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NCAA Tournament 2015: the casual basketball fan's guide to the Field of 68

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

I bet you're thinking, "who is [Team X]" right now as you look at your bracket and make your final choices... we have the guide for you. Each participating team, their best player, record, ranking by the advanced stats site Kenpom.com, and their adjusted offense and defense numbers (where scoring 100 points per 100 possessions is okay, but scoring 110 points/ 100 possessions is much sexier. And keeping opponents below .95 points per 100 is also sexy.

Your key to the table headers:

KP Rank: KenPom's overall rank

Tempo: adjusted tempo/ speed/ number of possessions per game, adjusted for quality of competition

Adj OE/ Adj DE: Offensive/ Defensive Efficiency - number of points scored per 100 possessions, adjusted for quality of competition

Seed: # of seed + region; E = East; MW = Midwest; W = West; S = South

KenPom information taken from the site and this post on the chances for each team to win the NCAA Championship.

Without further ado, the write-ups from myself (when not marked), Carmine, and Chris for this year's tournament - where the action kicks off tonight (so read Carmine's preview of the day's action)!

Team W/L KP Rank Tempo Tempo Rank AdjOE RankAdjOE AdjDE RankAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Albany 24-8 131 61.33 320 104.22 117 101.75 155 14E 931117

Team Name: Albany Great Danes
Best player(s): F, Sam Rowley, leads team in free throw attempts and rebounding
Where they excel: Shooting outside the arc; shooting free throws; defensive rebounding; not sending opponents to the free throw line
Best win: 64-60 at Yale, December 20
Worst loss: 65-47 at Niagara December 30

Why watch this team?: Will Brown, one of the best coaches you may not have heard of, piloted his team to a 13-game win streak to start 2015. The team's zone allows a lot of three-pointers, and they shoot quote a few - so expect some scoring in a game involving Albany. Fun fact - the Danes play two brothers named Rowley up front.

Team W/L KP Rank Tempo Tempo Rank AdjOE RankAdjOE AdjDE RankAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Arizona 31-3 2 66.73 78 116.00 11 86.38 3 2W 7

Team Name: Arizona Wildcats
Best player(s): G T.J. McConnell, primary ball-handler, makes smart decisions, limited turnovers; F Stanley Johnson, solid mid-range player, a great athlete and finisher at the rim, strong in transition; F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, great rebounder, best defender on the team
Where they excel: Defensive end, scoring at the rim, transition, rebounding
Best win: 66-63 OT vs Gonzaga, December 6
Worst loss: 71-67 at UNLV, December 23

Interesting notes/why an impartial observer might watch them: T.J. McConnell is one of the best point guards in the country and the Wildcats also have some of the best athletes in the country. They don't shoot it well from the outside but they have so much length and size that they are able to attack the paint with ease. Sean Miller's team won 11 straight games to finish off the season and won the program's first Pac-12 title since 2002. The Wildcats can be considered a contender to possibly knock off Kentucky in the Final Four (if they make it that far).
-Carmine Carcieri

Team W/L KP Rank Tempo Tempo Rank AdjOE RankAdjOE AdjDE RankAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Arkansas 26-7 29 69.98 9 112.96 21 97.69 81 5W 1002


Team Name: Arkansas Razorbacks
Best player(s): F Bobby Portis, a pick in pop big man, solid rebounder; G Michael Qualls, best athlete on the team, long defender
Where they excel: Pressure defense, creating turnovers, distributing the ball, fast break attack
Best win: 71-70 at Ole Mississippi, February 14
Worst loss: 68-65 OT at Clemson, December 7

Interesting notes/why an impartial observer might watch them: The Razorbacks are really effective when their pressure defense is working to their advantage. They tend to act to quickly on offense but Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls are fun to watch. They don't have any particular great wins but they have win streaks of six and seven at separate times this season. They have been tested by Kentucky but lost both by double-digits.

-Carmine Carcieri

Team W/L KP Rank Tempo Tempo Rank AdjOE RankAdjOE AdjDE RankAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Baylor 24-9 15 62.18 296 114.85 13 94.52 33 3W 159

Team Name: Baylor Bears
Best player(s): F, Ricardo Gathers, a dominating rebounder and more than capable scorer in the low post.
Where they excel: Offensive rebounding
Best win: 79-70 over Iowa State, February 25
Worst loss: 63-61 at Kansas State, January 17

Why watch this team?: Baylor is a team that features a well-balanced offense to go along with a stingy defense. They enter the tournament as a team capable of going as far as their offense can take them.
- Chris Ronca

Team W/L KP Rank Tempo Tempo Rank AdjOE RankAdjOE AdjDE RankAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Belmont 22-10 149 67.09 63 107.85 64 106.50 258 15E 2436044

Team Name: Belmont Bruins
Best player(s): G Craig Bradshaw
Where they excel: great offensive sets/ team play
Best win: 88-87 over Murray State in the conference championship game
Worst loss: 72-70 at Jacksonville, February 11; twice to Wright State

Why watch this team?: Rick Byrd's teams play hard and share the ball, setting up quickly for the pass and the three-point shot. Their defense is also atrocious. Therefore, they might be in an exciting game, so take note.

Team W/L KP Rank Tempo Tempo Rank AdjOE RankAdjOE AdjDE RankAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Boise St. 25-8 39 63.74 232 109.42 48 96.51 64 11E 9810

Team Name: Boise State Broncos
Best player(s): G, Derrick Marks, an efficient, high-usage jump-shooting senior (though he's 2/16 in his last three games from outside the arc); F, James Webb, an effective rebounder with a stretch-four game
Where they excel: Low turnover, strong defensive rebounding team with three-point threats at every position.
Best win: 72-56 over SMU, November 17
Worst loss: 73-70 vs. BYU, February 28

Why watch this team?: Every regular who has averaged ten minutes of time on the floor has shot at least 20 three-pointers on the season. Leon Rice's club has been knocking at the door of national relevance for the past three years, and this may be the time where the deep, veteran Broncos start to match the name recognition of their football team.

Team W/L KP Rank Tempo Tempo Rank AdjOE RankAdjOE AdjDE RankAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Buffalo 23-9 54 69.26 20 109.75 47 98.51 94 12MW 6114

Team Name: Buffalo Bulls
Best player(s): F Justin Moss, solid interior player and rebounder
Where they excel: Generating second chances on the offensive end
Best win: Akron, twice
Worst loss: 63-61 at Ohio

Why watch this team?: Bobby Hurley's squad crashes the glass and plays a fast style - and you love the look of chaos on the court! A trendy upset pick, a tough team.

