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Home News 2018 NCAA tournament: Breaking down the March Madness field of 68

2018 NCAA tournament: Breaking down the March Madness field of 68



SportsPulse: Trysta Krick runs through surprises, snubs and other highlights from Selection Sunday as March Madness officially begins. USA TODAY Sports


You might not know a lot about the March Madness field, so we’ve got you covered.

Here’s everything you need to know for all 68 teams competing for the NCAA men’s basketball title.

Regional analysis:Midwest | East | South | West

Bracket:See all the NCAA tournament matchups | Printable

Snubs: These 7 teams got the shaft from the Selection Committee


1. Villanova

Nickname: Wildcats. Location: Villanova, Pa.

Record: 30-4, 14-4. Bid: Big East champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Wisconsin in round of 32.

Coach: Jay Wright (21-13 in 14 appearances).

Overview: It’s been feast or famine for the Wildcats recently in the tournament, either going all the way or flaming out early. The fate of this year’s group will hinge on its biggest strength. Quite simply, they can shoot the lights out, better than 50% overall and almost 40% from the arc. They also convert at a 77% clip from the free-throw line. The problem: Defense can be suspect when shots aren’t falling.

Projected starters: G Jalen Brunson, 6-3, Jr. (19.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.7 apg, 53.1 FG%, 41.3 3FG%); G Mikal Bridges, 6-6, Jr. (18.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 52.1 FG%, 43.3 FG%); G Phil Booth, 6-3, Jr. (10.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.8 apg); F Omari Spellman, 6-9, Fr. (10.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg); F Eric Paschall, 6-9, Jr. (10.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg).

2. Purdue

Nickname: Boilermakers. Location: West Lafayette, Ind.

Record: 28-6, 15-3. Bid: Big Ten at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Kansas in Sweet 16.

Coach: Matt Painter (11-10 in 10 appearances).

Overview: The Boilermakers won 19 in a row and looked like the Big Ten’s best before a three-game skid in early February. They responded by winning six in a row before falling to red-hot Michigan in the Big Ten tournament final. Sophomore Carsen Edwards has emerged as an All-American, giving Purdue the alpha dog scorer it needs for a deep March run. The Boilermakers rank second nationally in three-point field goal percentage (42%).

Projected starters: G P.J. Thompson, 5-10, Sr. (7.1 ppg, 85.2 FT%); G Dakota Mathias, 6-4, Sr. (12.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.1 apg, 46.4 3FG%); G Carsen Edwards, 6-1, So. (18.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 41.2 3FG%); F Vincent Edwards, 6-8, Sr. (14.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 83.8 FT%); C Isaac Haas, 7-2, Sr., (14.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 62.1 FG%).

3. Texas Tech

Nickname: Red Raiders. Location: Lubbock.

Record: 24-9, 11-7. Bid: Big 12 at-large.

Last appearance: 2016, lost to Butler in Round of 64.

Coach: Chris Beard (1-1 in one appearance).

Overview: For a stretch in February, Texas Tech — a defense-first, veteran bunch — looked like the team to unlock Kansas’ Big 12 supremacy. Then when senior guard Keenan Evans hurt a toe; the Red Raiders lost four in a row, falling out of the Big 12 race and dropping a couple of seed lines, too. But if Evans is healthy, Texas Tech could make a run.

Projected starters: G Keenan Evans, 6-3, Sr. (17.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.2 apg, 80.9 FT%); G Zhaire Smith, 6-5, Fr. (11.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 41.9 3FG%); G Justin Gray, 6-6, Sr. (5.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 83.7 FT%); G Jarrett Culver, 6-5, Fr. (11.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 40.8 3FG%); C Norense Odiase, 6-9, Jr. (4.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg).

4. Wichita State

Nickname: Shockers. Location: Wichita.

Record: 25-7, 14-4. Bid: American at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Kentucky in Round of 32.

Coach: Gregg Marshall (11-13 in 13 appearances).

Overview: The Shockers’ first trip through their new league wasn’t always smooth. But the more challenging slate ultimately could serve them well, which was the reason for the change. As is the signature of Marshall’s teams, the Shockers aren’t afraid to dive on the floor after loose balls. But this group actually is more successful in a more free-flowing game when it can space the court and find open shooters.

Projected starters: G Landry Shamet, 6-4, So. (15.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 5.1 apg); G Conner Frankamp, 6-1, Sr. (10.1 ppg, 2.3 apg); C Shaquille Morris, 6-8, Sr. (14.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg); F Rashard Kelly, 6-7, Sr. (5.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg); F Zach Brown, 6-6, Sr. (4.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg).

5. West Virginia

Nickname: Mountaineers. Location: Morgantown.

Record: 24-20, 11-7. Bid: Big 12 at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Gonzaga in Sweet 16.

Coach: Bob Huggins (31-23 in 23 appearances).

Overview: West Virginia lives and dies with defense. Led by senior guard Jevon Carter, Big 12 defensive player of the year for the second season in a row, the Mountaineers’ smothering pressure is the key — especially because their offense has been frighteningly inconsistent. It might be this simple: How is the officiating? West Virginia can swarm and overwhelm opponents but can rack up fouls in a tightly called game.

Projected starters: G Jevon Carter, 6-2, Sr. (17.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg); G Daxter Miles Jr., 6-3, Sr. (12.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg); F Sagaba Konate, 6-8, So. (10.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg); F Esa Ahmad, 6-8, Jr. (10.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg); F Wesley Harris, 6-8, So. (5.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg).

6. Florida

Nickname: Gators. Location: Gainesville.

Record: 20-12, 11-7. Bid: SEC at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to South Carolina in Elite Eight.

Coach: Mike White (3-1 in one appearance).

Overview: Florida is well-rounded and experienced. The Gators use a four-guard lineup that averages just 9.8 turnovers a game and are eighth overall in turnover margin. Rebounding is a problem: Florida is routinely beaten on the backboard. That can be costly in March.

Projected Starters: G Jalen Hudson, 6-6, Jr. (15.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 41.1 3FG%); G Egor Koulechov, 6-5, Sr. (13.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 40.3 3FG%, 87.4 FT%); G KeVaughn Allen, 6-2, Jr. (11.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 90.1 FT%); G Chris Chiozza, 6-0, Sr. (11.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 6.1 apg); F/C Kevarrius Hayes, 6-9, Jr. (4.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 57.3 FG%).

7. Arkansas

Nickname: Razorbacks. Location: Fayetteville.

Record: 23-11, 10-8. Bid: SEC at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to North Carolina in Round of 32.

Coach: Mike Anderson (9-8 in eight appearances).

Overview: Arkansas enters the tournament with one of the top offensive units in the country, including two of the SEC’s five scorers (Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon). Freshman Daniel Gafford is the only player on the team taller than 6-9, and he will be the X-factor, because the Razorbacks have struggled with rebounding.

Projected starters: G Jaylen Barford, 6-3, Sr. (18.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 43.2 3FG%); G Daryl Macon, 6-3, Sr. (16.8 ppg, 4.0 apg, 42.5 3FG%, 86.6 FT%); F Daniel Gafford, 6-11, Fr. (12.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.2 bpg); G Anton Beard, 6-0, Sr. (9.5 ppg, 3.1 apg); F Adrio Bailey, 6-7, So. (4.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 55.6 FG%).

8. Virginia Tech

Nickname: Hokies. Location: Blacksburg.

Record: 21-11, 10-8. Bid: ACC at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Wisconsin in Round of 64.

Coach: Buzz Williams (8-6 in six appearances).

Overview: The Hokies have been dangerous against some of the best teams, beating Virginia, Duke and North Carolina. Four starters average double figures, led by Justin Robinson, who tops the team in scoring and assists. There’s also strength off the bench with Ahmed Hill (10.8 ppg) and Chris Clarke (8.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg). One thing Virginia Tech lacks, however, is size besides Kerry Blackshear.

Projected starters: G Justin Robinson, 6-2, Jr. (13.8 ppg, 5.6 apg, 1.2 spg); G Justin Bibbs, 6-5, Sr. (13.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg); F Kerry Blackshear Jr., 6-10, So. (12.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 55.7 FG%); G Nickeil Alexander-Walker, 6-5, Fr. (10.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg); G Devin Wilson 6-4, Sr. (2.9 ppg, 53.8 FG%).

9. Alabama

Nickname: Crimson Tide. Location: Tuscaloosa.

Record: 19-15, 8-10. Bid: SEC at-large.

Last appearance: 2012, lost to Creighton in Round of 64.

Coach: Avery Johnson (first appearance).

Overview: Collin Sexton is one of the best guards in the country, and he has been excellent down the stretch. Alabama struggles from beyond the arc (32.5% from three) and is not a great rebounding team. For Alabama — in the tournament despite 15 losses — to advance, Sexton has to carry the Tide.

Projected starters: G Collin Sexton, 6-3, Fr. (19 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.6 apg); F Donta Hall, 6-9, Jr. (10.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 72.1 FG%,); G Dazon Ingram, 6-5, So. (10.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg); G Herb Jones, 6-7, Fr. (4.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg); F Galin Smith, 6-9, Fr. (2.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg).

10. Butler

Nickname: Bulldogs. Location: Indianapolis.

Record: 20-13, 9-9. Bid: Big East at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to North Carolina in Sweet 16.

Coach: LaVall Jordan (first appearance).

