Awaiting the No. 12 seed 49ers is 5th-seeded Tennessee in the South Regional, which will take place in Columbus, Ohio. The LBSU game is set to tip off at approximately 11:45 a.m. depending on the length of the earlier game between Virginia and Albany. “It’s a compliment to our season as a body of work,” said Florida coach Billy Donovan, whose team rebounded to finish 29-5 after losing three games at the end of the regular season. Still, it’s hardly a guarantee the Gators will be in Atlanta for the Final Four on March 31. Last season, they won it all as a No. 3 seed, and not a single top-seeded school made it to the Final Four for the first time since 1980. Falling to a No. 2 was last year’s national runner-up, UCLA, which looked headed for a No. 1 seed until losing its last two games, including the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament. But the real surprise came in the meager number of at-large bids handed out to mid-major teams. Only six of 34 spots went to the little guys, down from eight last year and 12 in 2004. South Regional in Columbus, OhioNo. 12 49ers vs. No. 5 Tenn. Friday, Time: appox. 11:45 a.m. Ch. 2 For ticket information go to longbeachstate.com Fill out your men’s bracket / B6 Florida will try to become the first team since 1992 to repeat as champion – and the first ever with the same five starters – and the Gators will do it with their first overall top seed in the tournament, leapfrogging Ohio State courtesy of three straight routs in the Southeastern Conference tournament. North Carolina and Kansas were the other No. 1 seeds, rounding out a group that all won both their regular-season and conference tournament championships. And joining the field for the first time since 1995 will Big West champions Long Beach State who got the automatic bid by defeating Cal Poly in the conference tournament on Saturday in Anaheim. It means fewer opportunities for a repeat of last year, when 11th-seeded George Mason – the commuter college in Virginia – struck a blow for the underdog in a stirring trip to the Final Four. “Last year, the impression was that the tournament committee had gone overboard in selecting mid-majors,” selection committee chairman Gary Walters said. “But when we start the process, we throw conference affiliation out the window … and it shakes out where it shakes out.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NCAA Tournament brackets Printable brackets So much for the little guy. Big boys like defending champion Florida and No. 1-ranked Ohio State are among the top-seeded favorites, while the darling mid-major teams get surprisingly few chances to turn the NCAA tournament into a free-for-all for underdogs. March Madness officially began Sunday when the pairings were announced, kicking off office and online pools and triggering debate about seedings, who went where and who didn’t make it at all.