Team W/L KP Rank Tempo TempoRk AdjOE RankAdjOE AdjDE RankAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Butler 22-10 23 63.75 231 107.52 67 91.66 10 6MW 815

Team Name: Butler Bulldogs
Best player(s): G/F Roosevelt Jones, an unorthodox slashing wing/ linebacker playing hoops
Where they excel: Strong defense, playing above their physical abilities
Best win: 74-66 over North Carolina, November 26
Worst loss: 67-55 at Tennessee December 14

Why watch this team?: Butler is so tough. Kellen Dunham, Jones, and Andrew Chrabascz are relenetless on offense; Alex Barlow isn't spectacular but is smart and can shoot; and the Bulldogs pull out gritty, tight wins and execute well.

Team W/L KP Rank Tempo TempoRk AdjOE RankAdjOE AdjDE RankAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
BYU 25-9 31 70.38 6 116.72 9 101.08 139 11W 3131

Team Name: BYU Cougars
Best player(s): G Tyler Haws
Where they excel: putting up points in a hurry
Best win: 73-70 over Gonzaga in Spokane, February 28
Worst loss: Twice to Pepperdine

Why watch this team?: Tyler Haws is not afraid to shoot at any time. neither are many of his teammates. This team depends on its guards and wings to score, and plays an uptempo game. Kyle Collinsworth is only 6'6" but is one of the nation's best defensive rebounders.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Cincinnati 22-10 34 59.99 341 106.70 76 93.29 18 16W 2007

Team Name: Cincinnati Bearcats
Best player(s): F Octavius Ellis, low post efficiency, physical defender; G Troy Caupain, Solid three point shooter, steady ball handler
Where they excel: Defense, ball control, slow pace
Best win: 62-54 at SMU, February 5
Worst loss: 50-46 at East Carolina, February 1

Interesting notes/why an impartial observer might watch them: The Bearcats, like Virginia, don't play an entertaining style of basketball but they are physical and solid defensively. When Farad Cobb and Troy Caupain are knocking down their shots, the Bearcats can be dangerous. Mick Cronin remains away from the team due to health issues and Larry Davis has done a terrific job taking over the team in his absence.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Coastal Carolina 24-9 148 64.42 190 103.54 136 102.21 164 8MW 1966903

Team Name: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Best player(s): G, Warren Gillis, solid point guard who shares PG duties with Shivaughn ; G, Josh Cameron, bench "microwave" guard who forces steals
Where they excel: Scoring on two- and three-pointers
Best win: 58-54 at Auburn, December 5
Worst loss: 80-69 at Presbyterian, February 26

Why watch this team? (include ability to upset better-known teams): The Chanticleers are not afraid to get after the ball on the offensive or defensive glass. They find ways to win, despite allowing opponents to take nearly 40% of their shots from beyond the arc against them. They share the ball. You enjoy saying "Chanticleer".

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Davidson 24-7 32 67 68 118.49 8 103.11 181 10S 1735

Team Name: Davidson Wildcats
Best player(s): G Tyler Kalinoski, solid shooter, has plenty of experience, limits turnovers; G Jack Gibbs, another solid outside shooter/scorer, effective passer
Where they excel: Offense/points/shooting, passing, efficiency, rebounding on the defensive end
Best win: 77-60 vs Dayton, January 20
Worst loss: 75-70 at St. Joseph's January 31

Why watch this team?: The Wildcats are 6th in the country in points per game, 3rd in assists per game and 31st in field goal percentage. This team become scorching hot towards the end of the year as they won 10 games in a row before losing to another red hot VCU team in the Atlantic 10 final last week. The Wildcats also tested themselves before playing their conference slate as they battled UNC (lost by 18) and Virginia (lost by 11).
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Dayton 25-7 40 63.98 214 107.15 73 94.68 38 11E 5921

Team Name: Dayton Flyers
Best player(s): Jordan Sibert, athletic shooter
Where they excel: Gang rebounding, slowing the game down on defense
Best win: 59-55 at VCU, February 28
Worst loss: 83-73 at Duquesne, February 21

Why watch this team?: This is one of the shortest teams in the country and one of the thinnest benches, but the Flyers peeled off 25 wins - that speaks to coaching of Archie Miller and the guard-oriented attack, led by Scoochie Smith and Sibert and "centers" Dyshawn Pierre and Kendall Pollard, 6'6" and 210 pounds. Also, they start play at home in the play-in game.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Duke 29-4 7 66.24 103 122.03 3 96.13 57 1S 22

Team Name: Duke Blue Devils
Best player(s): C Jahlil Okafor, has polished footwork and is a dominate physical presence on the block; G Tyus Jones, has the ability step up in big games and strong from the free throw line; F Justice Winslow, athletic, long defender with strong aggressiveness on offense
Where they excel: Playing through Okafor, transition attack
Best win: 80-70 at Wisconsin, December 3
Worst Loss: 90-74 vs Miami FL, January 13

Interesting notes/why an impartial observer might watch them: The Blue Devils can flat out score with any team in the country. They have the best passing big man in the country, Okafor, and their guards, Jones and Quinn Cook, know their roles. Even though they struggle defensively, the Blue Devils have some of the best road victories in the country, Wisconsin, Louisville, Virginia and North Carolina.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Eastern Washington 26-8 136 68.78 24 110.03 46 107.68 279 13S 926304

Team Name: Eastern Washington Eagles
Best player(s): G Tyler Harvey, an efficient scorer (40% 3pt/ 52% 2 pt/ 85% FTS); Venky Jois, a rebounder and excellent shot-blocker
Where they excel: Low turnover rate; excellent three-point shooting
Best win: 88-86 at Indiana, November 24
Worst loss: 68-66 vs Portland State, February 14

Why watch this team?: A late surge helped them defeat Indiana on the road, part of a fairly challenging non-conference schedule for Jim Hayford's team. Their defense allows opponents to shoot from the outside, but their offense can scorch the nets against anyone - ask Indiana or SMU, who they played closely in a non-conference loss.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Georgetown 21-10 22 64.44 187 110.3 41 93.71 25 4S 359

Team Name: Georgetown Hoyas
Best player(s): D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera, an excellent shooter with some dribble ability
Where they excel: Defending inside the arc, using their height well
Best win: 78-58 over Villanova, January 19
Worst loss: 81-70 at St. John's, February 28

Why watch this team?: Everyone wants to see what double-digit seed takes out the Hoyas every year, right? Also, John Thompson III has a talented slew of tall freshmen to complement Smith-Rivera and big man Joshua Smith, who is playing up to his potential and earning 20 minutes of playing time per game.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Georgia 21-11 36 64.18 201 107.02 74 93.92 28 10E 3510

Team Name: Georgia Bulldogs
Best player(s): Even roster - no alpha dog
Where they excel: Spreading the wealth on offense/ no star; position defending without forcing turnovers; drawing fouls on offense.
Best win: Twice over Mississippi
Worst loss: 69-68 vs Auburn, February 14

