There will be no debate about No. 1 seeds in this year's NCAA Tournament.
Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois and Michigan will be the top seeds on Selection Sunday.
The Bulldogs and Bears have been locked in on top seeds for several weeks now, and the Fighting Illini surged in March and began to solidify their spot. The Wolverines, meanwhile, left the most room for a chasing No. 2 seed (like Alabama or Ohio State) to leapfrog them by losing three of their last five and losing veteran player Isaiah Livers to injury. But, ultimately, their overall profile is just too good.
Here's a look at each No. 1 seeded team's profile ahead of the selection show (6 p.m. ET, CBS).
Gonzaga. The Bulldogs (26-0, 15-0 West Coast) have held the NCAA's top NET score all season. Even though they played lesser opponents in the WCC than their power conference counterparts, their non-conference schedule afforded the 'Zags Quadrant 1 wins over Kansas, West Virginia and Iowa. This is one of coach Mark Few's most balanced teams, leading the nation in scoring with 92.1 points a game. Senior wing Corey Kispert (19.2 ppg) and freshman guard Jalen Suggs (14.3 ppg) are All-Americans.
Baylor. The Bears (22-2, 13-1 Big 12) won the Big 12 regular-season title and had the best season in coach Scott Drew's tenure. They have the second-best NET score and eight Quadrant 1 wins. What makes Baylor special? This is virtually the same roster as last year — meaning this group, led by the three-headed monster backcourt of Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell — is hungry to make up for lost time following last year's March Madness cancellation.
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Illinois. The Fighting Illini (22-6, 16-4 Big Ten) won 13 of their last 14 games to earn their first No. 1 seed since 2005 when the program reached the national championship game. That streak gives Illinois a nation-leading 12 Quadrant 1 victories and makes the Illini the most dangerous team in the country outside of Gonzaga. Coach Brad Underwood deserves serious recognition for national coach of the year for how he's turned the program around. Illinois is led by two All-Americans in Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn.
Ayo Dosunmu of the Fighting Illini shoots a free throw in the Big Ten championship game against the Hawkeyes. (Photo: Justin Casterline, Getty Images)
Michigan. The Wolverines (20-4, 14-3 Big Ten) won the regular season in the country's top conference (based on NET rankings) and it's led to an accumulation of eight Quadrant 1 victories, seven Quad 2 wins and the fourth-best NET score. Coach Juwan Howard has a team that will be very difficult for any NCAA Tournament team to guard behind freshman big man Hunter Dickinson and 6-9 sophomore guard Franz Wagner. But the potential loss of Livers, out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his right foot, drastically changes the dynamic of this team.
Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.
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