Overview: The phrase “the Butler way” gets bandied about a lot. There’s clearly something to it, as the Bulldogs keep finding their way to the Dance despite a succession of coaching changes. In his first year at the helm, Jordan has relied on his veteran leaders to keep the ship moving. They’ll struggle to shut down teams with athletic front courts, but they’ll usually make good decisions with the ball.

Projected starters: F Kelan Martin, 6-7, Sr. (20.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 83.1 FT%); G Kamar Baldwin, 6-1, So. (15.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.1 apg); F Tyler Wideman, 6-8, Sr. (9.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg); G Sean McDermott, 6-6, So. (7.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg); G Aaron Thompson, 6-2, Fr. (4.3 ppg, 3.2 apg).

11. St. Bonaventure

Nickname: Bonnies. Location: Allegany, N.Y.

Record: 25-7, 14-4. Bid: Atlantic-10 at-large.

Last appearance: 2012, lost to Florida State in Round of 64.

Coach: Mark Schmidt (0-1 in one appearance).

Overview: Once the Bonnies got healthy during the conference season, they lived up to the potential. Some early losses suffered when Jaylen Adams was sidelined with an ankle injury were nearly too much to overcome, but in the end their résumé was good enough. They can shoot with just about anyone, but they’ll be at a size disadvantage against most potential opponents.

Projected starters: G Jaylen Adams, 6-2, Sr. (19.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.4 apg); G Matt Mobley, 6-3, Sr. (18.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.5 apg); C Amadi Ikbeze, 6-10, So. (4.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg); G Idris Taqqee, 6-4, Sr. (5.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg); F Courtney Stockard, 6-5, Jr. (12.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg).

11. UCLA

Nickname: Bruins. Location: Los Angeles.

Record: 21-11, 11-7. Bid: Pac-12 at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Kentucky in Sweet 16.

Coach: Steve Alford (11-10 in 10 appearances).

Overview: The Bruins tend to seesaw between spectacular (win vs. Arizona on the road) and puzzling (a loss at Oregon State). But they know how to score, 82.4 points a game, and they have a big-time playmaker in Aaron Holiday. The question is if they can contain other teams in crunch time; they allow 76.3 ppg. UCLA has a history of success in the NCAA tournament, too: Besides all those national titles won under legendary coach John Wooden, the Bruins have been to the Sweet 16 three of the last four years.

Projected starters: G Aaron Holiday, 6-1, Jr. (20.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.8 apg, 43.3 3FG%, 82.6 FT%); G Kris Wilkes, 6-8, Fr. (13.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg); C Thomas Welsh, 7-0, Sr. (13.0 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 40.9 3FG%, 82.8 FT%); F Gyorgy Goloman, 6-11, Sr. (7.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 54.5 FG%, 42.9 3FG%); G Prince Ali, 6-3, So. (9.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg).

12. Murray State

Nickname: Racers. Location: Murray, Ky.

Record: 26-5, 16-2. Bid: Ohio Valley champ.

Last appearance: 2012, lost to Marquette in the Round of 32.

Coach: Matt McMahon, first appearance.

Overview: The Racers have won 13 in a row and dominated a strong Belmont team in the Ohio Valley tournament title game. Senior guard Jonathan Stark is an explosive scorer with takeover abilities, and do-everything guard Ja Morant has added a key ingredient to Murray State’s winning formula.

Projected starters: G Jonathan Stark, 6-0, Sr. (21.8 ppg, 3.9 apg, 88.8 FT%); G Ja Morant, 6-3, Fr. (12.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 6.4 apg); G Shaq Buchanan, 6-3, Jr. (9.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 51.4 FG%); F Terrell Miller Jr., 6-8, Sr. (14.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg); F Brion Sanchious, 6-8, Jr. (3.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg).

13. Marshall

Nickname: Thundering Herd. Location: Huntington, W.Va.

Record: 24-10, 12-6. Bid: Conference USA champ.

Last appearance: 1987, lost to TCU in Round of 64.

Coach: Dan D’Antoni (first appearance).

Overview: The Thundering Herd played spoiler in the C-USA tourney. But this team has some bracket-busting ammunition, with a dynamic offense that ranks in the top 10 in the nation in scoring (85 points a game). Only Marshall has two players who average more than 20 points a game — Jon Elmore and C.J. Burks. Marshall also protects the paint well, with Ajdin Penava, the nation’s leading shot blocker, there to disrupt shooters.

Projected starters: G Jon Elmore, 6-3, Jr. (22.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 6.9 apg, 82.8 FT%); G C.J. Burks, 6-4, Jr. (20.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.1 apg, 89.3 FT%); G Jarrod West, 5-11, Fr. (7.9 ppg, 2.9 apg, 41.5 3FG%); F Ajdin Penava, 6-9, Jr. (15.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 4.1 bpg, 55.3 FG%); F Jannson Williams, 6-9, Fr. (5.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg).

14. Stephen F. Austin

Nickname: Lumberjacks. Location: Nacogdoches, Texas.

Record: 28-6, 14-4. Bid: Southland champ.

Last appearance: 2016, lost to Notre Dame in Round of 32.

Coach: Kyle Keller (first appearance).

Overview: Stephen F. Austin was second in the conference in points a game (81.7) and in scoring defense (68.4 ppg). The Lumberjacks, who have been known to bust a bracket or two, are led by junior guard Shannon Bogues (16.0 ppg), sophomore swingman Kevon Harris (14.6) and junior forward T.J. Holyfield (12.9).

Projected starters: G Ty Charles, 6-5, Sr. (8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.63 apg), G Ivan Canete, 6-4, Sr. (9.4 ppg, 3 apg) G/F Kevon Harris, 6-6, So. (14.8 ppg, 5.5 apg), F T.J. Holyfield, 6-8, Jr. (12.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg), F Leon Gilmore III, 6-7, Sr. (9.4 ppg, 5 rpg).

15. Cal State Fullerton

Nickname: Titans. Location: Fullerton.

Record: 20-11, 10-6. Bid: Big West champ.

Last appearance: 2008, lost to Wisconsin in Round of 64.

Coach: Dedrique Taylor (first appearance).

Overview: Cal State Fullerton is efficient on both ends, shooting 47% and holding opponents to 41.7%. But the Titans do not shoot the three a lot or well (33.8%) and they don’t take care of the ball, averaging more 14 turnovers a game.

Projected starters: G Kyle Allman, 6-3, Jr. (19.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg); G Khalil Ahmad, 6-4, Jr. (15.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg); F Jackson Rowe, 6-7, So. (12.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 58.7 FG%); G Austen Awosika, 6-3, So. (7.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg); F Arkim Robertson, 6-9, Sr. (5.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg).

16. LIU Brooklyn

Nickname: Blackbirds. Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Record: 18-16, 10-8. Bid: Northeast champ.

Last appearance: 2013, lost to James Madison in First Four.

Coach: Derek Kellogg (0-1 in one appearance).

Overview: The Blackbirds made an improbable run to the Northeast tournament title in Kellogg’s first season, capped by a win at No. 1 seed Wagner. Now they bring the momentum of a five-game win streak to their first appearance in five seasons. To keep things going, Joel Hernandez and Raiquan Clark will have to carry the scoring load. A lack of size could be a concern with just one regular taller than 6-6.

Projected starters: G Joel Hernandez, 6-3, Sr. (20.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.6 apg); G/F Raiquan Clark, 6-6, Jr. (17.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 55.6 FG%); G Jashaun Agosto, 5-11, So. (11.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.1 apg); G Julian Batts, 5-11, So. (10.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 40.9 3FG%); F/G Julius van Sauers, 6-8, So. (2.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg).

16. Radford

Nickname: Highlanders. Location: Radford, Va.

Record: 22-12, 12-6. Bid: Big South champ.

Last appearance: 2009, lost to North Carolina in Round of 64.

Coach: Mike Jones (first appearance).

Overview: Radford, picked to finish seventh in the Big South, overachieved. The Highlanders have won seven in a row, including the conference tournament title game against Liberty with a stunning three at the buzzer by Carlik Jones. Radford plays at a deliberate pace and thus doesn’t fill up the stats sheet or light up the scoreboard. The good news is the Highlanders don’t give up a lot of points (64.4 ppg, 16th in the nation). They will need to be efficient and shoot better than their averages (42.6%, 35% from three) to advance. Buzzer-beating threes certainly would help.

Projected starters: G Christian Bradford, 6-1, Sr. (4.2 ppg, 78.6 FT%); G Carlik Jones, 6-0, Fr. (11.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.0 apg); G Donald Hicks, 6-3, So. (7.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 40.3 3FG%); F Ed Polite Jr., 6-5, Jr. (13.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 48.5 FG%); C Randy Phillips, 6-8, Sr. (6.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 55.2 FG%).


1. Xavier

Nickname: Musketeers. Location: Cincinnati.

Record: 28-5, 15-3. Bid: Big East at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Gonzaga in Elite Eight.

Coach: Chris Mack (10-7 in seven appearances).

Overview: Instead of the plucky 11 seed making an unexpected run through the regional, Xavier will be the favorite. How well the Musketeers handle it largely depends on Trevon Bluiett, the senior catalyst. There are other scoring options, and the defensive focus usually is good, but when the star’s shots are falling Xavier’s chances for success vastly improve.