Why watch this team?: This is a hard one. A team whose best wins are to a team that many feel shouldn't be in the field (Mississippi), lost twice to a team that wasn't that close (South Carolina)? Charles Mann's ability to draw fouls can be fun to watch and the Bulldogs really try to hold the ball on offense, while opposing teams take their shots fairly quickly.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Georgia St. 23-9 71 63.3 258 108.41 58 99.23 106 14W 29548

Team Name: Georgia State Panthers
Best player(s): G R.J. Hunter, slashing guard with passing ability; Ryan Harrow, quick PG and very good passer
Where they excel: Avoiding three-pointers, scoring, pressure defense
Best win: 72-48 over Green Bay, December 4
Worst loss: 74-69 at Appalachian State, January 17

Why watch this team?: In Hunter and Harrow, Georgia State has two players who will be playing professionally when they leave Georgia State; they also have guard Kevin Ware, who infamously broke his leg in Louisville's NCAA championship game two years ago. They are susceptible to giving up offensive rebounds but can score in bunches. For some reason, Hunter, a 29% three-point shooter, has taken 238 shots from distance; the next most is 102 from Harrow. Hunter WAS a 39% shooter from beyond the arc last year, but has been erratic this season.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Gonzaga 32-2 6 65.06 153 119.44 6 93.43 20 2S 19

Team Name: Gonzaga Bulldogs
Best player(s): F, Kyle Wiltjer, a sharpshooting stretch-4; G, Kevin Pagnos, one of the top perimeter shooters in college basketball
Where they excel: The highest FG% in Division I basketball.
Best win: 72-56 over SMU, November 17
Worst loss: 73-70 vs. BYU, February 28

Why watch this team?: Gonzaga is a high-powered offensive team that boasts the second largest margin of victory (18.2 pts/game) in Division I. This team is arguably Coach Mark Few’s most athletic and complete team to date and all signs are pointing to a deep run for the Zags.
- Chris Ronca

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Hampton 16-17 250 69.54 16 95.63 301 102.31 169 16MW 932647504

Team Name: Hampton Pirates
Best player(s): G, Reginald Johnson, best outside shooter; F Quinton Chievous, leads Pirates in free throw attempts
Where they excel: Aggressive in getting to the free throw line; Newfound focus with leading rebounder/ scorer out; strong defense inside arc for their level
Best win: 75-66 over Northern Arizona, December 10
Worst loss: 64-61 to North Carolina A&T, on January 7, part of a six-game losing streak

Why watch this team?: The tyranny of conference tournaments! North Carolina Central looked to be head-and-shoulders above the MEAC, poised to win an NCAA Tournament game like Norfolk State did over Missouri. Then they lost. That left a hole wide enough for Hampton, who ended the season 12-18, to slip through and win the auto-bid. The Pirates were led by former St. John's commit Dwight Meikle's scoring and rebounding, but they have turned to scoring from Reginald Johnson and Quinton Chievous to win their last four games. Their defense isn't terrible, but their scoring is poor.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Harvard 22-7 78 61.49 317 102.02 170 94.54 34 13W 43616

Team Name: Harvard Crimson
Best player(s): F Wesley Saunders, a good passer and shooter; Siyani Chambers, a smart point guard
Where they excel: Strong man to man defense
Best win: Twice over Yale
Worst loss: 58-57 to Holy Cross, November 16

Why watch this team? (include ability to upset better-known teams): Harvard under Tommy Amaker has been a tough team and has lots of NCAA Tournament experience. This year's edition completely avoids the three-pointer, isn't great at two-pointers, and plays a slow pace. But they defend well and get to the line. Consider this your "safety school" of teams to watch.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Indiana 20-13 53 66.57 84 116.61 10 104.65 216 10MW 9915

Team Name: Indiana Hoosiers
Best player(s): G, Yogi Ferrell, a scoring guard with an impressive jumper; F, Troy Williams, a forward who can fill up the stat sheet
Where they excel: Keeping both teams in the game
Best win: 89-70 over Maryland, January 22
Worst loss: 72-65 at Northwestern, February 25

Why watch this team?: Indiana’s defense grades out as weakness but their undeniable ability to score (77.5ppg, 18th in the country), may be able to help them rack up wins by itself.
- Chris Ronca

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Iowa 21-11 24 64.26 198 111.13 35 94.94 42 7S 700

Team Name: Iowa Hawkeyes
Best player(s): F Aaron White, underrated athlete, a versatile pick and pop player; F Jarrod Uthoff, three point threat, another versatile option, good rebounder
Where they excel: Rebounding, creating mismatches
Best win: 60-55 at North Carolina, December 3
Worst loss: 67-58 vs Penn State (neutral site), March 12

Interesting notes/why an impartial observer might watch them: The Hawkeyes are really inconsistent but when Fran McCaffery brings them ready to play they can knock off some of the top teams in the nation. They won six in a row to close out the regular season and tested themselves in the non-conference portion of the schedule (Texas, Syracuse, UNC, Iowa State, Northern Iowa). Even though they lost four out of those five games, it builds experience for March and Aaron White is a player that is playing with a chip on his shoulder knowing that his college career will be on the line with the next loss.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Iowa St. 25-8 13 69.56 15 118.86 7 97.73 82 3S 94

Team Name: Iowa State Cyclones
Best player(s): F Georges Niang, a matchup nightmare, great shooter, strong at attacking the basket; G Monte Morris, a quick guard who pushes the pushes the ball, doesn't turn it over, F Jameel McKay, a strong rebounder, an effective rim protector
Where they excel: In transition, excellent ball movement
Best win: 86-81 vs Kansas, January 17
Worst loss: 78-73 vs Texas Tech, January 24

Interesting notes/why an impartial observer might watch them: The Cyclones are a special team to watch because of their ability to get out in transition and hit open shots. Since the beginning of March, they have stormed back to win against Oklahoma (down 19) and Kansas (down 17). Iowa State has won two straight Big 12 conference tournaments and if Georges Niang didn't break his foot last season the Cyclones had a chance to go on a long run in the Big Dance. With more experience and chemistry this season, Fred Hoiberg's team could be a true sleeper to make the Final Four.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Kansas 26-8 11 67.44 55 110.78 37 90.48 7 2MW 101

Team Name: Kansas Jayhawks
Best player(s): F Perry Ellis, versatile wing/ forward
Where they excel: transition play, experience
Best win: 63-60 over Utah, December 13
Worst loss: 70-63 at Kansas State

