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Gonzaga projected as No. 1 seed on bracket preview show

UPDATED: Sat., Feb. 9, 2019

Gonzaga coach Mark Few watches a Zags free throw from the sidelines in Thursday’s win over San Francisco. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga coach Mark Few watches a Zags free throw from the sidelines in Thursday’s win over San Francisco. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonzaga is projected as the No. 1 seed in the West Region. For now.

The Zags landed on the top seed line during the bracket preview show televised by CBS Saturday morning. Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by top seeds Tennessee and Virginia.

For the third straight year, the NCAA Tournament selection committee unveiled its top 16 seeds, this time roughly five weeks before Selection Sunday on March 17. There’s ample time for teams to climb up or slide down the seeding list.

In 2017, then unbeaten and top-ranked Gonzaga earned the same seeding, a No. 1 and fourth overall, in the bracket reveal. The Zags ended up losing their regular-season finale to BYU, won the WCC Tournament and were seeded No. 1 entering the tournament.

Gonzaga (22-2), No. 4 in the AP poll and No. 2 in the NET rankings, has a quality résumé with strong analytics ratings, a neutral-court win over Duke, a narrow loss to Tennessee in Phoenix and a 13-point loss at North Carolina, which was projected as a two seed.

The selection committee placed second-seeded Michigan State, No. 3 Kansas and No. 4 Louisville with the Zags in the West.

Gonzaga’s goal the rest of the regular season is clearly to retain a No. 1 seed and stay close to home come tournament time. The opening-round sites closest to Spokane are Salt Lake City and San Jose, California. The West Regional site is Anaheim, California. The Final Four is in Minneapolis.

The other projected two seeds are Kentucky and Michigan. The remaining three seeds are Marquette, Purdue and Houston, and the other four seeds are Nevada, Iowa State and Wisconsin.

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