16 Coastal Carolina (21-12,
Virginia must prove it deserves a No. 1 seed, even after beating Duke in the ACC tournament Sunday. Winning big over the Chanticleers would be a good start.
8 Memphis (23-9, at-large) vs.
Memphis has been inconsistent this season and now faces a George Washington team that has won five of its last seven games.
Cincinnati's high-scoring Justin Jackson complements Kilpatrick on a team that also plays tough defense. Harvard is making its third straight trip to the tournament.
The unpredictable Tar Heels have impressive wins — and surprising losses — on their record. The Friars' conference title was just plain surprising.
14 N. Carolina Central (28-5,
The Cyclones defeated
10 St. Joseph's (24-9,
James Bell leads
2 Villanova (28-4, at-large) vs.
15 Milwaukee (21-13, Horizon champion)
St. Joseph's was a bubble team until a late-season surge. Connecticut's Napier gets help from DeAndre Daniels, who averages 12.5 points.
Inspecting the top seeds
1 VIRGINIA: The Cavaliers swept the ACC regular season and tournament but must persuade skeptics. Their lock-down defense and methodical offense lead the way.
2 VILLANOVA: Last week's surprising loss to
3 IOWA STATE: Coach Fred Hoiberg's three stars — DeAndre Kane, Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang — run a potent up-tempo offense.
4 MICHIGAN STATE: Probably the best No. 4 seed in the nation. The Spartans are getting healthy — and finding their rhythm — at just the right time.
No. 12-seeded Harvard, the Ivy League champion, features a veteran group with seniors Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey, who returned from academic suspension. The Crimson upset third-seeded New Mexico last year.
DeAndre Kane, guard, Iowa State
Kane stands out from the Cyclones' talented trio by averaging 17 points and 6.7 rebounds. He also dishes out 5.8 assists compared with only 2.8 turnovers.
Sean Kilpatrick, guard, Cincinnati
The senior has been deadly from long range with 90 three-pointers this season. That accuracy had translated into 20.7 points a game for the Bearcats.
Shabazz Napier, guard, Connecticut
No. 16-seeded Coastal Carolina might be a longshot, but Coach Cliff Ellis knows something about
This has been a historic season for North Carolina Central. The Eagles will make their tournament debut after winning 20 consecutive games and earning their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title in more than six decades.
Maurice Creek might be the feel-good story of this region. After suffering a string of injuries at
If Villanova and St. Joseph's can get past their opening games, they will meet in an all-Philadelphia showdown. Think this rivalry is intense? It's called "The Holy War."