Why watch this team?: The Kansas Jayhawks have a coach who has led the Jayhawks to a one or two seed in eight of the last ten seasons. Playing the country's likely toughest schedule, Kansas has handled opponents with an inside/ inside game - skipping three-pointers for chances at the rim and at the line. Gifted with a lot of size, they need guard Frank Mason to help guide the team deep into the tournament.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Kentucky 33-0 1 63.44 251 119.73 5 85.82 2 1MW 3

Team Name: Kentucky Wildcats
Best player(s): F Willie Cauley-Stein, a versatile defender, great shot blocker; F Karl Anthony-Towns, legit shot blocker, great rebounder, a good on the block post player; G Aaron Harrison, a three point threat, big game experience, great size for his position; G Devin Booker, another three point threat; G Andrew Harrison, great size at point guard, true ball handler, plays under control most of the time
Where they excel: Defense, offensive rebounding, blocks, depth, coaching, long team
Best win: 72-40 vs Kansas (neutral site), November 18
Worst loss: None

Interesting notes/why an impartial observer might watch them: The Wildcats are one of the best defensive teams that we have seen in college basketball for a long time. Willie Cauley-Stein can guard all five positions and every player on the court will have incredible length. They don't shoot the ball particularly well but they have so many options and they move the ball so effectively that it makes us completely forget their shooting percentages.
-Carmine Cariceri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Lafayette 20-12 195 64.97 158 110.35 40 113.15 338 16E 18530434

Team Name: Lafayette Leopards
Best player(s): F, Dan Trist - a high-volume scorer and rebounder; G Joey Ptasinski, an efficient deep shooter
Where they excel: Scoring on two- and three-pointers
Best win: 76-71 over NJIT, December 28
Worst loss: 62-43 at Loyola of Maryland, February 11

Why watch this team? (include ability to upset better-known teams): At 9-9, the Leopards' emergence from the Patriot League is a surprise, as Colgate and Bucknell looked to be the class of the league. But Lafayette's offense upset Bucknell and took the title. The Leopards can score from the field but rarely visit the free throw line; and their defense may be one of the worst in all of Division I. It certainly was the worst in the Patriot League. Only one member of the regular rotation is not a junior or senior - point guard Nick Lindner.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Louisville 24-8 18 65.5 136 105.88 95 89.36 6 4E 333

Team Name: Louisville Cardinals
Best player(s): F Montrezl Harrell, a hustle player who is a fantastic rebounder; G Terry Rozier, a quick, small ball handler who can create pressure defensively and knock down outside shots
Where they excel: Defensive pressure, rebounding, blocking shots
Best win: 59-57 vs Virginia, March 7
Worst loss: 74-65 vs North Carolina State, February 14

Interesting notes/why an impartial observer might watch them: The Cardinals are very inconsistent but any team with a head coach named Rick Pitino is going to step it up when March rolls around. They play with a lot of energy and Montrezel Harrell is a treat to watch inside. They don't shoot the ball well at all but they were well tested (19th overall SOS), especially in conference play. Losing Chris Jones earlier in the season was a huge loss for the team, but when they remain balanced with Wayne Blackshear and Quentin Snider they can be very solid.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
LSU 22-10 43 69.77 13 106.83 75 94.67 37 9E 4339

Team Name: Louisiana State Tigers
Best player(s): F Jarell Martin, a rebounding forward with 3-pt range and NBA upside
Where they excel: Foul-free defense, minimizing opponent three-point attempts.
Best win: 74-73 at West Virginia, December 4
Worst loss: 74-67 at Missouri, January 8

Why watch this team?: The LSU Tigers won their two most challenging non-conference games but otherwise didn't test themselves - and lost to some of the bad teams in the SEC (Missouri, Auburn - twice, Mississippi State). DO they suck? They certainly can be defended, and will go as far as hit-or-miss point guard Josh Gray will take them. They have weapons in the post in Martin and Jordan Mickey, and sharpshooter Keith Hornsby - a UNC-Asheville transfer who has "the range".

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Manhattan 19-13 145 68.22 30 100.91 196 99.47 109 16MW 2167482

Team Name: Manhattan Jaspers
Best player(s): Emmy Andujar, slashing wing; Ashton Pankey, active forward
Where they excel: aggressive pressure defense, forcing turnover, pace
Best win: 79-69 over Iona in MAAC Championship
Worst loss: 67-54 at Fairfield
Why watch this team?: The Manhattan Jaspers are a fast-paced team with some size, strength and a solid shooter in Shane Richards. The team shares the ball, forces turnovers, and flustered the best team in the MAAC with their defense and ability to spot up in transition. But they foul a lot, turn the ball over a lot, and allow some easy buckets when the press doesn't work.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Maryland 27-6 33 64.45 184 108.54 56 94.62 36 4MW 1318

Team Name: Maryland Terrapins
Best player(s): G, Melo Trimble and G/F, Dez Wells, a pair of deadly 3-point shooters
Where they excel: Strong defense, drawing fouls
Best win: 59-53 over Wisconsin, February 24
Worst loss: 64-57 at Illinois, January 7

Why watch this team?: Maryland is a team that has had its share of ups and downs, however, when their shooters are on, there is no limit to what they can do.
- Chris Ronca

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Michigan St. 23-10 17 63.7 235 114.11 14 96.07 53 7E 461

Team Name: Michigan State Spartans
Best player(s): G Denzel Valentine, versatile option who can both rebound, finish at the rim, make the outside shot and play lockdown defense; F Branden Dawson, effortless rebounder, great leaper; G Travis Trice, a true leader, knockdown three point shooter, solid ball handler
Where they excel: Defense, experience in March, coaching
Best win: 62-58 vs Maryland (neutral site), March 14
Worst loss: 71-64 OT vs Texas Southern, December 20

Why watch this team?: The Spartans always seem to make a run in March and it's not a coincidence. Tom Izzo is one of the best coaches in college basketball and his squad is peaking (once again) at the perfect time. They have beaten Purdue, Indiana, Ohio State and Maryland since March 4th and nearly knocked off Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game. Watch out for the Spartans.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Mississippi 20-12 44 66.41 94 112.94 22 100.13 125 11W 11837

Team Name: Mississippi (Ole Miss) Rebels
Best player(s): G, Stefan Moody, a high volume shooter; F, M.J. Rhett, an efficient big man who gets the job done
Where they excel: Aggressive, low turnover offense
Best win: 96-82 over Arkansas, January 17
Worst loss: 60-58 vs. South Carolina, March 12
Why watch this team?: The Mississippi Rebels are an interesting team because statistically, both as a team and individually, they should not be a tournament team. However, they found ways to scrap out wins time and time again, this type of play will either make or break them in March.
- Chris Ronca

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
New Mexico St. 23-10 88 63.73 233 104.06 120 97.95 87 15S 116241