Projected starters: G Trevon Bluiett, 6-6, Sr. (19.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.5 apg, 42.1 3FG%, 96.1 FT%); G J.P. Macura, 6-5, Sr. (12.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.0 apg); F Kerem Kanter, 6-10, Sr. (10.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg); G Quentin Goodin, 6-4, So. (8.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.9 apg); F Naji Marshall, 6-7, Fr. (8.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg)

2. North Carolina

Nickname: Tar Heels. Location: Chapel Hill.

Record: 25-10, 11-7. Bid: ACC at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, national champion.

Coach: Roy Williams (76-24 in 27 appearances).

Overview: It was an up-and-down season for the Tar Heels after losing several pieces from last year’s title team. The low points were losses to Wofford at home and three consecutive defeats in late January. A strong finish has given the team hope of an extended tournament run. The experience of Joel Berry II and Luke Maye — part of five upperclassmen starters — is one big advantage. The other is on the backboard as the Heels are near the top of the country in rebound margin.

Projected starters: G Joel Berry II, 6-0, Sr. (17.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.3 apg, 88.8 FT%); G Cameron Johnson, 6-8, Sr. (12.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 86.2 FT%); G Kenny Williams, 6-4, Jr. (11.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg); G/F Theo Pinson, 6-6, Sr. (10.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 4.8 apg, 82.0 FT%); F Luke Maye, 6-8, Jr. (17.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 44.0 3FG%)

3. Michigan

Nickname: Wolverines. Location: Ann Arbor.

Record: 28-7, 13-5. Bid: Big Ten champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Oregon in Sweet 16.

Coach: John Beilein (19-11 in 11 appearances).

Overview: The Wolverines, perhaps the hottest team in the country, have won nine in a row punctuated by wins against Michigan State and Purdue to claim the Big Ten tournament title. Beilein has one of his best defensive teams ever — the Wolverines limit opponents to 63 points a game — and a more balanced offensive unit than years past led by high-motor big man Mo Wagner. Versatile wing Duncan Robinson (9.6 ppg) has flourished in his role off the bench.

Projected starters: G Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, 6-4, Sr. (12.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 40.0 3FG%); G Zavier Simpson, 6-0, So. (7.5 ppg, 3.6 apg); G Charles Matthews, 6-6, Jr. (12.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg); F Isaiah Livers, 6-7, Fr. (3.9 ppg); F Moritz Wagner, 6-11, Jr. (14.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg).

4. Gonzaga

Nickname: Bulldogs. Location: Spokane, Wash.

Record: 30-4, 17-1. Bid: West Coast Conference champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to North Carolina in championship game.

Coach: Mark Few (26-18 in 18 appearances).

Overview: The Zags lost a lot from last year’s Final Four team but still have veteran guards Josh Perkins and Silas Melson. As always, they have foreign flair that will present matchup problems: Forward Killian Tillie is typically good around the rim but has also connected on 15 of his last 17 three-point attempts, and Rui Hachimura can be a beast off the bench. It’s the same question each postseason for the Zags, though. Considering the weakness of the WCC — which will send only Gonzaga to the tournament — are they truly battle-tested?

Projected starters: F Johnathan Williams, 6-9, Sr. (13.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 56.5 FG%); F Killian Tillie, 6-10, So. (13.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 59.3 FG%, 50.0 3FG%) G Josh Perkins 6-3, Jr. (12.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 5.4 apg, 40.8 3FG%); G Zach Norvell Jr., 6-5, Fr. (12.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 82.4 FT%); G Silas Melson 6-4, Sr. (9.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.4 apg, 88.0 FT%)

5. Ohio State

Nickname: Buckeyes. Location: Columbus.

Record: 24-8, 15-3. Bid: Big Ten at-large.

Last appearance: 2015, lost to Arizona in Round of 32.

Coach: Chris Holtmann (4-3 in three appearances).

Overview: The Buckeyes undoubtedly exceeded expectations in Holtmann’s first year taking over for Thad Matta. There has been no rebuilding project in Columbus, and credit goes to Holtmann’s defensive fortitude and Wooden Award finalist Keita Bates-Diop, who has been an offensive juggernaut all season and helped Ohio State shoot close to 50% from the field.

Projected starters: G C.J. Jackson, 6-1, Jr. (12.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.9 apg, 81.8 FT%); G Kam Williams, 6-2, Sr. (8.2 ppg, 80.0 FT%); F Kaleb Wesson, 6-9, Fr. (10.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 56.8 FG%); F Keita Bates-Diop, 6-7, Jr. (19.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg); F Jae’Sean Tate, 6-4, Sr. (12.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 55.6 FG%).

6. Houston

Nickname: Cougars. Location: Houston.

Record: 26-7, 14-4. Bid: American at-large.

Last appearance: 2010, lost to Maryland in Round of 64.

Coach: Kelvin Sampson (12-14 in 14 appearances).

Overview: This stage will be new for most of the players, but their coach is familiar with the landscape. They prefer a fast tempo, but they defend well enough to win a more physical contest if necessary.

Projected starters: G Rob Gray, 6-1, Sr. (18.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.6 apg); G Corey Davis Jr., 6-1, Jr. (13.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.5 apg); F Devin Davis, 6-6, Sr. (10.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg); G Galen Robinson Jr., 6-1, Jr. (4.7 ppg, 3.8 apg); F Breaon Brady, 6-8, Jr. (4.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg)

7. Texas A&M

Nickname: Aggies. Location: College Station.

Record: 20-12, 9-9. Bid: SEC at-large.

Last Appearance: 2016, lost to Oklahoma in sweet 16.

Coach: Billy Kennedy (3-3 in three appearances).

Overview: Texas A&M is way down the national list in three-pointers made, three-point percentage, and thus does not rely on the deep ball. Shooting percentages are mediocre overall. But the Aggies spread their scoring out, led by center Tyler Davis. And they are big, near the top of the country in blocked shots, defensive rebounds and rebounding margin.

Projected Starters: G T.J. Starks, 6-2, Fr. (9.6 ppg, 2.0 apg); G Admon Gilder, 6-4, Jr. (12.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 40.0 3FG%, 82.1 FT%); F DJ Hogg, 6-9, Jr. (11.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg); F Robert Williams, 6-10, So. (10.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.5 bpg, 62.0 FG%); C Tyler Davis, 6-10, Jr. (14.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 57.6 FG%).

8. Missouri

Nickname: Tigers. Location: Columbia.

Record: 20-12, 10-8. Bid: SEC at-large

Last Appearance: 2013, lost to Colorado State in Round of 64.

Coach: Cuonzo Martin (3-2 in two appearances).

Overview: Missouri scores a lot of points from beyond the arc and is relatively efficient (38.5%, 40th nationally). The Tigers are solid on defense, allowing 68.1 points a game. One question: Heralded freshman Michael Porter Jr., who returned in the SEC tournament after missing all but two minutes of the season. Can he get fit and explosive enough to be a factor? Another question: No. 2 scorer Jordan Barnett has been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. His status is in question.

Projected Starters: G Kassius Robertson, 6-3, Sr. (16.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 42.5 3FG%); F Jordan Barnett, 6-7, Sr. (f13.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 89.0 FT%); F Kevin Puryear, 6-7, Jr. (8.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 82.0 FT%); F Jeremiah Tilmon (8.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 56.9 FG%); G Jordan Geist, 6-2, Jr. (7.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.9 apg).

9. Florida State

Nickname: Seminoles. Location: Tallahassee.

Record: 20-11, 9-9. Bid: ACC at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Xavier in Round of 32.

Coach: Leonard Hamilton (7-8 in eight appearances).

Overview: The Seminoles are more of a sum-of-parts success. Only Terance Mann received enough votes to be honorable mention on the all-ACC team. Ten players are part of the rotation that plays up-tempo to take advantage of their athleticism and overcomes a lack of consistent outside shooting.

Projected starters: G Terance Mann, 6-6, Jr. (13.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 56.1 FG%); F Phil Cofer, 6-8, Sr. (13.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg); G Braian Angola, 6-6, Sr. (12.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.0 apg, 83.5 FT%); G CJ Walker, 6-1, So. (8.5 ppg, 2.7 apg); C Christ Koumadje, 7-4, Jr. (7.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.6 bpg).

10. Providence

Nickname: Friars. Location: Providence.

Record: 21-13, 10-8. Bid: Big East at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Southern California in First Four.

Coach: Ed Cooley (1-4 in four appearances).

Overview: It’s fair to wonder just how much the scrappy Friars have left in the tank after working overtime three times in the Big East tournament. But that scrappiness has been their defining trait. They’ll definitely encounter bigger lineups, but their relentless ball pressure and streaky long-range shooting makes them hard to put away.

Projected starters: G Alpha Diallo, 6-7, So. (13.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.2 apg); G Kyron Cartwright, 5-11, Sr. (11.8 ppg, 5.7 apg); G Jalen Lindsey, 6-7, Sr. (8.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg); F Rodney Bullock, 6-8, Sr. (14.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg); F Kalif Young, 6-9, So. (4.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg)

11. San Diego State

Nickname: Aztecs. Location: San Diego.

Record: 22-10, 11-7. Bid: Mountain West champ.

Last appearance: 2015, lost to Duke in Round of 32.

Coach: Brian Dutcher (first appearance).

Overview: The program didn’t miss a beat as Dutcher succeeded longtime boss Steve Fisher to maintain continuity, and enter on a nine-game winning streak. Now that they’re here, the Aztecs might be a tough out. Their scoring balance and solid bench production make them hard to defend, though their outside shooting isn’t always consistent.

