Nightmare Matchups for Potential No. 1 Seeds in the 2018 NCAA Tournament

Mikal BridgesMikal BridgesChris Szagola/Associated Press

Getting a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament is the goal for every team, but even the country’s best squads have opponents they are hoping to avoid on Selection Sunday.

We have a good idea who the men’s No. 1 seeds will be. Virginia, Villanova and Kansas appear to be locks for the top line, and then there’s a debate over whether North Carolina or Xavier deserves the final spot.

But all five have serious red flags that the wrong opponent could exploit.

NCAA tournament success always depends on draw. A great team might lose in the second round against a hot foe or a rough matchup. But with a favorable path, even a borderline No. 1 seed can cruise to the Final Four.

Who are the opponents these No. 1 seeds want to avoid?

Let’s look at their strengths and weaknesses to figure that out.


Virginia Cavaliers

Ty Jerome and Kyle GuyTy Jerome and Kyle GuySteve Helber/Associated Press

Biggest Strength: Defense, defense and more defense. The Cavaliers have the most efficient defense in decades. They enter the ACC championship game against North Carolina with an adjusted defensive efficiency of 84.1, which is the

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