by Fitzgerald Cecilio

Louisville, KY

By virtue of its strong finish, Louisville has earned the No. 1 overall seeding while Gonzaga, Kansas and Indiana booked the No. 1 spot in their respective divisions for the NCAA's March Madness.

The Cardinals will open their 39th tournament appearance in the Midwest Division Thursday against the winner of the Liberty-North Carolina A&T matchup.

Louisville (29-5) nabbed the top seeding for the third time in school history, achieving it in 1983 and 2009.

The Cardinals were selected after winning their last 10 games, including a 78-62 triumph over Syracuse for their second straight Big East title.

"We are ecstatic to be the number one seed particularly after finishing off one of the greatest conferences in the history of college basketball with a BIG EAST Championship," said Louisville coach Coach Rick Pitino.

"We know we will be challenged right away in one of the toughest brackets that I've seen in quite some time. I think our guys are up for the challenge. We look forward to it," he added.

Duke notched the second seed in the Midwest after losing to Maryland in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament. The Blue Devils will face 15th seed Albany Friday.

Meanwhile, Indiana (27-6) booked the No. 1 seed in the East Division and will face the winner of the LIU-James Madison in the second round.

Despite winning the ACC Tournament title over North Carolina, Miami (FL) was relegated to the second spot. The Hurricanes will take on No. 15 Pacific Friday.

Kansas (29-5) earned the top spot in the South Division after clinching the Big 12 title with an 88-73 triumph over Iowa State. The Jayhawks will take on 16th seed Western Kentucky Friday.

Big East semifinalist Georgetown (25-6) grabbed the second seed in the South and will face Florida Gulf Coast in the first round.

In the West Division, Gonzaga topped the list after beating Saint Mary's for the WCC crown. The Bulldogs (31-2) tackles Southern University in Thursday's opening round.

Big Ten champion Ohio State (26-7) grabbed the second spot in the West and the right to face 15th seed Iona Friday.

Louisville is the top seed in the NCAA tournament after a topsy-turvy season in college basketball, capped by another round of upsets over the weekend

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Louisville Books Top Overall Spot in March Madness