The NCAA tournament really heats up on Thursday when the round of 64 opens up with a slate of 16 games across the country. The round of 64 usually presents two days of pandemonium for many teams, but for the tourney's top seeds, it usually means a nice tune-up for the rest of the tournament.
The four No. 1 seeds will begin their treks toward New Orleans on Thursday and Friday, and they'll all likely roll to easy wins. After all, no 16-seed has ever beaten a No. 1.
From there, though, the road to the Final Four gets much more difficult, as was evidenced last year. For the first time since 2006, not a single top seed made it to the Final Four, with the average seed of the teams in the national semifinals was a 6.5.
That's an indication of the parity that has overtaken the tournament, with teams like Butler, VCU and George Mason proving that a Final Four run is possible for just about every team in the tournament.
That doesn't mean that the top seeds have been shut out completely from making it to college hoops' biggest stage. As recently as 2008, all four top seeds reached the Final Four. Since 2000, at least to No 1 seeds have reached the Final Four six times.
This year's top seeds — Kentucky, Michigan State, Syracuse and North Carolina — can all make a case for reaching New Orleans, but when it comes to the Big Dance, you need more than just a case to make the Final Four.
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