Team Name: New Mexico State Aggies
Best player(s): G Daniel Mullings, solid distributor and ballhawk who crashes the offensive glass
Where they excel: Being big
Best win: 70-67 over UC Irvine, January 3
Worst loss: 58-52 at Seattle, January 17

Why watch this team?: New Mexico State knows how to use their size effectively on defense, and housed their in-conference competition, only losing to Seattle. It's a bad conference, though, and it's hard to know how good they are. Remi Barry is an inside outside wing with skill, and freshman Pascal Siakam is a performer on the glass.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
North Carolina 24-11 16 69.96 10 115.26 12 95.04 45 8E 142

Team Name: North Carolina Tar Heels
Best player(s): G, Marcus Paige
Where they excel: Very good defense on three-pointers
Best win: 71-67 over Virginia, March 13
Worst loss: 89-76 to Pittsburgh, February 14

Why watch this team? (include ability to upset better-known teams): Marcus Paige is an impact point guard for the fast-paced Tar Heels. College basketball blue bloods, Roy Williams' team went 4-6 from the end of January until the end of the regular season... but peeled off impressive wins in the ACC Tournament (close to home) over Louisville and Virginia.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
North Carolina St. 20-13 38 64.43 189 111.47 30 98.2 89 15MW 3039

Team Name: North Carolina State Wolfpack
Best player: G Anthony "Cat" Barber, solid distributor and shooter
Where they excel: Turnover-free games on both sides of the ball
Best win: 87-75 over Duke, January 11
Worst loss: 88-84 at Wake Forest, February 3

Why watch this team?: big men BeeJay Anya and Abdul Malik-Abu can be exciting rebounders and guard Trevor Lacey can get buckets. They don't beat themselves with turnovers or fouls, generally. But they still lost 13 games.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
North Dakota St. 23-9 151 61.18 321 100.98 194 100.07 124 4W 2340659

Team Name: North Dakota State Bison
Best player(s): G Lawrence Alexander, jump-shooting, efficient guard
Where they excel: Slowing the game down, shooting from outside the arc
Best win: 55-46 over Akron, December 16
Worst loss: 78-65 at Southern Miss

Why watch this team?: Lawrence Alexander is a scorer who deserves a big stage; he can get hot from outside the arc.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
North Florida 23-11 127 67.12 60 105.69 98 102.84 178 16S 1099775

Team Name: North Florida Ospreys
Best player(s): G, Dallas Moore, a scoring point guard; Jalen Nesbitt, a slashing wing with range
Where they excel: Shooting three-pointers - taking 42% of their shots from outside the arc
Best win: 73-70 at Purdue, December 6
Worst loss: 65-60 at Austin Peay, December 31

Why watch this team? (include ability to upset better-known teams): The Ospreys have an awesome bird name, trot out a very tall lineup (one of the 30 tallest by minute-weighted height in the NCAAs), and shoot a lot of three-pointers. And it's their first NCAA Tournament bid ever. Their defense might not hold up against a one-seed - they play tight enough man defense that opponents can't get deep shots off - buy they could shoot well enough to spring an upset.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Northeastern 23-11 120 63.67 239 105.99 90 102.39 171 14MW 542397

Team Name: Northeastern Huskies
Best player(s): C Scott Eatherton, efficient big man
Where they excel: Inside-out scoring skill
Best win: 76-73 at Florida State, November 18
Worst loss: 72-65 at Elon, February 26

Why watch this team?: Northeastern hasn't been to the NCAA Tournament since 1991. And they got there by denying one of the five initial NCAA teams to never reach the basketball tournament. The Huskies get back on defense and rebounds missed shots well, slowing the game to a crawl. Wing Quincy Ford is 6'8" and can dribble and score with skill.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Northern Iowa 30-3 12 58.5 348 113.79 15 93.24 16 5E 97

Team Name: Northern Iowa Panthers
Best player(s): F, Seth Tuttle, an efficient scorer who leads the team in points, rebounds, assists and blocks.
Where they excel: Allowed the 4th fewest points per game in Division I.
Best win: 70-54 over Wichita State, January 31
Worst loss: 52-49 at Evansville, January 1

Why watch this team?: Northern Iowa plays a terrific defensive game and demonstrates efficiency on the offensive end as well, as they are 18th in DI in team field goal percentage. After dominating the regular season with a 30-3 record, they are poised to make noise and bring their game to the national stage.
- Chris Ronca

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Notre Dame 29-5 10 64.13 204 122.23 2 99.66 112 3MW 91

Team Name: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Best player(s): G Jerian Grant, a great distributor that controls the game but can also take over with his knack for scoring; F Pat Connaughton, knock down shooter who has developed into a solid rebounder; G Demetrius Jackson, improved scorer and pressures the opponents best ball handler
Where they excel: Excellent shooting team, catching fire from three, using Grant coming off ball screens
Best win: 74-64 vs Duke (neutral site), March 13
Worst loss: 76-72 at Pittsburgh, January 31

Why watch this team?:  The Irish have one of the most exciting guards in the country in Jerian Grant as he is the difference maker for their team. They didn't play a strong non-conference schedule (318th worst) but they finished the season strong winning their first conference championship ever in a win over North Carolina in Greensboro.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Ohio State 23-10 21 66.35 96 111.61 29 94.75 40 10W 842

Team Name: Ohio State Buckeyes
Best player(s): G D'Angelo Russell, excellent passer and ball-handler, smooth shooter, F Sam Thompson, a true leaper, legitimate threat in transition
Where they excel: Letting Russell take over the game, transition attack
Best win: 80-56 vs Maryland, January 29
Worst loss: 64-57 at Michigan, February 22

Why watch this team?:  If you like exciting guard play you want to watch D'Angelo Russell. The freshman guard is one of the best passers in the country and has the ability to pull a 'Shabazz Napier' and set the tournament on fire. Ohio State's major weakness is their size and balance. They lack solid paint play and sometimes they rely on Russell to score way too much.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Oklahoma 22-10 9 67.64 44 109.32 50 88.91 5 3E 73

Team Name: Oklahoma Sooners
Best player(s): G, Buddy Hield, a high volume shooter; F, Ryan Spangler, a great rebounder on both ends
Where they excel: Best defense in the Big Twelve
Best win: 75-73 over Kansas, March 7
Worst loss: 65-63 at Creighton, November 9

Why watch this team? (include ability to upset better-known teams): Oklahoma played a very strong schedule, per KenPom, and went 12-6 in a rough Big 12 conference. Buddy Hield is a very good guard - the kind that can take over a game. The SOoners might be one of the best teams you haven't watched yet, and Ryan Spangler's sweaty rebounding may make you want to get to the gym.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Oklahoma St. 18-13 37 63.28 259 109.42 49 96.23 58 9W 3084

