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Kentucky Overall Top Seed In Men's NCAA Tourney; 6 ACC Teams Make Field

Posted March 14, 2004 8:12 a.m. EST

— Kentucky was selected the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament field Sunday, joined on top of the brackets by Duke, Stanford and Saint Joseph's.

Duke was one of six Atlantic Coast Conference teams to receive an invitation to the tournament. Maryland, which beat Duke for the ACC championship Sunday, grabbed the league's automatic NCAA spot, while N.C. State, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Georgia Tech received at-large bids.

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N.C. State, Wake Forest and Maryland are their respective regional top seeds. Duke and UNC are in the same region and could meet in the regional finals.

Kentucky (26-4) will be the top seed in the St. Louis regional. Duke (27-5) is in the Atlanta regional, Stanford (29-1) in the Phoenix regional and Saint Joseph's (27-1) in the East Rutherford, N.J., regional.

The St. Louis and East Rutherford regional winners will meet in the national semifinals.

The NCAA tournament gets under way Tuesday night with the play-in game at Dayton between Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Florida A&M (14-16) and Patriot League champion Lehigh (20-10). That winner will play Kentucky, the Southeastern Conference champion, on Friday in Columbus, Ohio.

The other top seeds in Kentucky's regional have Gonzaga at No. 2, followed by Georgia Tech and Kansas.

Saint Joseph's, which won its first 27 games before losing to Xavier in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament, opens play in Buffalo, N.Y., on Thursday against Liberty. The other top seeds in the regional are Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest.

Duke, which lost to Maryland in overtime in Sunday's Atlantic Coast Conference championship game, is a No. 1 seed for the sixth time in seven years. The Blue Devils open against Alabama State on Thursday in Raleigh, N.C.

The No. 2 seed in that regional is Mississippi State, followed by Texas and Cincinnati.

Stanford, the Pac-10 champion, meets Texas-San Antonio on Thursday in Seattle.

The other top seeds in the regional are Connecticut, North Carolina State and Maryland.

Florida A&M is the only sub-.500 team in the field. The Rattlers were 12-18 in their only other NCAA appearance in 1999.

The regionals are March 25-28. The Final Four is in San Antonio April 3 and 5.