Projected starters: F Malik Pope, 6-10, Sr. (12.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg); G Devin Watson, 6-1, Jr. (12.3 ppg, 3.8 apg); F Matt Mitchell, 6-6, Fr. (10.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg); G Trey Kell, 6-4, Sr. (10.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.1 apg); F Jalen McDaniels, 6-10, Fr. (10.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg)

12. South Dakota State

Nickname: Jackrabbits. Location: Brookings.

Record: 28-6, 13-1. Bid: Summit champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Gonzaga in Round of 64.

Coach: T.J. Otzelberger (0-1 in one appearance).

Overview: Making their fifth tournament appearance in seven seasons, the Jackrabbits are in better position to advance for the first time. Mike Daum, two-time Summit League player of year, and freshman David Jenkins provide much of the firepower for an offense that averages 85 points and ranks near the top in three-point field goals made and three-point percentage. Brandon Key, who leads the team in assists, is a key contributor off the bench.

Projected starters: F Mike Daum, 6-9, Jr. (23.8 ppg, 10. 4 rpg, 85.6 FT%); G/F Reed Tellinghuisen, 6-7, Sr. (12.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg); G David Jenkins Jr., 6-2, Fr. (16.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 79.0 FT%); G Tevin King, 6-2, Jr. (9.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.7 spg); G Skyler Flatten, 6-6, Sr. (7.0 ppg, 50.5 3FG%).

13. UNC-Greensboro

Nickname: Spartans. Location: Greensboro.

Record: 27-7, 15-3. Bid: Southern champ.

Last appearance: 2001, lost to Stanford in Round of 64.

Coach: Wes Miller (first appearance).

Overview: Known for their ability to defend (best in the conference and top-10 in the nation in scoring defense), the Spartans could be a tricky opponent. While they may lack depth, they do have some skill players. Leading scorer and conference tournament MVP Francis Alonso will need to have the game of his life to get his team past the first round.

Projected starters: G Francis Alonso, 6-3, Jr. (15.6 ppg, 3.0 apg, 40.7 3FG%, 87.4 FT%); G Demetrius Troy, 6-0, Jr. (7.5 ppg, 3.8 apg); F Marvin Smith, 6-6, Sr. (12.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 75.7 FT%); F James Dickey, 6-10, So. (8.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 53.7 FG%); F Jordy Kuiper, 6-9, Sr. (7.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg).

14. Montana

Nickname: Grizzlies. Location: Missoula.

Record: 26-7, 16-2. Bid: Big Sky champ.

Last appearance: 2013, lost to Syracuse in Round of 64.

Coach: Travis DeCuire (first appearance).

Overview: As the Montana guards go, so go the Griz. Ahmaad Rorie is usually the best player on the floor, and Michael Oguine is a lockdown defender. Montana’s defense will be enough to keep it in games and give the Big Sky champ a chance at knocking off a higher seeded team. They force 15.7 turnovers per game — every starter has totaled at least 29 steals. But they have only one player who shoots above 40% from three.

Projected starters: G Ahmaad Rorie, 6-1, Jr. (17.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.7 apg, 84.8 FT%); G Michael Oguine, 6-2, Jr. (15.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 46.1 FG%); F Jamar Akoh, 6-8, Jr. (13.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 57.9 FG%); G Bobby Moorehead, 6-7, Jr. (7.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg); F Fabijan Krslovic, 6-8, Sr. (7.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 57.0 FG%)

15. Lipscomb

Nickname: Bisons. Location: Nashville.

Record: 23-9, 10-4. Bid: Atlantic Sun champ.

Last appearance: First appearance.

Coach: Casey Alexander (first appearance).

Overview: The Bisons (yes, with an s) are on a good run entering their first NCAA tournament. They have won eight in a row and 12 of 13, including the Atlantic Sun tournament final against favored Florida Gulf Coast. In that 108-96 win, they nearly surrendered a 32-point lead before recovering late. Lipscomb can put up points, 82.6 a game (23rd in the nation), led by all-conference guard Garrison Mathews, the Atlantic Sun tournament MVP. That kind of scoring will be a necessity in the tournament.

Projected starters: F Rob Marberry, 6-7, Jr. (16.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg); G Kenny Cooper, 6-0, So. (9.9 ppg, 3.7 apg); F Eli Pepper, 6-9, Jr. (7.0 ppg, 7.9 rpg); G Garrison Mathews, 6-5, Jr. (22.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg); G Michael Buckland, 6-5, So. (7.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 80.0 FT%).

16. North Carolina Central

Nickname: Eagles. Location: Durham.

Record: 19-15, 9-7. Bid: Mid-Eastern Athletic champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to UC Davis in First Four.

Coach: LeVelle Moton (0-2 in two appearances).

Overview: The Eagles are a strong rebounding team and possess the leadership and experience from upperclassmen who will be looking to break through after a close loss in the First Four last year.

Projected starters: G Jordan Perkins, 6-1, Fr. (8.4 ppg, 5.4 apg, 40.4 3FG%); G Reggie Gardner Jr., 6-3, Fr. (11.2 ppg, 76.0 FT%); F Pablo Rivas, 6-6, Sr. (11.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 50.2 FG%); F Zacarry Douglas, 6-8, Jr. (4.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 48.0 FG%); C Raasean Davis, 6-9, Jr. (15.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 66.7 FG%).

16. Texas Southern

Nickname: Tigers. Location: Houston.

Record: 15-19, 12-6. Bid: SWAC champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to North Carolina in Round of 64.

Coach: Mike Davis (7-8 in eight appearances).

Overview: Texas Southern took a bizarre road to the NCAA tournament. The Tigers started the season 0-13, and for the second year in a row they did not play a home game until January. But the Tigers emerged again as one of the top teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference once league play began, and they secured a pair of double-digit tournament victories to head to the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in six seasons.

Projected starters: G Demontrae Jefferson, 5-7, So. (23.7 ppg, 4.5 apg, 81% FT); G Donte Clark, 6-4, Sr. (18.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg); G Derrick Bruce, 6-3, Jr. (13.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 84% FT); F Marquis Salmon, 6-8, Sr. (5.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 61% FG); G Cainan McClelland, 6-4, Fr. (2.6 ppg).

2018 USA TODAY Sports men’s college basketball All-America team


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First team: Jalen Brunson, guard, Villanova.

First team: Jalen Brunson, guard, Villanova.  Brian Fluharty, USA TODAY Sports
First team: Devonte' Graham, guard, Kansas.

First team: Devonte’ Graham, guard, Kansas.  Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports
First team: Trae Young, guard, Oklahoma.

First team: Trae Young, guard, Oklahoma.  Rob Ferguson, USA TODAY Sports
First team: Marvin Bagley III, forward, Duke.

First team: Marvin Bagley III, forward, Duke.  Rob Kinnan, USA TODAY Sports
First team: Deandre Ayton, forward, Arizona.

First team: Deandre Ayton, forward, Arizona.  Troy Wayrynen, USA TODAY Sports
Second team: Miles Bridges, guard, Michigan State.

Second team: Miles Bridges, forward, Michigan State.  Mike Carter, USA TODAY Sports
Second team: Kyle Guy, guard, Virginia.

Second team: Kyle Guy, guard, Virginia.  Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports
Second team: Carsen Edwards, guard, Purdue.

Second team: Carsen Edwards, guard, Purdue.  Sandra Dukes, USA TODAY Sports
Second team: Trevon Bluiett, guard, Xavier.

Second team: Trevon Bluiett, guard, Xavier.  Patrick Gorski, USA TODAY Sports
Second team: Jock Landale, center, St. Mary's.

Second team: Jock Landale, center, Saint Mary’s.  Kelley L Cox, USA TODAY Sports
Third team: Jevon Carter, guard, West Virginia.

Third team: Jevon Carter, guard, West Virginia.  Ben Queen, USA TODAY Sports
Third team: Grayson Allen, guard, Duke.

Third team: Grayson Allen, guard, Duke.  Rob Kinnan, USA TODAY Sports
Third team: Landry Shamet, guard, Wichita State.

Third team: Landry Shamet, guard, Wichita State.  Peter G. Aiken, USA TODAY Sports
Third team: Luke Maye, forward, North Carolina.

Third team: Luke Maye, forward, North Carolina.  Rob Kinnan, USA TODAY Sports
Third team: Nick King, forward, Middle Tennessee.

Third team: Nick King, forward, Middle Tennessee.  Mark Humphrey, AP

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1. Kansas

Nickname: Jayhawks. Location: Lawrence.

Record: 27-7, 13-5. Bid: Big 12 champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Oregon in Elite Eight.

Coach: Bill Self (43-18 in 19 appearances).

Overview: This isn’t a typical Kansas team — no surefire lottery pick, no special freshman, very little depth. But, led by senior guard Devonte’ Graham, Big 12 player of the year, the Jayhawks won their 14th consecutive Big 12 regular-season title and followed up by winning the conference tournment. Kansas features a four-guard lineup that makes 10 three-pointers a game, and transfer Malik Newman emerged as an explosive scorer in the Big 12 tournament, but the Jayhawks could be susceptible to opponents with size — especially if center Udoka Azubuike isn’t recovered from a sprained knee.

