCLA and Arizona are both 12-to-1. Louisville is 16-to-1, and Oregon is 20-to-1.
The Ducks' chances took a huge hit in the Pac-12 tournament with big man Chris Boucher injured his knee.
The tournament begins Tuesday night with two First Four games in Dayton, Ohio, and culminates with the national championship game in Phoenix on April 3.
Defending national champion Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed, a top seed for the third time in school history.
The Wildcats will begin defense of their title in Buffalo against the winner of the play-in game between Mount St. Mary's and New Orleans on Thursday night. In the second round, either Virginia Tech or Wisconsin awaits.
But lurking down the bracket: Duke is the No. 2 seed in the East.
There is plenty of Big 12 flavor in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament.
Start at the top with No. 1 seed Kansas, which was rewarded for its 13th straight regular-season conference championship by getting to play the opening round just down the road in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Jayhawks face the winner of a play-in game between North Carolina Central and UC Davis.
Big 12 Tournament champ Iowa State is the fifth seed in the region while Oklahoma State earned an at-large bid and will face Big Ten Tournament champion Michigan as the No. 10 seed.
The regional semifinals will be played at the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, where the Big 12 just wrapped up its tournament. And you can bet local fans are salivating at the idea of Kansas and Iowa State meeting there in the second weekend.
North Carolina took the top seed in the South. The Tar Heels won the ACC by two games, but were bounced from the conference tournament in the semifinals by Duke. The Tar Heels play Texas Southern in game one, with Arkansas or Seton Hall waiting in the second round in Greenville, South Carolina.
This is a region dripping with blue and championship history.
The second seed is Kentucky and No. 3 is UCLA. Along with North Carolina, those teams have 25 total championships.
The West Region of the NCAA Tournament has a decidedly Western feel for a change.
Led by West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga and Pac-12 tournament winner Arizona, the top two teams in the West Region are actually from the Western part of the United States for the first time in 26 years.
With the Bulldogs (32-1) spending much of the year near the top of the polls and the Wildcats (30-4) part of a trip of highly rated Pac-12 teams with Oregon and UCLA, the selection committee didn't have to look far to find the top two seeds for the regional that will be decided in San Jose in two weeks.
This marks the first time since 1991 when UNLV and Arizona got the honors that the top two seeds in the West Region came from the West.
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