Houston, Kansas, Purdue joins Alabama as NCAA tourney’s No. 1 seeds

INDIANAPOLIS — Alabama is the overall top seed in the NCAA Tournament after cruising through the end of a season marred by a murder case the past two months.

The Crimson Tide was awarded the top spot Sunday over Kansas and Houston, each of whom exited their conference tournaments without titles and missing important cogs on their teams. Purdue secured the final No. 1 seed.

It was a day full of good news for Alabama, which defeated Texas A&M to win the SEC Tournament before gathering to watch the selection show.

The defending national champion Jayhawks lost 20 to Texas on Saturday in the Big 12 Tournament. They played without their coach, Bill Self, who suffered an undisclosed medical problem but has been released from the hospital and is expected to return this week. Houston was without leading scorer Marcus Sasser, who went down on Saturday with a groin injury.

The action in the 68-team tournament will begin on Tuesday with two games in the “First Four”. March Madness is in full swing on Thursday and Friday with 32 games spread across eight cities. The Final Four will be played on April 1 and 3 at the NRG Stadium in Houston.

Although not the overall No. 1 seed, Houston, which could play two home games in the Final Four, came in as the favorite at 11–2 per FanDuel Sportsbook. Next was Alabama at 15–2, followed by Kansas, which is seeking to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since Florida in 2007, and is listed at 9–1.

The Tide will play in the South Region and open on Thursday in Birmingham, Alabama, against the winner of the first four games between Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Southeast Missouri State.

Teams out of the bubble include Mississippi State and Pitt, who will play in a play-in game on Wednesday. Houston will open against Northern Kentucky on Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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