Team Name: Oklahoma State Cowboys
Best player(s): F LeBryan Nash, versatile, athletic, strong wing
Where they excel: forcing turnovers
Best win: 67-62 over Kansas, February 7
Worst loss: 63-62 at Texas Tech, February 28

Why watch this team?: A great schedule and a few good wins gets two 8-10 Big XII teams in the Tournament - Texas and Oklahoma State. Phil Forte can shoot, LeBryan Nash is a solid wing. But the Cowboys have struggled to rebound on an epic level in league play.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Oregon 25-9 46 66.54 87 113.35 16 100.62 134 8W 5093

Team Name: Oregon Ducks
Best player(s): G Joseph Young, flat out scorer, a tremendous free throw shooter, an experienced leader; F Elgin Cook, efficient scorer
Where they excel: Scoring, defensive rebounding, coaching
Best win: 67-64 vs Utah (neutral site), March 13
Worst loss: 108-99 OT at Washington State, January 15

Why watch this team?:  Dana Altman has done a terrific job with a team with limited depth after they dismissed multiple players before the season. Joseph Young is one of the best scorers in the entire country and he has led the Ducks to two victories over Utah (one at home and one in the Pac-12 tournament). Besides the Legends Classic and a match-up against Illinois, the Ducks weren't tested and were under the rater heading into Pac-12 conference play.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Providence 22-11 28 65.74 125 110.72 38 95.49 48 6E 1101

Team Name: Providence Friars
Best player(s): G Kris Dunn, ballhawking point guard with passing skill
Where they excel: Tough play, height
Best win: 75-74 over Notre Dame, November 23
Worst loss: 77-67 vs Brown, December 8

Why watch this team?: Kris Dun nis fun to watch - as is scoring wing LaDontae Henton. The Friars have a deep rotation of big men as well.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Purdue 21-12 49 64.54 180 108.49 57 97.06 69 9MW 6673

Team Name: Purdue Boilermakers
Best player(s): C A.J. Hammons, shot blocking 7-footer
Where they excel: interior defense, shot blocking
Best win: 60-58 over Ohio State, February 4
Worst loss: 89-84 to Gardner-Webb at home, December 22

Why watch this team?: You like shot blocking? Purdue has some size to alter shots. They have a guard named Jon Octeus. They share the ball and have played a number of close games - aka, NCAA Tournament excitement!

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Robert Morris 19-14 173 65.61 131 101.04 191 102.34 170 16S 20838622

Team Name: Robert Morris Colonials
Best player(s): F, Lucky Jones, undersized do-it-all forward with some range; Marcquise Reed, freshman with a deft shooting touch (51% on 2pt/ 43% on 3 pt/ 78% on FTs)
Where they excel: Aggressively forcing steals; shooting three-pointers
Best win: Twice over St. Francis-New York - the last to deny the Terriers their first shot at the NCAAs (St. Francis is one of five original NCAA members to have never made the NCAA basketball tournament.)
Worst loss: Twice to LIU-Brooklyn in conference play

Why watch this team?: Andy Toole, one of the best young coaches you may have never heard of, has experience beating major conference foes in the NIT - St. John's last season, Kentucky the previous year - and finally gets his chance at the NCAA Tournament. You may remember Robert Morris and now-disgraced Mike Rice taking Villanova to the brink before the referees helped the Wildcats. With that history, expect the Colonials to be itching at a chance to play on the big stage, more than some.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
San Diego St. 26-8 27 60.67 334 102.4 161 88.25 4 12S 2656

Team Name: San Diego State Aztecs
Best player(s): F, Winston Shepard, an athletic wing/ forward with range; G, Aqueel Quinn, a solid outside shooter who came up big in big wins
Where they excel: Fourth best per-possession defense in Division I.
Best win: 92-87 over BYU, November 24
Worst loss: 69-57 to Fresno State, January 3; honorable mention, 49-36 loss to Washington, December 7 (for the lack of offensive aesthetic value)

Why watch this team?: If you are interested in the possibility of an opponent scoring less than 20 points in a half during an NCAA game, watch San Diego State draws. The Aztecs, led by Steve Fisher are very long and athletic, but will be one of the worst scoring teams in the tournament. Not only do they miss shots from the field and not draw fouls, they shoot 63% as a team on free throws. but that defense, tho... it's good enough to earn them 26 wins, so ignore them at your peril. BONUS: Dwayne Polee, former St. John's wing, is back on the court after some health scares.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
SMU 26-6 19 63.8 226 112.31 24 94.94 43 8S 963

Team Name: SMU Mustangs
Best player(s): G Nic Moore, high volume shooter/scorer; F Markus Kennedy, aggressive scorer in the paint, brings a physical, tough presence
Where they excel: Rebounding, ball movement/assists, defense, height advantage
Best win: 68-57 at Tulsa, February 7
Worst loss: 81-73 at Connecticut, March 1

Why watch this team?: The Mustangs are coached by Hall of Famer Larry Brown and this team could have been even better this season if they were able to keep Emmanuel Mudiay (a future top five NBA selection), Justin Martin and Keith Frazier. Brown's squad is very physical especially inside and they rank 25th in the country in points allowed. The Mustangs haven't really beaten anyone of name this season but they have played Arkansas, Gonzaga and Indiana so they were tested in some fashion before conference play. They won the AAC tournament against Connecticut on their home floor this past week.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
St. John's 21-11 42 67.1 61 108.07 62 95.69 51 6S 375

Team Name: St. John's Red Storm
Best player(s): F Sir`Dominic Pointer, rebounder and transition attacker; D`Angelo Harrison, fearless scorer
Where they excel: transition play, three-point shooting
Best win: 79-57 over Georgetown, February 17
Worst loss: 71-67 at Depaul, January 18

Why watch this team?: The Johnnies are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get. The team is without center Chris Obekpa for two weeks, and will play a five-guard style that could be deadly in transition... or crushed in rebounding. Which is ok, the team is already crushed in rebounding. Phil Greene IV is a shooting x-factor, as is the penetration of Rysheed Jordan.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Stephen F. Austin 29-4 35 66.77 75 112.99 19 99.13 104 9S 3677

Team Name: Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
Best player(s): Travis Walkup, 6'4" scorer, rebounder, assist man, baller
Where they excel: Ball movement - fourth best in the country in assists/ field goals made ratio
Best win: 64-52 over Memphis, December 2
Worst loss: 71-63 at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, February 14

Why watch this team?: They've lost four games, have NCAA Tournament experience, and a second-year coach who will no doubt get looks from other schools. Deep and experienced, last year's Lumberjacks defeated VCU in an overtime game and then fell to UCLA, putting up a strong fight. Thomas Walkup returns, a gritty 6'4" forward who gets buckets inside the arc and can stretch to the outside; he's also the team's best passer. Freshman Ty Charles joins him as a wing with do-it-all ability. The Lumberjacks give heavy minutes to their bench, and they're able to force turnovers with fresh defenders while remaining one of the most efficient scoring teams in the country. (Keep in mind that they lost their best chances for marquee wins - against Northern Iowa, Xavier, and Baylor early in the season. And their league is very weak - did they pad their stats or are they this good?)

