Alabama gets to stay home as the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Crimson Tide (29-5) is the top team in the South Region after landing the program’s first-ever top seed when Sunday’s field of 68 teams was revealed. That came hours after the Tide closed out a second Southeastern Conference Tournament title in three seasons.
Alabama opens play in its home state on Thursday, facing the First Four winner between Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Southeast Missouri State in Birmingham.
Maryland, meanwhile, is seeded eighth in the South Region and will face ninth-seeded West Virginia in the round of 64 on Thursday in Birmingham.
It’s been a season of wild success for Nate Oats’ program on the court, but it comes as Alabama is also dealing with with the fallout of former Tide player Darius Miles and another man being indicted on capital murder charges for the January shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris.
That story also involves star freshman Brandon Miller, with a police investigator testifying last month that Miles texted Miller to bring him his gun that night. Neither Miller nor current player Jaden Bradley, who police said was also at the scene, have been charged and both have continued to play.
The Tide’s top challenger is Arizona (28-6), which won the Pac-12 Tournament for the second time in as many seasons under Tommy Lloyd. The Wildcats are the 2-seed in the bracket.
Baylor is the No. 3 seed, followed by Virginia — which shared the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title and lost to Duke in the ACC Tournament final. San Diego State and Creighton rounded out the top seeds in the South.
Notable inclusions in the bracket include No. 11 seed North Carolina State and a 31-win team in College of Charleston as the 12-seed, with both in the field for the first time since 2018.
The regionals will be held in Louisville, Kentucky.