Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Purdue top preliminary NCAA bracket preview

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The NCAA Division I basketball committee released its top 16 teams at this point in the season on Sunday and Clemson has impressed the committee with its play thus far.

No. 17 Oklahoma was projected as a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee's early bracket released Sunday.

Virginia was the overall No. 1 seed followed by Villanova, Xavier and Purdue. Xavier was the third No. 1 seed (Midwest Region) and Purdue, which lost twice this week, was the fourth No. 1 seed (West Region).

Villanova, the No. 2 overall seed, tops the East Region in Boston with Duke, Texas Tech and Ohio State.

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Virginia leads the ACC race by two games in the loss column over Clemson (9-3) and resumes league competition Tuesday at Miami. That is the fifth-worst ranking among RPI top 50 teams. They earned a No. 4 seed in 1987 and also in 1997. The official tournament bracket will be revealed on Sunday, March 11.

"Virginia's had an unbelievable year ... and they're an fantastic 10-1 (away from home)", committee chairman and Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen said on CBS. The No. 3 seeds would be Clemson, Texas Tech, Michigan State and UNC.

East: 1. Villanova, 2. Cincinnati, 3. Tennessee, 4. Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona filled out the top four in the West Region in Los Angeles.