By Chris Mascaro
March 17, 2014

Ron Wellman (right) is the athletic director at Wake Forest. (Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images) Ron Wellman (right) is the athletic director at Wake Forest. (Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images)

Louisville is the defending national champion, is 29-5 this season and just won its three conference tournament games by more than 33 points per game.

But the Cardinals are a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament. Why?

It wasn't because they didn't pass the "eye test," according to selection committee chairman Ron Wellman in an interview with ESPN's Andy Katz late Sunday night. They received such a low seed because of their soft non-conference schedule and the fact that they play in the American Athletic Conference, perceived as weaker than other power conferences.

Accordingly, Louisville wasn't treated the same as ACC champion Virginia, which was named the top seed in the East after beating Duke in the conference tournament final on Sunday.

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Writes Katz: "Wellman [said] ... that Louisville 'passed everyone's eye test,' and added that the Cardinals 'are playing right now as well as anybody in the country.'

"When asked if Louisville looked like a one seed, Wellman said, 'sure.'"

Louisville, which will join the ACC next season, will play MAAC champion Manhattan on Thursday.

Wellman added that the other three No. 4 seeds also could have made a case for a higher seed. Michigan State won the Big Ten tournament title, UCLA won the Pac-12 and San Diego State won the Mountain West regular season title and made the final of its conference tournament.

But he said the committee had to look at a team's entire season rather than only the last three or four weeks.

THAMEL/HAMILTON: Breaking down the brackets

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