Projected starters: G Devonte’ Graham, 6-2 Sr. (17.3 ppg, 7.3 apg, 41.1 3FG%); G Svi Mykhailiuk, 6-8 Sr. (15.1 ppg, 45.1 3FG%); G Lagerald Vick, 6-5, Jr. (12.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg); G Malik Newman, 6-3, So. (12.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg); C Udoka Azubuike 7-0, So. (13.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 77.4 FG%).

2. Duke

Nickname: Blue Devils. Location: Durham, N.C.

Record: 26-7, 13-5. Bid: ACC at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to South Carolina in Round of 32.

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski (91-28 in 33 appearances).

Overview: The Blue Devils have the star power to win it all even if they didn’t match their preseason No. 1 ranking. Marvin Bagley III did live up to the hype as a freshman and was ACC player of the year. Grayson Allen provides shooting and a veteran presence. A switch to a zone defense late in the season has given the team a boost. The freshman backcourt of Trevon Duval and Gary Trent Jr. will determine if Mike Krzyzewski takes home his sixth national title.

Projected starters: F Marvin Bagley III, 6-11, Fr. (21.1 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 60.5 FG%); F Wendell Carter Jr., 6-10, Fr. (13.8 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 56.4 FG%); G Grayson Allen, 6-5, Sr. (15.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.5 apg, 85.3 FT%); G Gary Trent Jr., 6-6, Fr. (14.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 41.5 3FG%); G Trevon Duval, 6-3, Fr. (9.9 ppg, 5.5 apg).

3. Michigan State

Nickname: Spartans. Location: East Lansing.

Record: 29-4, 16-2. Bid: Big Ten at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Kansas in the Round of 32.

Coach: Tom Izzo (47-19 in 20 appearances).

Overview: A preseason Final Four pick based on a star-studded returning sophomore class, the Spartans haven’t disappointed in 2017-18, claiming the Big Ten regular-season title and hitting their stride on the latter half of the season. This might be coach Tom Izzo’s most talented team. The Spartans have plenty of offensive options, and Michigan State led the nation in assists, blocks, rebounding margin, and field goal percentage defense.

Projected starters: G Cassius Winston, 6-0, So. (12.6 ppg, 6.8 apg, 52.6 3FG%); G Joshua Langford, 6-5, So. (11.7 ppg, 84.6 FT%, 42.4 3FG%); G/F Miles Bridges, 6-7, So. (16.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 88.3 FT%); F Nick Ward, 6-8, So. (12.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 65.5 FG%); F Jaren Jackson Jr., 6-1, Fr. (11.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.3 bpg).

4. Auburn

Nickname: Tigers. Location: Auburn, Ala.

Record: 25-7, 13-5. Bid: SEC at-large.

Last appearance: 2003, lost to Syracuse in Sweet 16.

Coach: Bruce Pearl (10-8 in eight appearances).

Overview: Auburn — which claimed its first SEC regular-season title since 1999 — has a dynamic offense (83.4 ppg) game) that is in the top 15 in the country. The Tigers also excel at the free-throw line, where they shoot a lot (third overall in attempts) and make a lot (78.9%). Prolific scoring and free-throw shooting efficiency are excellent factors in March. They have been streaky at times, which has cost them in their losses.

Projected Starters: G Bryce Brown, 6-3, Jr. (16.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 79.4 FT%); G Mustapha Heron, 6-5, So. (16.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 80.7 FT%); G Jared Harper, 5-10, So. (13.7 ppg, 5.7 apg, 83.2 FT%); F Desean Murray, 6-3, Jr. (10.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 85.2 FT%); F Horace Spencer, 6-8, Jr. (4.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 54.6 FG%).

5. Clemson

Nickname: Tigers. Location: Clemson, S.C.

Record: 23-9, 11-7. Bid: ACC at-large.

Last appearance: 2011, lost to West Virginia in Round of 64.

Coach: Brad Brownell (1-4 in four appearances).

Overview: Picked to finish 13th in the ACC, the Tigers are in the tournament for the first time in seven years. They were 16-3 before F Donte Grantham was sidelined for the season. Clemson, 7-6 after the injury, will need guards Marcquise Reed and Gabe DeVoe to pick up the scoring slack. One thing the Tigers will be able to count on is their aggressive defense that makes scoring difficult for opponents.

Projected starters: G Marcquise Reed, 6-3, Jr. (15.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.4 apg, 84.7 FT%); G Gabe DeVoe, 6-3, Sr. (13.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg); G Shelton Mitchell, 6-3, Jr. (12.0 ppg, 3.5 apg, 85.3 FT%); F Elijah Thomas, 6-9, Jr. (10.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 57.0 FG%); F Aamir Simms, 6-7, Fr. (3.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg).

6. TCU

Nickname: Horned Frogs. Location: Fort Worth.

Record: 21-11, 9-9. Bid: Big 12 at-large.

Last appearance: 1998, lost to Florida State in Round of 64.

Coach: Jamie Dixon (12-10 in 10 appearances).

Overview: TCU reached the NCAA tournament for the first time in 20 years behind an offense that ranked among the nation’s top 20 in six categories. Kenrich Williams’ 12 double-doubles led the way as the Horned Frogs overcame the loss of guard Jaylen Fisher in mid-January and won four of their last five games to finish the regular season before falling to Kansas State in overtime in the Big 12 tournament. TCU is especially dangerous from three-point range (40%).

Projected starters: G Alex Robinson, 6-1, Jr. (9.8 ppg, 6.1 apg); G Desmond Bane, 6-5, So. (12.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 47.2 3FG%); G Kenrich Williams, 6-7, Sr. (13.1 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 4.0 apg, 40.9 3FG%); F Kouat Noi, 6-7, Fr (10.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 42.9 3FG%); F Vladimir Brodziansky, 6-11, Sr. (15.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 82.0 FT%).

7. Rhode Island

Nickname: Rams. Location: Kingston.

Record: 25-7, 15-3. Bid: Atlantic-10 at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Oregon in Round of 32.

Coach: Dan Hurley (1-1 in one appearance).

Overview: The Rams were able to build a solid cushion in their run through the A-10. This was a good thing, as they stumbled down the stretch: 4-4 in their last eight, including a loss in the A-10 final. They have plenty of experience, though they’re not exceptionally big and can struggle to create one-on-one opportunities. If they’re passing well and hitting from the outside, they could stick around.

Projected starters: G E.C. Matthews, 6-5, Sr. (12.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg); G Jared Terrell, 6-3, Sr. (17.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg); G Stanford Robinson, 6-4, Sr. (9.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg); G Jeff Dowtin, 6-3, So. (9.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 5.6 apg); F Andre Berry, 6-8, Sr. (9.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg).

8. Seton Hall

Nickname: Pirates. Location: South Orange, N.J.

Record: 21-11, 10-8. Bid: Big East at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Arkansas in Round of 64.

Coach: Kevin Willard (0-2 in two appearances).

Overview: The Pirates are a curious bunch, looking dominant at times and completely clueless at others — often within the same game. The trials of senior wing Desi Rodriguez, the leading scorer (17.8 ppg) but relegated to the bench of late, can be viewed as the season in microcosm. It’s more than conceivable that it can all come together for a game or even two, but a deep run is hard to envision.

Projected starters: C Angel Delgado, 6-10, Sr. (13.3 ppg, 11.6 rpg); G Khadeen Carrington, 6-4, Sr. (14.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.5 apg); G Myles Powell, 6-2, So. (15.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.9 apg); G Myles Cale, 6-5, Fr. (4.4 ppg); F Michael Nzei, 6-8, Jr. (4.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg).

9. North Carolina State

Nickname: Wolfpack. Location: Raleigh.

Record: 21-11, 11-7. Bid: ACC at-large.

Last appearance: 2015, lost to Louisville in Sweet 16.

Coach: Kevin Keatts (0-2 in two appearances).

Overview: The Wolfpack surpassed expectations in their first season under Kevin Keatts, winning five of their last six games in the regular season to get into the field. A four-guard lineup with balanced scoring is keyed by Allerik Freeman. Omer Yurtseven provides strength inside and also is the team’s best three-point shooter (51.2%).

Projected starters: G Allerik Freeman, 6-3, Sr. (15.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg); G Torin Dorn, 6-5, Jr. (13.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 53.9 FG%); G Braxton Beverly, 6-0, Fr. (9.8 ppg, 4.0 apg, 81.6 FT%); G Markell Johnson, 6-1, So. (8.8 ppg, 7.4 apg, 41.7 3FG%); C Omer Yurtseven, 7-0, So (13.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 57.6 FG%, 1.9 bpg).

10. Oklahoma

Nickname: Sooners. Location: Norman.

Record: 18-13, 8-10. Bid: Big 12 at-large.

Last appearance: 2016, lost to Villanova in Final Four.

Coach: Lon Kruger (20-17 in 17 appearances).

Overview: With his astounding shooting range and feel for the game, freshman guard Trae Young leads the nation in scoring and assists — the first player to lead in both categories through a regular season — and he led the Sooners to a 14-2 start. But Young wasn’t as good in February, when the Sooners swooned, winning only one game and falling from a midseason Top 16 pick by the selection committee all the way the NCAA bubble. The overall résumé remains decent, but Oklahoma didn’t resemble a tournament team in the season’s second half.

Projected starters: G Trae Young, 6-2, Fr. (27.4 ppg, 8.8 apg, 3.9 apg, 86.1 FT%); G Kameron McGusty, 6-5, So. (8.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg); G Christian James, 6-4, Jr. (12.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg); F Kristian Doolittle, 6-7, So. (2.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg); F Khadeem Lattin, 6-9, Sr. (6.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg).