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Texas 20-13 20 62.28 294 110.29 42 93.31 19 11MW 550

Team Name: Texas Longhorns
Best player(s): G Isaiah Taylor, point guard without consistent range
Where they excel: using their size on defense
Best win: 61-59 over Baylor, March 2
Worst loss: 74-71 to Stanford, December 23

Why watch this team?: Rick Barnes' team doesn't have bad losses, but they have a LOT of losses, going 8-10 in their conference, which was the best in the country overall - deep with no nights off. The Longhorns are led by their forwards but Isaiah Taylor's ability to lead and hit big shots is key for their success.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Texas Southern 22-12 207 63.93 221 101.67 177 104.9 220 15W 44005517

Team Name: Texas Southern Tigers
Best player(s): G/F, Chris Thomas, a slasher who gets to the line; Malcolm Riley, 45% shooter from beyond the arc
Where they excel: Getting to the free throw line; offensive rebounding
Best win: 71-64 at Michigan State, December 20
Worst loss: 66-62 at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, January 24

Why watch this team?: Do you remember that 2002 Indiana team that played in the national championship game, losing to Steve Blake and Juan Dixon's Maryland? That coach, Mike Davis, has gone from Indiana to UAB (where he struggled) and is now at SWAC school Texas Southern, where he has had three winning seasons - no small feat in the resource-poor SWAC. The Houston school knocked off Michigan State, part of the toughest non-conference schedule in the country. Their defensive rebounding is terrible, so watch for opponent second chance points.

The Tigers are filled with players trying to take advantage of their second and third chances. Chris Thomas committed to Xavier, didn't qualify, committed to Manhattan, had his scholarship pulled after a failed drug test, played at Marshall, and now lands at TSU. Nick Shepherd transfered from Long Beach State; Deverell Biggs is a transfer from Nebraska.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
UAB 19-15 121 64.95 159 103.78 130 100.26 129 14S 440808

Team Name: UAB Blazers
Best player(s): G Robert Brown, the team's best passer
Where they excel: rotating in fresh defenders for pressure defense
Best win: 81-68 over Old Dominion, January 24
Worst loss: 62-59 at Florida Atlantic, March 5

Why watch this team?: This team is young, Get in on the ground floor and say you know them way back when! they have good height and defended the three-pointer very well in conference.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
UC Irvine 21-12 94 63.73 234 103.94 123 98.28 92 13E 135526

Team Name: UC Irvine Anteaters
Best player(s): Mamadou Ndiaye, who is 7'6"; Will Davis a 6'10" forward who can score and defend.
Where they excel: Blocking shots; being hard to score against inside the arc
Best win: 72-70 vs Wisconsin-Green Bay, December 22
Worst loss: 63-62 at Morgan State, December 16

Why watch this team?: The Anteaters (Anteaters!) have a great nickname and one of the tallest frontlines you will ever see. Mamdou Ndiaye (7'6") is joined by 7'2" Ioannis Dimakopoulos and a pair of 6'10" players. Ndiaye missed much of the season with injuries. The Anteaters also can shoot from outside the arc, with Travis Souza being one of the nation's best sharpshooters - if he can get enough space.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
UCLA 20-13 41 66.04 111 110.2 45 97.38 76 11S 3405

Team Name: UCLA Bruins
Best player(s): G Norman Powell, a scoring guard who can pick up some steals; freshman forward Kevin Looney, a strong rebounder and shot-blocker
Where they excel: Not fouling opponents, interior defense
Best win: 69-59 vs Utah, January 29
Worst loss: 66-55 at Oregon State, January 22

Why watch this team?: What? Why are they here? Because they beat Utah once? What the hell is this? Well, ok. UCLA plays their five guys for mnost of the game, only stopping to give center Tony Parker a blow. They allow a lot of threes. The coach's son is a lightning rod for criticism.

How did they get in the bracket again??

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Utah 24-8 8 61.17 322 113.05 18 90.57 8 5S 51

Team Name: Utah Utes
Best player(s): G Delon Wright, great passer, effective in the pick-and-roll, makes reasonable decisions; F Jakob Poeltl, a big time rebounder, excellent footwork for a big man; G Brandon Taylor, very strong three pointer, small quick guard
Where they excel: Slow pace, defense, pick and roll play, paint scoring
Best win: 69-68 vs Wichita State, December 3
Worst loss: 69-59 at UCLA, January 29

Why watch this team?: The Utes like to play at their pace but their pace is lethal when Delon Wright is running the show. He does not force shots and this helps Utah limit turnovers and run outs for their opponents. They typically struggle away from home but they are 7-7 against the RPI top 100 and played Kansas close at Allen Fieldhouse.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Valparaiso 28-5 63 62.76 275 103.79 129 94.33 31 13MW 11153

Team Name: Valparaiso Crusaders
Best player(s): F Alec Peters, a big man with range and a willingness to use it.
Where they excel: Defending inside the arc, offensive and defensive rebounding
Best win: Green Bay, twice; 93-58 over Murray State, November 29
Worst loss: 56-41 at Missouri, November 16

Why watch this team?: A good mid-major, the Crusaders are led by Bryce Drew - who was the star and made the last shot in Valparaiso's great upset as a player over Mississippi. The shot has its own Wikipedia entry. Also, Valpo is tall, pummeled their conference, and has some recent experience in the Tourney.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
VCU 25-9 30 67.09 64 108.12 61 93.6 23 7W 2267

Team Name: VCU Rams
Best player(s): G-F Treveon Graham, perfect size to shoot above defenders, can get to the rim at any time, opponents have to honor his outside shot, big game experience; G Melvin Johnson, three point shooter, good free throw shooter; F Mo Alie-Cox, physical presence in the paint, solid rebounder
Where they excel: Using their 'Havoc' defense to create turnovers, guard quickness, depth, coaching experience
Best win: 93-87 2 OT vs Northern Iowa, December 13
Worst loss: 73-71 at St. Bonaventure, February 11

Why watch this team?: The Rams is most remembered for their Final Four appearance in 2011. Shaka Smart is one of the better coaches in America and his 'Havoc' defense gives other teams. Losing senior guard and defensive catalyst, Briante Weber, to a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus is a huge loss but the Rams have found their rhythm. They ran through the A-10 conference tournament and Treveon Graham has become healthy after battling an ankle issue. Don't sleep on Shaka's squad.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Villanova 32-2 5 64.48 181 120.84 4 92.25 13 1E 10

