"I know when I came here, one of the things that Jay Jacobs and I talked about, David Benedict and I talked about, they were exhausted of Auburn basketball being a ball and chain around the league".
Virginia's marvelous 31-2 season was rewarded Sunday night when it was awarded the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Cavaliers did it with no surefire National Basketball Association lottery picks and a shutdown defense that led the nation with the fewest points allowed per game. Instead, they ended the season tied for sixth, but Boynton felt his team was being judged not for its performance, but for how it was viewed when the year began. St. Mary's was left out despite going 28-5 and beating Gonzaga because, Rasmussen said, it did not have enough quality wins, even as he acknowledged that it is structurally hard for teams outside basketball's six power conferences to schedule top nonleague competition. The Wildcats also have multi-talented freshman big man Deandre Ayton, who had two monster games in the Pac-12 Tournament.
But now the attention turns to UMBC, which defeated Vermont in the America East final on Saturday.
Virginia finds itself as the No. 1 seed in the South Region.
Duke is the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region.
FIRST ROUND: Kansas, N.C. State, New Mexico State, Charleston, Syracuse (winning a play-in game first, then topping TCU), Michigan State, Oklahoma, Duke.
Lipscomb, a private school from Nashville, finished second in the Atlantic Sun in the regular season but won the conference tournament with a 108-96 win over top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast in the championship game. UNC beat the Wolverines 86-71 on November 29 in Chapel Hill in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. "We just played the No. 1 team in the country and we had them but didn't get it done".
The Cavaliers were one of nine ACC teams to make the NCAA Tournament.
In fact, according to the advanced analytics site KenPom.com, Kansas - though seeded first - is the third-best team in its own quadrant.
Auburn won just two of its final four games after losing the SEC's top shot blocker, Anfernee McLemore, to an ankle injury. Yet should they take care of business against Buffalo as one would expect, they will next likely have to take Kentucky, before a potential Elite Eight date with #1 seed Virginia.
The Big East landed two of the four No. 1 seeds with Villanova and Xavier among the conference's six teams. Sometimes that happens, like SC reaching the Final Four as a No. 7 seed last season, but more than often, it doesn't.
It's CU's second straight NCAA tournament berth.
WVU and Marshall met every season from 1978 to 2016 until the Mountaineers declined to renew the series previous year. Tuesday's games will feature LIU Brooklyn vs Radford at 6:40 p.m. ET followed by St Bonaventure vs. UCLA at 9: 10 p.m. ET.
The top challenger is Cincinnati (30-4), which got less than an hour to celebrate Sunday's win against Houston in the American Athletic Conference Tournament championship in Orlando before learning its NCAA path.