Baylor gets top seed in NCAA committee's initial rankings

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Baylor forward Freddie Gillespie (33) rebounds again Kansas State forwards Joe Petrakis (35) and Xavier Sneed, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Manhattan, Kan., Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

San Diego State has rolled through its schedule, charging into February as the only Division I team still undefeated.

But if teams were selected for the NCAA Tournament today, the Aztecs would travel across the country to play in New York.

The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee gave San Diego State a No. 1 seed in its preliminary rankings released Saturday but stuck the Aztecs in the East Region.

Based on games through Friday, Baylor was No. 1 overall, with Kansas and Gonzaga getting the other two top seeds. The Zags were No. 1 in the West Region, so the committee opted to ship the Aztecs out East — for now.

“If someone is legitimately a top-four team they must be a 1 seed and then you work your way down,” said Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart, vice chairman of the NCAA basketball committee. “You don't artificially break up the bracket.”

The NCAA created the sneak peek into the selection process to generate buzz before the 68 teams that make the NCAA Tournament are officially revealed on Selection Sunday, which is March 15. The Final Four is March 27-29 in Atlanta.

Baylor was an obvious choice for the No. 1 overall seed. In a season of parity — a record-tying seven different No. 1 teams — the Bears have provided stability at the top, spending the past three weeks at No. 1 in the AP Top 25.

The committee made Baylor the top seed in the South Region in Houston with Louisville, Seton Hall and Auburn. Houston is about a three-hour drive from Waco, so the Bears would have plenty of fan support if they made it that far.