Up to seven teams could be in the running for No. 1 seeds in the NCAA men's tournament, the chairman of the selection committee said Wednesday...

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Up to seven teams could be in the running for No. 1 seeds in the NCAA men’s tournament, the chairman of the selection committee said Wednesday, providing a lot more uncertainty than a year ago.

Mike Bobinski, who is also the athletic director at Xavier, said the coveted seeds were more obvious in 2012, when the only suspense was who would get the last of the No. 1 spots.

“A year ago, I think the one line of the tournament and bracket was in pretty clear focus,” said Bobinski, who is leaving Xavier to take over as Georgia Tech’s AD after the tournament. “This year looks a little bit different. I anticipate there will be a number of teams we’ll be considering and discussing for that one line of the bracket.”

Not surprising, given a wide-open season where no team has established itself as clearly the class of the field.

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“It’s probably as big as it’s ever been,” Bobinski said, talking about potential No. 1 seeds. “I’m not sure it’s any larger than a couple years back, but there’s probably never been any more for the top line.”

This year, Gonzaga is ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press rankings for the first time ever, but doesn’t come from one of the glamour conferences. Second-ranked Duke is projected as the top team in the RPI, a crucial component in the selection committee process. Traditional powerhouses Indiana, Louisville, Georgetown and Kansas are also in contention for top seeds, with their final seeding likely dependent on how they do in their conference tournaments.

“I can’t speak for the entire committee, but as I walk into our process this year I would tell you I’ve probably got seven teams in my mind for the first four spots,” Bobinski said. “That will come into focus in the next few days, but it’s more than four for the top four.”

Meanwhile, Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk has been named to the Sporting News College Basketball All-America first team.

The native of Kamloops, B.C., is averaging 17.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks.

Conference tournaments


At Bucknell 64, Lafayette 56

Mike Muscala scored six of his 20 points during a decisive second-half stretch to help Bucknell (28-5) capture its second NCAA tournament berth in three seasons.


• Kentucky center Nerlens Noel is “doing fine” after surgery on his left knee to repair a torn ACL.

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