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Create your bracket: KU to play Eastern Washington Sat.

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2021 NCAA Final Four logo(NCAA)
Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 9:41 AM CDT
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(AP) - Gonzaga, Illinois, Baylor, and Michigan are the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which begins first-round play on Friday. Create your CBS Sports NCAA bracket. You can also print an NCAA bracket.

The Bulldogs have claimed the No. 1 overall seed and will head the West Regional. The Zags are the only unbeaten team in men’s Division I hoops and are trying to become the first squad to run the table on its entire schedule since Indiana in 1976.

Iowa has the second seed in the West, followed by Kansas and Virginia. Gonzaga beat each of those teams by double-digits during the regular season, including a 23-point rout of the defending-champion Cavaliers.

Baylor tops the South bracket and heads into the tourney with just two losses, including a setback in the Big 12 semifinals. The Bears spent most of the season as the No. 2 team in The Associated Press poll.

Ohio State is No. 2 in the South, just ahead of Arkansas and Purdue.

Big Ten rivals Illinois and Michigan took the other top seeds after competing in what arguably was the best and deepest conference. The Illini head the Midwest Region after winning the conference tournament, part of an eight-game winning streak. The Wolverines are tops in the East Region and own just four losses, although two of those defeats have come in their last three games.

Houston earned the No. 2 seed in the Midwest and is followed by Big 12 standouts West Virginia and Oklahoma State. Alabama, Texas and Florida State round out the top four seeds in the East.

Kansas and Virginia made it into the bracket released by the NCAA selection committee after being hit with COVID-19 breakouts during their conference tournaments. Kansas coach Bill Self says three Jayhawks players will not travel with the team to Indianapolis for the NCAA Tournament because of COVID-19.

Louisville, Colorado State, St. Louis and Mississippi have been put on stand-by. They could find their way into the bracket if a team in the field notifies the NCAA by Tuesday night that it must withdraw because of health concerns.

The next few days figure to be the most nerve-wracking part of the seasons. No player can show up for a game without seven negative tests for COVID-19.

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