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NCAA Tournament: Breaking it down region by region

Kansas is the top seed in the South, extending its NCAA Tournament-best streak of consecutive tournament appearances to 24 years.

The Jayhawks were the No. 2 overall seed in the tournament behind only Midwest No. 1 seed Louisville. KU lost in the national championship game to Kentucky in April 2012, and has been to the Elite Eight back-to-back years.

The path back to the Final Four for Kansas takes them through Kansas City, where the Jayhawks last weekend claimed the second leg of the Big 12 conference sweep, adding the tournament championship to the regular-season title.

But the road to the Georgia Dome could also include Georgetown (25-6) and talented scorer Otto Porter in the regional final and familiar faces from postseason's past: North Carolina, which KU dispatched in St. Louis in a regional final last March, and VCU. The Rams beat Kansas in the 2011 regional final on the way to the Final Four in 2011.

TEAMS TO BEAT: Kansas (29-5) has more wins against top-50 teams than anyone in the field.

Georgetown (30-4) is more talented than any of John Thompson III's past editions. The experience factor could bite the Hoyas.

Michigan (26-7) is first in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio -- the Wolverines average less than 10 turnovers per game -- with two talented scorers many believe have NBA futures in Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr.Midwest RegionThere's no shortage of blue blood in the Midwest Region.

The top three seeds -- Louisville, Duke and Michigan State -- are as impressive a trio as could be squeezed into one region.

Louisville, the No. 1 overall seed, reached the Final Four last year. Coach Rick Pitino has been to the Final Four twice as Louisville's coach, and the Cardinals have been to the Elite Eight three of the past five years.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski won NCAA titles in 1991, 1992, 2001 and 2010. After an early tournament exit last season, the Blue Devils are back as the No. 2 seed. Duke is an intriguing team now that forward Ryan Kelly is back from a foot injury.

Michigan State, the No. 3 seed, has been a fixture in the Final Four under coach Tom Izzo. The Spartans hung tough in the challenging Big Ten Conference and were in the Top 10 for much of the season.

TEAMS TO BEAT: Louisville is the No. 1 overall seed and winner of 10 consecutive games.

Michigan State is battle-tested, coming out of a conference that placed seven teams in the tournament.West RegionGonzaga's history as an NCAA Tournament Cinderella came full circle Sunday, when for the first time the Bulldogs were named one of the four No. 1 seeds in the 2013 tournament.

Gonzaga is the top seed in the West Regional, with Big Ten tournament champion Ohio State second, New Mexico at No. 3 and Kansas State fourth. Gonzaga was a No. 2 seed in 2004. In 2006, they were third-seeded and lost in the Sweet 16.

Coach Mark Few said the program was "just happy to be in the conversation," with teams like Miami (Fla.) and Duke, who were given No. 2 seeds.

Gonzaga was 16-1 on the road and has the best record in the nation entering the tournament at 31-2. One of the victories that earned Few's troops high marks was over Kansas State, but will the Bulldogs' otherwise light resume stand up in a region lacking heavyweight clout but full of land mines?

TEAMS TO BEAT: Gonzaga wins with its frontcourt.East RegionMost basketball experts thought Indiana would earn the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region and perhaps get to play its regional semifinal and championship games in nearby Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium. However, the Hoosiers were tripped up by their nemesis, Wisconsin, in the Big Ten semifinals, and that was enough to send them to the East Region.

There are no shortage of challengers for Indiana in the East. Second-seeded Miami won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season and tournament titles, and it might have deserved a No. 1 seed over Gonzaga. Below those two, Syracuse started to look like its old self in reaching the Big East championship game.

Also, sixth-seeded Butler is an intriguing case. The Bulldogs have been turnover-prone, but at their best, they have notched wins over Indiana, Gonzaga, Marquette and North Carolina.

TEAMS TO BEAT: Indiana (27-6) has been the country's top-ranked team for a reason -- its best is better than anyone else's.

Miami (27-6) offers experience and a point guard (Shane Larkin) capable of taking games over down the stretch.