Sports

NCAA Midwest Regional matchups

(1) North Carolina

Record: 29-5

Nickname: Tar Heels

Coach: Roy Williams

Scoring: Harrison Barnes 17.4; Tyler Zeller 16.5; John Henson 13.8

Last 10: 9-1

The skinny: Which version of the Tar Heels will show up? The one that lost by 33 to Florida State in January, or the one that knocked off Duke by 18 the first week of March to wrap up another regular-season ACC title?

(16) Lamar/Vermont

Lamar (23-11): The Cards went on an incredible run to the Southland title after Knight said this: "These kids are stealing money being on scholarship with their approach to things."

Vermont (23-11): John Becker has come a long way in five years. That's how long ago he was making $10,000 a year as a Vermont assistant. Becker's salary is more robust these days, especially after an NCAA Tournament bid in his first season.

(3) Georgetown

Record: 23-8

Nickname: Hoyas

Coach: John Thompson III

Scoring: Jason Clark 13.9; Hollis Thompson 12.7; Henry Sims 11.7

Last 10: 6-4

The skinny: Many of the Hoyas point to a nasty brawl with a Chinese pro team in August for bringing them together. They were picked to finish 10th in the Big East and wound up with the No. 5 seed in the league tourney.

(14) Belmont

Record: 27-7

Nickname: Bruins

Coach: Rick Byrd

Scoring: Kerron Johnson 14.1; Ian Clark 12.7; Drew Hanlen 10.9; Scott Saunders 10.2; Mick Hedgepeth 9.8

Last 10: 10-0

The skinny: Bruins star Johnson is about as scrappy as they come. He stands just 6-foot-1, but he managed to snag a career-best 11 rebounds in a win over Florida Gulf Coast.

(5) Temple

Record: 24-7

Nickname: Owls

Coach: Fran Dunphy

Scoring: Ramone Moore 17.7; Khalif Wyatt 17.1; Juan Fernandez 11.4; Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson 9.2

Last 10: 8-2

The skinny: The Owls won their first outright Atlantic 10 title since 1990. That's even more surprising considering they've won at least 21 games the last five seasons.

(12) California/South Florida

California (24-9): Jorge Gutierrez was the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, though he gets plenty of help from the likes of Allen Crabbe.

South Florida (20-13): The Bulls set a Big East record by allowing just 56.9 points per game, which makes up for the fact that they also finished the regular season without a single player averaging in double-figures scoring.

(7) Saint Mary's (Calif.)

Record: 27-5

Nickname: Gaels

Coach: Randy Bennett

Scoring: Matthew Dellavedova 15.6; Rob Jones 14.8; Stephen Holt 10.4

Last 10: 7-3

The skinny: Watch for Australian guard Matthew Dellavedova, who shot the Gaels past Gonzaga in the West Coast title game. He was part of the Australian Boomers team that qualified for the London Olympics.

(10) Purdue

Record: 21-12

Nickname: Boilermakers

Coach: Matt Painter

Scoring: Robbie Hummel 16.3; Lewis Jackson 10.3; Ryne Smith 9.5

Last 10: 6-4

The skinny: Matt Painter called the Boilermakers' loss to Indiana on Feb. 4 a turning point. They played well in a loss to Ohio State in their next game, but won five of six to solidify their spot in the NCAA Tournament.

(8) Creighton

Record: 28-5

Nickname: Bluejays

Coach: Greg McDermott

Scoring: Doug McDermott 23.2; Antoine Young 12.5; Gregory Echenique 9.8

Last 10: 7-3

The skinny: McDermott's own father didn't recruit him when he was coaching Iowa State. He's glad the kid followed him to Creighton, where he's emerged as an elite scorer.

(9) Alabama

Record: 21-11

Nickname: Crimson Tide

Coach: Anthony Grant

Scoring: JaMychal Green 14.0; Tony Mitchell 13.1 (suspended); Trevor Releford 11.9; Trevor Lacey 7.1

Last 10: 6-4

The skinny: Give props to Grant for sticking by his principles. He knew it might cost his team a chance to do something special when he suspended his stars but did it anyway.

(6) San Diego St.

Record: 26-7

Nickname: Aztecs

Coach: Steve Fisher

Scoring: Jamaal Franklin 17.2; Chase Tapley 15.7; Xavier Thames 10.3

Last 10: 6-4

The skinny: Tim Shelton could be the difference-maker for the Aztecs. He's averaged nearly 27 minutes despite some balky knees. If he's healthy, he'll take some of the pressure off Franklin and Tapley.

(11) North Carolina St.

Record: 22-12

Nickname: Wolfpack

Coach: Mark Gottfried

Scoring: C.J. Leslie 14.6; Lorenzo Brown 12.7; Scott Wood 12.5; Richard Howell 10.7; C.J. Williams 10.6

Last 10: 5-5

The skinny: Leslie admits that a bad attitude and poor decision-making hampered him as a freshman. But when Gottfried took over, he made turning Leslie around a priority.

(4) Michigan

Record: 24-9

Nickname: Wolverines

Coach: Jim Beilein

Scoring: Trey Burke 14.8; Tim Hardaway Jr. 14.6; Zack Novak 9.5

Last 10: 7-3

The skinny: John Beilein has worked his magic again. The Wolverines claimed a share of their first Big Ten title since 1986, and enter the tourney full of confidence. Keep an eye on the backcourt duo of Burke and Novak.

(13) Ohio

Record: 27-7

Nickname: Bobcats

Coach: John Groce

Scoring: D.J. Cooper 14.6; Walter Offutt 11.7; Reggie Keely 9.2; Ivo Baltic 9.0; Nick Kellogg 8.9

Last 10: 8-2

The skinny: The Bobcats set a school-record for wins in a season while picking up the MAC's automatic bid for the second time in three seasons.

(2) Kansas

Record: 27-6

Nickname: Jayhawks

Coach: Bill Self

Scoring: Thomas Robinson 17.9; Tyshawn Taylor 17.3; Elijah Johnson 9.6

Last 10: 9-1

The skinny: The Jayhawks' best player (Robinson) came off the bench last year, their top guard (Taylor) is at times a head case, and their sixth man (Connor Teahan) is an ex-walk-on. It's the kind of team Self loves.

(15) Detroit

Record: 22-13

Nickname: Titans

Coach: Ray McCallum

Scoring: Ray McCallum 15.6; Chase Simon 13.5; Eli Holman 10.9; Jason Calliste 10.4

Last 10: 9-1

The skinny: The Horizon League Tournament champs beat regular-season champion Valparaiso by 20 in the finals after losing to the Crusaders twice during the regular season.

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