11. Arizona State

Nickname: Sun Devils. Location: Tempe.

Record: 20-11, 8-10. Bid: Pac-12 at-large.

Last appearance: 2014, lost to Texas in Round of 64.

Coach: Bobby Hurley (0-1 in one tournament appearance)

Overview: No one had a better non-conference than Arizona State, which notched wins at Kansas and against Xavier and Kansas State on neutral floors. The hot-shooting Sun Devils at one point were projected as a top-three seed. But they sputtered in conference play, struggling to finish close games. They’re not big inside and lost five of their last six, but the Sun Devils are still dangerous if they hit from long-distance.

Projected starters: G Tra Holder, 6-1, Sr. (18.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.4 apg, 84.1 FT%); G Shannon Evans II, 6-1, Sr. (16.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.5 apg, 85.3 FT%); G Kodi Justice, 6-5, Sr. (12.6 ppg, 45.7 FG%); F Romello White 6-8, Fr. (10.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 65.4 FG%); F Mickey Mitchell, 6-7, So. (5.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg).

11. Syracuse

Nickname: Orange. Location: Syracuse, N.Y.

Record: 20-13, 8-10. Bid: ACC at-large.

Last appearance: 2016, lost to North Carolina in Final Four.

Coach: Jim Boeheim (57-31 in 32 appearances).

Overview: The Orange squeeze into the NCAA field after narrowly missing out last season. Two years ago they made an unexpected run to the Final Four after sneaking in. However, this team will have more difficulty. While Tyus Battle brings star power, Syracuse lacks consistent offense and is a poor shooting team. Their trademark zone should keep them in games, but at some point stopping opponents won’t be enough.

Projected starters: G Tyus Battle, 6-6, So. (19.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 84.3 FT%); G Frank Howard, 6-5, Jr. (15.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.0 apg); F Oshae Brissett, 6-8, Fr. (14.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg); F Marek Dolezaj, 6-9, Fr. (5.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 52.1 FG%); C Paschal Chukwu, 7-2, Jr. (5.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.7 bpg).

12. New Mexico State

Nickname: Aggies. Location: Las Cruces.

Record: 28-5, 12-2. Bid: WAC champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Baylor in Round of 64.

Coach: Chris Jans (first appearance).

Overview: In his first season in Las Cruces, Chris Jans was named WAC coach of the year, and senior forward Jemerrio Jones was named the WAC player of the year. Jones and fellow senior Zach Lofton, the leading scorer, were the driving forces for an Aggies team that upset a then-top 10 Miami team in the Diamond Head Classic, a Power Five Illinois in Chicago and earned home and away victories vs. in-state rival New Mexico in non-conference play.

Projected starters: G Zach Lofton, 6-4, Sr. (19.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 77 FT%); F Jemerrio Jones, 6-5, Sr. (11 ppg, 13.2 rpg, 3.1 apg, 51 FG%); F Johnathon Wilkins, 6-10, Sr. (6.3 ppg, 56 FG%); G AJ Harris, 5-9, So. (9.7 ppg, 2.9 apg); G Sidy N’Dir, 6-2, Jr. (7.9 ppg, 3 rpg).

13. College of Charleston

Nickname: Cougars. Location: Charleston, S.C.

Record: 26-7, 14-4. Bid: Colonial champ.

Last appearance: 1999, lost to Tulsa in Round of 64.

Coach: Earl Grant (first appearance).

Overview: The Cougars are in the NCAA tournament after a 19-year wait that included six losses in conference tournament title games. They will go as far as their three best players can take them. Grant Riller and fifth-year senior Joe Chealey, both first-team All-Colonial selections, form a high-scoring backcourt. F Jarrell Brantley missed the first part of the season with a knee injury but returned to be an inside presence. The prolific trio all shoot well from the free throw line, which could be critical if they’re in a close game.

Projected starters: G Grant Riller, 6-3, So. (18.7 ppg, 2.1 apg, 55.0 FG%); G Joe Chealey, 6-4, Sr. (18.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.6 apg, 86.1 FT%); G Cameron Johnson, 6-4, Sr. (8.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 39.5 3FG%); F Jarrell Brantley, 6-7, Jr. (17.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 84.1 FT%); F Nick Harris, 6-10, Jr. (6.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 55.3 FG%).

14. Bucknell

Nickname: Bison. Location: Lewisburg, Pa.

Record: 25-9, 16-2. Bid: Patriot League champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to West Virginia in Round of 64.

Coach: Nathan Davis (0-1 in one appearance).

Overview: The Bison figure to be a trendy upset pick — with good reason. They’re experienced, deep and fundamentally sound. The frontcourt probably won’t dominate the glass like they could against most Patriot League opponents, but they’re excellent passers and they know how to score in traffic.

Projected starters: F Zach Thomas, 6-7, Sr. (20.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg); C Nana Foulland, 6-10, Sr. (15.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 60.0 FG%); G Stephen Brown, 5-11, Sr. (14.9 ppg, 4.3 apg, 84.2 FT%); G Kimbal Mackenzie, 6-1, Jr. (7.9 ppg, 2.2 apg, 100.0% FT%); G Avi Toomer, 6-3, So. (4.9 ppg, 83.3 FT%).

15. Iona

Nickname: Gaels. Location: New Rochelle, N.Y.

Record: 20-13, 11-7. Bid: Metro Atlantic Athletic champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Oregon in Round of 64.

Coach: Tim Cluess (0-4 in four appearances).

Overview: The Gaels are in the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season, this time after finishing fourth in the league. Five players average double figures, including Roland Griffin (10.9 ppg) and Deyshonee Much (10.8 ppg) off the bench. Much (40.4%) and Shadrac Casimir (46.3%) are accurate from three, a strength for the Gaels (31st nationally in threes made a game, 9.7; 32nd in percentage, 38.8%). Size and rebounding (-3.8 rebounding margin) could be a problem.

Projected starters: G Zach Lewis, 6-3, Sr. (9.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg); G Rickey McGill, 6-1, Jr. (13.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 5.6 apg); G/F E.J. Crawford, 6-6, So. (12.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg); F TK Edogi, 6-8, Sr. (7.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 56.7 FG%); G Shadrac Casimir, 5-10, Jr. (10.4 ppg).

16. Pennsylvania

Nickname: Quakers. Location: Philadelphia.

Record: 24-8, 12-2. Bid: Ivy champ.

Last appearance: 2007, lost to Texas A&M in Round of 64.

Coach: Steve Donahue (2-3 in three appearances).

Overview: After an iffy start to the season, the Quakers hit their stride in conference play. Penn moves the ball around well and relies heavily on the three. This team could be a trendy upset pick in the first round.

Projected starters: G Antonio Woods, 6-1, Jr. (7.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg); G Darnell Foreman, 6-1, Sr. (10.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.6 apg); G Ryan Betley, 6-5, So. (14.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 39.5 3PT%); F AJ Brodeur, 6-8, So. (12.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 53.3 FG%); C Max Rothschild, 6-8, Jr. (7.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 50.8 FG%).


1. Virginia

Nickname: Cavaliers. Location: Charlottesville.

Record: 31-2, 17-1. Bid: ACC champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Florida in Round of 32.

Coach: Tony Bennett (10-7 in seven appearances).

Overview: This version of the Cavaliers is like many of Bennett’s previous teams. The success starts with great defense. They lead the nation in scoring defense (53.1 ppg) by a large margin and opponents scored more than 60 points just eight times. The offense isn’t spectacular, though all three guards shoot extraordinarily well from the free throw line, which could be crucial in close games that are sure to occur as they progress.

Projected starters: G Kyle Guy, 6-2, So. (14.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 83.7 FT%); G Devon Hall, 6-5, Sr. (12.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 45.2 3FG%, 89.4 FT%); G Ty Jerome, 6-5, So. (10.5 ppg, 3.9 apg, 90.2 FT%); F Isaiah Wilkins, 6-7, Sr. (5.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.5 bpg); C Jack Salt, 6-10, Jr. (3.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 65.0 FG%).

2. Cincinnati

Nickname: Bearcats. Location: Cincinnati.

Record: 30-4, 16-2. Bid: American champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to UCLA in Round of 32.

Coach: Mick Cronin (5-9 in nine appearances).

Overview: The Bearcats’ game isn’t always pretty, but it is effective. They play hard-nosed defense, while their scoring balance makes defending them a challenge. On the down side, they don’t shoot free throws particularly well (68.8%) and their perimeter shooting isn’t always reliable.

Projected starters: F Kyle Washington, 6-9, Sr. (11.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg); F Gary Clark, 6-8, Sr. (12.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.1 apg); G Jacob Evans, 6-6, Jr. (12.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.2 apg); G Justin Jenifer, 5-10, Jr. (4.9 ppg, 2.5 apg); G Jarron Cumberland, 6-5, So. (11.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.9 apg).

3. Tennessee

Nickname: Volunteers. Location: Knoxville.

Record: 25-8, 13-5. Bid: SEC at-large.

Last appearance: 2014, lost to Michigan in Sweet 16.

Coach: Rick Barnes (21-22 in 22 appearances).

Overview: Tennessee is strong on defense, holding opponents to about 66 points a game and 40.7% shooting from the field. The Vols also are solid on offense, make threes, shoot well enough from the floor and the free throw line, and they have terrific depth. A lot of guys contribute, including co-sixth man of the year in the SEC Lamonte Turner (10.7 ppg, 87.7 FT%). Occasional shooting slumps have been costly.

