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NCAA Tournament 2019: Full seeding of all 68 teams, led by Duke

Zion Williamson and Duke are the No. 1 overall seed this year. | AP Photo/Chuck Burton

Looming at the top of this year’s March Madness bracket: Duke and its freshman force of nature, Zion Williamson.

The Blue Devils earned the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, joining Virginia, North Carolina and Gonzaga as No. 1 seeds for the three-week hoops extravaganza that kicks off this week.

Williamson missed five games after wrenching his knee when his Nike sneaker blew out in a regular-season game last month. He’s healthy again, playing well and not concerned about another potential injury that could impact his status as the likely top pick in the NBA draft later this year.

The tournament starts Tuesday with a pair of play-in games, then gets going in full force Thursday.

The Final Four is set for April 6-8 in Minneapolis, where Duke is the early 9-4 favorite to win it all.

The three teams from the ACC as No. 1 seeds ties a record for one conference.

“They earned their right to be there,” said Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir, the chair of the selection committee.

Virginia gets a top seed for the second straight year, hoping to avoid another colossal embarrassment; the Cavaliers will face Gardner-Webb a year after becoming the first top seed to lose to a No. 16 since the bracket went to 64 teams in 1985.

The bracket, as always, included a few surprises and a few more debatable decisions from the selection committee that’s been holed up at a Manhattan hotel this week, crunching the numbers.

—Mid-major Belmont made it off the bubble — one of seven teams from non-power conferences to earn at-large bids. That was the highest number since 2015. Other bubble teams were Temple, Arizona and St. Johns. Missing the tournament were Alabama, TCU and Indiana.

—Michigan State made a strong bid for a No. 1 seed with its win Sunday over Michigan in the Big Ten title game. Instead, it was put on the ‘2’ line, with a potential Elite Eight matchup against Duke in a tough East region.

Muir said Michigan State leapfrogged another No. 2 seed, Kentucky, by winning the Big Ten but “at the same token, we thought Michigan and Michigan State would both be on the ‘2’ line.”

2019 NCAA Tournament overall seeding

  1. Duke
  2. Virginia
  3. North Carolina
  4. Gonzaga
  5. Tennessee
  6. Michigan State
  7. Kentucky
  8. Michigan
  9. Houston
  10. Texas Tech
  11. LSU
  12. Purdue
  13. Kansas
  14. Florida State
  15. Kansas State
  16. Virginia Tech
  17. Marquette
  18. Auburn
  19. Wisconsin
  20. Mississippi State
  21. Villanova
  22. Maryland
  23. Buffalo
  24. Iowa State
  25. Louisville
  26. Nevada
  27. Cincinnati
  28. Wofford
  29. VCU
  30. Syracuse
  31. Ole Miss
  32. Utah State
  33. Washington
  34. UCF
  35. Baylor
  36. Oklahoma
  37. Iowa
  38. Seton Hall
  39. Minnesota
  40. Florida
  41. Ohio State
  42. Belmont
  43. Temple
  44. Saint Mary’s
  45. Arizona State
  46. Murray State
  47. St. John’s
  48. Oregon
  49. New Mexico State
  50. Liberty
  51. UC Irvine
  52. Vermont
  53. Saint Louis
  54. Northeastern
  55. Yale
  56. Old Dominion
  57. Georgia State
  58. Northern Kentucky
  59. Montana
  60. Colgate
  61. Bradley
  62. Abilene Christian
  63. Gardner-Webb
  64. Iona
  65. Prairie View
  66. Fairleigh Dickinson
  67. North Dakota State
  68. N.C. Central

Chicago Sun-Times added the full seeding list to this article.