The UCLA Bruins, after playing poorly late in the regular season, will take its 21-10 record and enter this year's NCAA tournament as the No. 9-seeded team in the West Regional. They will play No. 8 Iowa State, in a first-round game against Iowa State at Tucson, Ariz.
Michigan, which lost to Duke for the national championship a year ago, finished the season 26-4 and was seeded first in the region.
Even though the Arizona Wildcats won the Pac-10 and rolled to a 24-3 record and No. 6 ranking, they couldn't convince the selection committee that it was worth more than a No. 2 behind Michigan.
That was a case of rewarding excellence on the one hand and postseason success on the other.
"When you measure what each did and Michigan's strength of schedule--it's one of the most difficult in the country--it came out like it is," said Tom Butters, athletic director at Duke and chairman of the selection committee.
Coach Lute Olson thought the deciding factor was his team's loss at California after a long winning streak. "I frankly had felt ever since we lost at Cal, we'd be a No. 2, even after winning 19 in a row," Olson said.
"We dropped three spots in one poll and a couple in the other. Michigan squeaked through and stayed where it was. When I saw that, it was obvious we'd go in as a No. 2. I don't think it makes all that much difference. I don't feel it makes a big difference either way."
"Everyone expects routs in the first round, but that ain't going to be," Michigan coach Steve Fisher said. "The experience of having been through it all once is a tremendous asset. I think this is a bracket we can do well in, but we've got to play."
Olson echoed those sentiments for Arizona, which travels to Salt Lake City to play No. 15 Santa Clara.
"I think we did well (in bracket and seeding)," he said. "Now it's a matter of doing well on the court."
Vanderbilt, ranked No. 5 in the nation, finished 26-5 but lost in the SEC semifinals against LSU. Georgia Tech had an up-and-down 19-10 season but beat No. 1 North Carolina for the ACC tournament championship on Sunday. The Commodores play Boise State at Salt Lake City and Tech faces Southern at Tucson, Ariz.
"I was kidding in the news conference about going to Utah," Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins said. "This might be good for us, to get away."
After that, New Mexico got a No. 5 seed and opens against No. 12 George Washington. Illinois was seeded sixth and drew WAC tournament champion Long Beach State.
"We're very happy to get a sixth seed but we pulled a top club," Illinois coach Lou Henson said. "Long Beach State beat New Mexico State for the WAC championship and New Mexico State beat us in the Alaska shootout. They also beat Kansas at Kansas."
Henson said he wouldn't look past his first round opponent. "Long Beach State is the only one in the tournament for us right now."