Projected starters: F Grant Williams, 6-7, So. (15.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 46.6 FG%); F Admiral Schofield, 6-5, Jr. (13.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 38.2 FG%); G Jordan Bowden, 6-5, So. (9.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg); G Jordan Bone, 6-3, So. (6.7 ppg, 3.6 apg, 83.3 FT%); F Kyle Alexander, 6-11, Jr. (5.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 68.4 FG%).

4. Arizona

Nickname: Wildcats. Location: Tucson.

Record: 27-7, 14-4. Bid: Pac-12 champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Xavier in Sweet 16.

Coach: Sean Miller (19-10 in 10 appearances).

Overview: A preseason Final Four favorite, no team has dealt with more off-court hoopla. There’s the FBI investigation, Miller’s alleged discussion of paying Deandre Ayton to attend Arizona, and Allonzo Trier’s brief suspension for use of a banned substance. And yet, they’re still one of the most dangerous teams in the field, mostly because no one knows how to stop Ayton, who is a monster in the paint. The Wildcats’ defense has been shaky at times, another unexpected hurdle for them to overcome this season.

Projected starters: F Deandre Ayton, 7-1, Fr. (19.9 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 61.2 FG%); G Allonzo Trier, 6-5, Jr. (18.7 ppg, 3.4 apg, 3.1 rpg, 51.0 FG%, 86.2 FT%); G Rawle Alkins, 6-5, So. (13.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg); C Dusan Ristic, 7-0, Sr. (11.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 55.8 FG%); G Parker Jackson-Cartwright, 5-11, Sr. (7.8 ppg, 4.8 apg, 42.3 3FG%).

5. Kentucky

Nickname: Wildcats. Location: Lexington.

Record: 23-10, 10-8. Bid: SEC champ.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to North Carolina in Elite Eight.

Coach: John Calipari (51-17 in 18 appearances).

Overview: Kentucky has been up and down, which often happens when the lineup is loaded with freshmen. But the Wildcats are talented and have played well down the stretch. They aren’t great from three but can dominate down low. And they defend, in the paint and on the perimeter. They will be a tough out in the tournament.

Projected starters: G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, 6-6, Fr. (13.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 5.0 assists, 47.6 FG%, 81 FT%); F P.J. Washington, 6-7, Fr. (10.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 50.9 FG%); F Kevin Knox, 6-9, Fr. (15.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg); G Hamidou Diallo, 6-5, Fr. (10.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg); F Nick Richards, 6-11, Fr. (5.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 61.1 FG%).

6. Miami (Fla.)

Nickname: Hurricanes. Location: Coral Gables, Fla.

Record: 22-9, 11-7. Bid: ACC at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Michigan State in Round of 64.

Coach: Jim Larranaga (9-8 in eight appearances).

Overview: A four-game win streak to close the regular season helped the Hurricanes secure their third consecutive tournament berth. What the team lacks in star power, it makes up for with balanced scoring and depth. A bonus would be if Bruce Brown (11.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg) is healthy enough to play. He has been out since February with a stress fracture in his foot.

Projected starters: G Lonnie Walker IV, 6-5, Fr. (11.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg); G Chris Lykes, 5-7, Fr. (9.6 ppg, 2.4 apg); G Anthony Lawrence II, 6-7, Jr. (8.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 43.2 3FG%); G Ja’Quan Newton, 6-3, Sr. (8.7 ppg, 2.7 apg); F Dewan Huell, 6-11, So. (11.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 57.3 FG%).

7. Nevada

Nickname: Wolf Pack. Location: Reno.

Record: 27-7, 15-3. Bid: Mountain West at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Iowa State in Round of 64.

Coach: Eric Musselman (0-1 in one appearance).

Overview: The Wolf Pack had to sweat a little on Selection Sunday after running into a San Diego State buzzsaw in the MWC tournament. Their overall body of work got them into the field, but their chances to make a deep run took a major hit when starting point guard Lindsey Drew went down with a torn Achilles tendon last month. As a result, they’re left with a thin bench, so any foul trouble will be hard to overcome.

Projected starters: F Caleb Martin, 6-7, Jr. (19.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg); F Jordan Caroline, 6-7, Jr. (17.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg); F Cody Martin, 6-7, Jr. (13.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.6 apg); G Kendall Stephens, 6-7, Sr. (13.2 ppg, .917 ft%, .444 3fg%); G Hallice Cook, 6-3, Sr. (4.9 ppg).

8. Creighton

Nickname: Bluejays. Location: Omaha.

Record: 21-11, 10-8. Bid: Big East at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Rhode Island in round of 64.

Coach: Greg McDermott (3-7 in seven appearances).

Overview: The Bluejays are not big. They rely on outside shooting and transition points. They’ve been much better at establishing their preferred style on their home court. They’ll struggle against an opponent that knows how to take care of the ball against full-court pressure.

Projected starters: G Marcus Foster, 6-3, Sr. (20.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.7 apg, 42.2 3FG%); G Khyri Thomas, 6-3, Jr. (15.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.8 apg); G Mitch Ballock, 6-5, Fr. (7.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.0 apg); F Toby Hegner, 6-10, Sr. (8.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg); G Davion Mintz, 6-3, So. (6.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.1 apg).

9. Kansas State

Nickname: Wildcats. Location: Manhattan.

Record: 22-11, 10-8. Bid: Big 12 at-large.

Last appearance: 2017, lost to Cincinnati in Round of 64.

Coach: Bruce Weber (12-11 in 11 appearances).

Overview: Led by junior forward Dean Wade — K-State’s first first-team all-Big 12 selection in five years — and junior guard Barry Brown (a second-team selection), the Wildcats win by taking care of the ball and playing stingy defense. Something to watch: a foot injury suffered by Wade and an eye injury suffered by Brown during the Big 12 tournament.

Projected starters: G Carter Diarra, 6-4, Fr. (7.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.1 apg); G Barry Brown, 6-3, Jr. (16.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.1 apg); G Xavier Sneed, 6-5, So. (10.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.7 apg); F Dean Wade 6-10, Jr. (16.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.8 apg); Makol Mawien, 6-9, So. (7.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg).

10. Texas

Nickname: Longhorns. Location: Austin.

Record: 19-14, 8-10. Bid: Big 12 at-large.

Last appearance: 2016, lost to Northern Iowa in Round of 64.

Coach: Shaka Smart (7-6 in six appearances).

Overview: Texas struggled to gain momentum in the rugged Big 12 and with the loss of sophomore guard Andrew Jones, who was diagnosed in January with leukemia. But behind junior guard Kerwin Roach, freshman forward Mohamed Bamba and junior transfer Dylan Osetkowski, the Longhorns found enough consistency to reach the NCAA Tournament. Texas’ hopes might hinge on freshman Mohamed Bamba’s injured toe. Bamba had 14 double-doubles and ranks second nationally in blocks, averaging 3.7 a game, but was hampered in the final weeks of the regular season after the injury. Freshman forward Jericho Sims emerged in Bamba’s absence as an interior threat.

Projected starters: G Matt Coleman, 6-2, Fr. (9.7 ppg, 4.1 apg); G Kerwin Roach II, 6-4, Jr. (11.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.6 apg); G Jase Febres, 6-5, Fr. (3.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg); F Dylan Osetkowski, 6-9, Jr. (13.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg); F Mohamed Bamba, 6-11, Fr. (12.9 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 3.7 bpg).

11. Loyola-Chicago

Nickname: Ramblers. Location: Chicago.

Record: 28-5, 15-3. Bid: Missouri Valley champ.

Last appearance: 1985, lost to Georgetown in Sweet 16.

Coach: Porter Mosier (first appearance).

Overview: Loyola had an NCAA tournament profile worthy of an at-large bid after convincingly winning the Missouri Valley regular season and upsetting Florida on the road in non-conference play. There’s no star on this team, but there’s tremendous balance on offense. Loyola ranks third nationally in field-goal percentage. It’s been on defense is where the Ramblers are most impressive, ranking fifth in scoring defense by allowing opponents under 63 points a game. An X-factor is 6-9 freshman Cameron Krutwig, a superb passer who gives this four-guard lineup a dynamic inside-out game.

Projected starters: G Clayton Custer, 6-1, Jr. (13.4 ppg, 4.3 apg, 44.0 3FG%); G Ben Richardson, 6-3, Sr. (6.7 ppg, 3.8 apg); G Marques Townes, 6-4, Jr. (11.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 40.3 3FG%); G Donte Ingram, 6-6, Sr. (11.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg); C Cameron Krutwig, 6-9, Fr. (10.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg).

12. Davidson

Nickname: Wildcats. Location: Davidson, N.C.

Record: 21-11, 13-5. Bid: Atlantic 10 champ.

Last appearance: 2015, lost to Iowa in Round of 64.

Coach: Bob McKillop (3-8 in eight appearances).

Overview: The Wildcats were playing their best late in the season, and they carried it to the A-10 title. As you’d expect from a McKillop-coached squad, they run their halfcourt sets well and select good shots. Peyton Aldridge is the kind of scorer who can take over a game, but he’ll likely need help against the deeper competition Davidson will see in the tournament.