Team Name: Villanova Wildcats
Best player (s): The trio of JayVaughn Pinkston, Daniel Ochefu and Darrun Hilliard are excellent
Where they excel: Being good at all things basketball if not excellent at all things - balance
Best win: over Georgetown, twice
Worst loss: 66-61 at Seton Hall, January 3

Why watch this team?: They're really really good at sharing the ball, spacing, and shooting. The team may be a bit dependent on the three-pointer, but there is size inside as well, scoring options at every position, and a coach who is experienced and has been to a Final Four before in Jay Wright.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Virginia 29-3 4 58.16 349 112.23 27 85.37 1 2E 10

Team Name: Virginia Cavaliers
Best player(s): G Malcolm Brogdon, an experienced ball handler, great defender; G Justin Anderson, efficient shooter, great athlete, best team defender
Where they excel: Defense, low turnover rate, limiting opponents transition points
Best win: 75-64 at North Carolina, February 2
Worst loss: None

Why watch this team?: The Cavs play their own beautiful style of basketball. They don't make the jaw dropping plays and they don't dominate offensively but Tony Bennett's team is one of the best if not the best defensive squad in the country. Justin Anderson, the team's best athlete, defender and shooter, will need to be 100 percent healthy for this team to make a run to Indianapolis. Since returning from injuries, he has struggled shooting the ball (before the injury he was an All-American) .
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
West Virginia 23-9 25 68.69 26 111.24 33 95.41 47 5MW 660

Team Name: West Virginia Mountaineers
Best player(s): G Juwan Staten, an aggressive driver, good passer, all-Big 12 player
Where they excel: Aggressively forcing steals; offensive rebounding
Best win: 86-59 over Oklahoma, January 13
Worst loss: 74-73 to LSU, December 4

Why watch this team?: Bob Huggins has the mojo back, returning with a team that forces steals, crashes the offensive glass, and fouls eagerly. The Mountaineers' non-steal defense leaves a bit to be desired, but playing one of the toughest overall schedules in Division I, West Virginia has 23 wins. But star guar Juwan Staten has been missing from practice with knee and groin injuries, and was held out of the Big 12 Tournament game. If he';s healthy, this team could be have a deep run. But what if he is not?

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Wichita St. 28-4 14 62.15 298 112.98 20 92.93 15 7MW 146

Team Name: Wichita State Shockers
Best players(s): G Ron Baker, excellent shooter, big game experience, underrated defender; G Fred VanVleet, low turnover rate, impressive grasp of the offense, solid outside shooter, ability to find the open man
Where they excel: Experienced in tournament match-ups, more depth than in years past, defense (7th in points allowed in the country)
Best win: 74-60 vs Northern Iowa, February 28
Worst loss: 65-62 vs Illinois State (neutral site), March 7

Why watch this team?: The Shockers were perfect last season but despite losing Cleanthony Early to the NBA, they returned multiple players from that remarkable team. The Shockers have a great coach in Gregg Marshall and they have big game experience so they were vastly under seeded (7 seed).
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Wisconsin 30-3 3 58.74 347 124.7 1 94.26 30 1W 10

Team Name: Wisconsin Badgers
Best player(s): F Frank Kaminsky, a terrific all-around player, efficient scorer; F Sam Dekker, a great defender with the ability to pick and pop; F Nigel Hayes, has an improved jump shot, solid rebounder
Where they excel: Efficient offense, limited fouls, limited turnovers
Best win: 69-56 vs Oklahoma (neutral site), November 28
Worst loss: 67-62 at Rutgers (without Kaminsky), January 11

Why watch this team?: The Badgers do not play a sloppy brand of basketball and they dominated the Big Ten, winning both the regular season conference championship and conference tournament. They have done all this damage without their starting point guard and senior leader Traevon Jackson, who could return for the Big Dance. The Badgers can be even better if Duje Dukan and Vitto Brown start to score more off the bench.
-Carmine Carcieri

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Wofford 28-6 90 61.51 316 103.33 143 97.47 78 12W 110472

Team Name: Wofford Terriers
Best player(s): G Karl Cochran, an excellent rebounder and defender for a guard
Where they excel: Slowing down the pace; sharing the ball; shooting three-pointers
Best win: 55-54 at North Carolina State, December 14
Worst loss: 69-66 at The Citadel, January 14

Why watch this team?: At 28-6, the Wofford Terriers know what they're doing, even if they are coming from the Southern Conference and have an enrollment under 1600 people. Undersized, they force teams to avoid three-point shots, share the ball, and take threes - the great mid-major upset formula. Keep in mind that while this team also defeated Iona, the Terriers were smashed by Duke, 84-55, by Stanford, 74-59, and by West Virginia, 77-44. Given the right draw, they could be a trendy upset pick.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Wyoming 24-9 102 59.24 344 101.85 175 96.97 67 12E 209817

Team Name: Wyoming Cowboys
Best player(s): G, Derrick Marks, an efficient, high-usage jump-shooting senior (though he's 2/16 in his last three games from outside the arc); F, James Webb, an effective rebounder with a stretch-four game
Where they excel: Good defensive rebounders, strong scorers inside the arc
Best win: 65-54 vs Boise State, January 10
Worst loss: 73-50 at Air Force, February 7

Why watch this team?: Larry Shyatt once left the head coaching position at Wyoming to take over Clemson. It didn't go well, he went to work for Billy Donovan at Florida... and he returned to Wyoming a few years ago with solid success. This is the year his team breaks out of a cycle of CBI appearances and moves into the NCAA Tournament behind Larry Nance, a strong forward who logs a lot of minutes, rebounds well, and can step out behind the three-point line.

TeamName W/L KP Rank Tempo Temp. Rk AdjOE RkAdjOE AdjDE RkAdjDE Seed Champ Chances? 1 in…
Xavier 21-13 26 65.67 128 111.89 28 96.1 55 6W 1095

Team Name: Xavier Musketeers
Best player (s): the wealth is shared, perhaps Matt Stainbrook, big center with touch inside
Where they excel: Scoring inside the arc
Best win: over Georgetown, three times
Worst loss: 71-68 at DePaul, January 3

Why watch this team?: At their best, the Musketeers have a dynamic inside/ outside/ wing combination in pairs - Stainbrook and Jalen Reynolds inside, Dee Davis and Myles Davis and Remy Abell outside, Trevon Bluiett and J.P. Macura on the wings, shooting. Strong schedule, few bad losses, a defense that can be overly permissive, a team that could use a few wins to springboard into next year.