Projected starters: F Peyton Aldridge, 6-8, Sr. (21.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.5 apg); G Kellan Grady, 6-5, Fr. (18.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.0 apg); G Jon Axel Gudmundsson, 6-4, So. (13.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.2 apg); G KiShawn Pritchett, 6-6, So. (5.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.5 apg); F Oskar Michelsen, 6-9, Sr. (5.5 ppg).

13. Buffalo

Nickname: Bulls. Location: Buffalo, N.Y.

Record: 26-8, 15-3. Bid: MAC champ.

Last appearance: 2016, lost to Miami (Fla.) in Round of 64.

Coach: Nate Oats (0-1 in one appearance).

Overview: The Bulls are one of the nation’s highest-scoring teams, but they rank near the bottom in scoring defense. Averaging almost 10 three-pointers a game, this team can shoot with the best of them, which makes Buffalo a scary opponent in the first round.

Projected starters: G CJ Massinburg, 6-3, Jr. (17.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 40.5 3FG%); G Jeremy Harris, 6-7, Jr. (15 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 41.7 3FG%); G Wes Clark, 6-0, Sr. (14.8 ppg, 5.4 apg, 46.7 FG%); G Davonta Jordan, 6-2, So. (7.4 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.9 rpg); F Ikenna Smart, 6-10, Jr. (3.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg).

14. Wright State

Nickname: Raiders Location: Dayton, Ohio.

Record: 25-9, 14-4. Bid: Horizon champ.

Last appearance: 2007, lost to Pittsburgh in Round of 64.

Coach: Scott Nagy (0-3 in three appearances).

Overview: Nagy has gotten the Raiders to play top-notch defense, ranking in the top-50 nationally in points allowed (66.0) and field goal percentage defense (41.5%). One of the best players, Justin Mitchell, left the team in early January, but the Raiders rallied. This is a well-balanced offensive team, with youth and experience. There’s also size on the roster, which can’t be said for all mid-majors. Veteran guard Grant Benzinger is dynamic and drives this team. Freshman guard Jaylon Hall adds a boost off the bench.

Projected starters: Grant Benzinger, 6-3, Sr. (14.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 88.8 FT%); G Mark Hughes, 6-4, Jr. (9.9 ppg, 3.0 apg, 83.1 FT%); G Cole Gentry, 5-10, So. (9.2 ppg, 81.4 FT%); C Parker Ernsthausen, 6-11, Jr. (5.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg); C Louden Love, 6-9, Fr. (12.9 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 53.1 FG%).

15. Georgia State

Nickname: Panthers. Location: Atlanta.

Record: 24-10, 12-6. Bid: Sun Belt champ.

Last appearance: 2015, lost to Xavier in Round of 32.

Coach: Ron Hunter (1-2 in two appearances).

Overview: The Panthers have three things in their favor: a star guard, the ability to shoot from deep and force turnovers. Georgia State is led by conference player of the year D’Marcus Simonds, who led the Sun Belt in scoring (20.9 ppg) and was fourth in assists (4.5 apg). The Panthers shot a league-leading 38.6% from three-point range and boast a +3.09 turnover margin.

Projected Starters: G D’Marcus Simonds, 6-3, So. (20.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.5 apg); G Devin Mitchell, 6-4, Jr. (12.2 ppg, 45 3FG%); F Jeff Thomas, 6-5, Jr. (10.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg); F Malik Benlevi, 6-5, Jr. (9.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg); F Jordan Session, 6-8, Sr. (7.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg).

16. Maryland-Baltimore County

Nickname: Retrievers. Location: Baltimore.

Record: 24-10, 12-4. Bid: America East champ.

Last appearance: 2008, lost to Georgetown in Round of 64.

Coach: Ryan Odom (first appearance).

Overview: The Retrievers, who upset Vermont to win the America East tournament, are here in part because of their three-point shooting. They make more than 10 a game, top 20 in the country, and shoot it well, 38.5%. However, UMBC is not big, which will be an issue in the tournament.

Projected starters: G Jairus Lyles, 6-2, Sr. (20.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.5 apg, 80.4 FT%); G K.J. Maura, 5-8, Sr. (11.4 ppg, 5.2 apg, 42.3 3FG%, 86.8 FT%); F Joe Sherburne, 6-6, Jr. (10-9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 42.3 3FG%); F Arkel Lamar, 6-5, So. (10.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 43.2 3FG%); F Daniel Akin, 6-9, Fr. (3.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 65.7 FG%).

College basketball coaches who make more than $3 million


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Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

No. 1: Mike Krzyzewski, Duke: $8,982,325 – Because Duke is a private school, Krzyzewski’s total is the one reported on the school’s most recently available federal income tax return, which covers pay for the 2015 calendar year, including benefits and bonuses. Duke’s return stated that $2,199,737 of Krzyzewski’s total had been reported as deferred compensation on prior years’ returns.  Rob Kinnan, USA TODAY Sports
Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari.

No. 2: John Calipari, Kentucky: $7,994,147 – Last March, Calipari’s contract was extended by two years, through March 30, 2024. His basic compensation from the school increased from last season by a previously scheduled $350,000. It is set to go up by $500,000 more next season. In addition, he reported nearly $550,000 in athletically related outside income for 2016-17.  Randy Sartin, USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Chris Holtmann.

No. 3 Chris Holtmann, Ohio State: $7,149,849 – In hiring Holtmann away from Butler, Ohio State gave him an eight-year contract beginning with annual basic pay of $3 million. But Ohio State also gave Holtmann what it termed “a one-time lump sum payment” of just over $2 million, plus another payment of nearly $1.9 million to cover the taxes owed on the lump sum. These amounts are likely connected to a buyout he owed Butler.  Matthew O’Haren, USA TODAY Sports
Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self.

No. 4: Bill Self, Kansas: $4,954,877 – Self’s compensation has been virtually unchanged since 2012, when he received a roughly $1.3 million increase. Last season, the school awarded him a discretionary bonus of $38,333 (two months’ base salary) as a reward for 13 consecutive Big 12 regular-season titles and back-to-back appearances in the NCAA tournament Elite Eight.  Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports
Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo.

No. 5: Tom Izzo, Michigan State: $4,359,979 – Izzo had modest increases in several of his school-based income sources, as well as from outside sources. It all added up to the fourth consecutive year in which his compensation increased by about $100,000.  Mike Carter, USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller.

No. 6: Sean Miller, Arizona: $4,054,853 – Miller’s compensation for this contract year includes more than $1,454,853 that represents the current value of the final portion of a complex longevity fund that has been vesting to Miller over several years as an incentive for him to remain at the school. He is not scheduled to actually receive the money until May 2020, but that could change if his contract is terminated.  Casey Sapio, USA TODAY Sports
West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Bob Huggins.

No. 7: Bob Huggins, West Virginia: $3,760,000 – In November, Huggins signed a new contract that sets him to coach through the 2021-22 season, then move into five years of paid emeritus status. His basic pay from the school for this season is $250,000 greater than it had been scheduled to be under his prior deal – and it’s set to go up by another $100,000 each year.  Ben Queen, USA TODAY Sports
Utah Runnin' Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak.

No. 8: Larry Krystkowiak, Utah: $3,390,000 – In terms of recurring annual pay, Krystkowiak is the highest-paid men’s basketball coach at a Pac-12 Conference public school. An amendment that the parties signed in November 2016, but was retroactive to July of that year, moved him above $3 million. Automatic increases to various elements of his pay have done the rest.  Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports
Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein.

No. 9: John Beilein, Michigan: $3,370,000 – Beilein is making this amount for a second consecutive season, and it’s not scheduled to change over the life of a contract set to run through April 15, 2021. Nearly half of his annual compensation is going into retirement plan.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Hoosiers head coach Archie Miller.

No. 10: Archie Miller, Indiana: $3,200,000 – Hired away from Dayton after last season, Sean Miller’s brother received a seven-year contract that is set to include a $50,000 increase every year. He can get a $125,000 bonus each year that Indiana’s schedule, when finalized, includes no more than one regular-season, non-conference opponent that has an RPI rating above 300, as reported in ESPN.com’s final ratings from the prior season.  Brad Rempel, USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lon Kruger.

No. 11 (tie): Lon Kruger, Oklahoma: $3,100,000 – Under a five-year contract that took effect on July 1, 2016, Kruger’s pay in scheduled to increase by $100,000 in each of the years remaining on the deal.  Mark D. Smith, USA TODAY Sports
Texas Longhorns head coach Shaka Smart.

No. 11 (tie): Shaka Smart, Texas: $3,100,000 – in 2010-11, the season in which Smart took VCU to the Final Four, he was making just under $425,000. His pay is now scheduled to increase by $100,000 each year under a deal set to run through April 5, 2023.  Marvin Gentry, USA TODAY Sports
Wichita State Shockers head coach Gregg Marshall.

No. 13: Gregg Marshall, Wichita State: $3,044,000 – Working under a seven-year, rolling contract, Marshall’s pay is set to increase by $500,000 not long after the 2017-18 season.  David Kohl, USA TODAY Sports
Virginia Cavaliers head coach Tony Bennett.

No. 14: Tony Bennett, Virginia: $3,000,000 – After last season, Bennett received a one-year contract extension and a raise of nearly $700,000 above what he had been scheduled to make this season. The deal also added a third longevity payment that, like the two original payments, is guaranteed if he’s fired without cause. He’s set to get $1 million on March 15, 2019; $400,000 two years later and another $1 million on March 15, 2023.  Amber Searls, USA TODAY Sports

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