Today’s NCAA Tournament matchups


SOUTH

5. VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH

26-8; Atlantic 10 at-large

The Rams won four in a row to close the regular season and finish in second place in the Atlantic 10. VCU is three years removed from its improbable run to the Final Four, but Coach Shaka Smart has kept the Rams relevant on a national scale with four straight NCAA tournament appearances. This season, VCU became the first team to go 6-0 against other major programs in the state of Virginia, including a 59-56 victory over ACC regular season champion Virginia on Nov. 12 in Charlottesville, Va.

■ Tournament Record: 12-12, 12 years. Last appearance: 2012.

■ Scoring: Team (75.0); Treveon Graham 15.7; Juvonte Reddic 11.9; Melvin Johnson 10.4; Rob Brandenberg 9.8; Briante Weber 9.5.

■ Rebounds: Team (37.9); Juvonte Reddic 8.4; Treveon Graham 7.0; Briante Weber 4.0.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (13.1/12.3); Briante Weber 3.8/1.9; Treveon Graham 2.0/1.7.

■ Last 10: 7-3.

12. Stephen F. Austin

31-2; Southland champion

The Lumberjacks joined Florida and Wichita State as the only teams to run through their conference regular seasons without a loss. Coach Brad Underwood, a first-year Division I head coach, most recently worked for Frank Martin at South Carolina and Kansas State. His first team, which started 3-2 with a 72-62 loss at Texas and a 66-58 loss at East Tennessee State, closed the regular season ranked ninth in the nation with 16.5 assists per game. Conference MVP Jacob Parker leads a loose bunch that is making the program’s second NCAA tournament trip.

■ Tournament Record: 0-1, 1 year. Last NCAA Appearance: 2009.

■ Scoring: Team (76.5); Desmond Haymon 14.3; Jacob Parker 14.2; Thomas Walkup 12.9; Deshaunt Walker 12.0; Nikola Gajic 9.6.

■ Rebounds: Team (33.8); Jacob Parker 7.1; Thomas Walkup 5.0; Nikola Gajic 4.9.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (16.6/11.2); Trey Pinkney 3.5/1.7; Desmond Haymon 2.8/1.6; Jacob Parker 2.0/1.2.

■ Last 10: 10-0.

4. UCLA

26-8; Pac-12 champion

The Bruins were the second-best team in the Pac-12 behind Arizona in the regular season before upsetting the Wildcats in the tournament final. They will look to advance past the NCAA tournament’s first weekend for the first time since the last of their three straight trips to the Final Four in 2008. But UCLA beat only one ranked team in the regular season and had a few bad road losses. Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson were both named first-team all-Pac-12 in their first season playing for Coach Steve Alford.

■ Tournament Record: 100-38, 45 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (81.8); Jordan Adams 17.2; Kyle Anderson 14.9; Zach LaVine 11.3; Norman Powell 10.0.

■ Rebounds: Team (35.6); Kyle Anderson 8.8; Jordan Adams 5.3; Tony Parker 4.5.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (17.2/10.5); Kyle Anderson 6.6/3.1; Bryce Alford 2.7/1.3; Jordan Adams 2.3/1.6.

■ Last 10: 7-3.

13. Tulsa

21-12; Conference USA champion.

Led by Coach Danny Manning, who led Kansas to the NCAA title as a player in 1988, the Golden Hurricane is back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2003. Tulsa was just 5-9 in nonconference play — losing twice to a TCU team that finished 0-18 in Big 12 play — but picked up steam as Conference USA play went on and upset top-seeded Louisiana Tech in the tournament final.

■ Tournament Record: 12-14, 14 years. Last appearance: 2003.

■ Scoring: Team (73.1); James Woodard 15.7; Rashad Smith 12.1; Shaquille Harrison 9.8.

■ Rebounds: Team (36.3); James Woodard 5.8; Rashad Smith 4.9; Lew Evans 4.1; D’Andre Wright 4.0.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (12.5/11.5); Shaquille Harrison 3.2/2.2; Rasha Ray 2.4/1.2.

■ Last 10: 10-0.

7. New Mexico

27-6; Mountain West champion

New Mexico lost Coach Steve Alford to UCLA following last season — when it earned a No. 3 seed but lost to Harvard in its first game of the NCAA tournament — but still won its third straight Mountain West tournament title with Coach Craig Neal at the helm. Led by Australian senior Cameron Bairstow, one of five players in the country whose scoring average went from single digits in 2013 to more than 20 points per game this season, the Lobos have experience and size to spare. They had the league’s most efficient offense in conference games.

■ Tournament Record: 8-15, 14 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (74.6); Cameron Bairstow 20.3; Kendall Williams 16.4; Alex Kirk 13.6.

■ Rebounds: Team (38.2); Alex Kirk 8.7; Cameron Bairstow 7.4; Hugh Greenwood 5.1; Deshawn Delaney 4.0.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (15.5/10.6); Kendall Williams 4.9/2.0; Hugh Greenwood 3.5/0.9.

■ Last 10: 9-1

10. Stanford

21-12; Pac-12 at-large

The Cardinal is in the tournament for the first time in six years under Coach Johnny Dawkins, this after the program made it in 13 of 14 seasons before the former Duke assistant arrived. It was a close call this year, too. Stanford lost three of its last four regular season games to fall to the No. 6 seed in the Pac-12 tournament. Early wins at Oregon and at Connecticut don’t look quite as good as they did at the time, but the Cardinal was also able to avoid any really bad losses.

■ Tournament Record: 21-15, 16 years. Last appearance: 2008.

■ Scoring: Team (73.5); Chasson Randle 18.7; Dwight Powell 14.2; Anthony Brown 12.7; Josh Huestis 11.4.

■ Rebounds: Team (34.8); Josh Huestis 8.3; Dwight Powell 6.9; Anthony Brown 5.0.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (11.8/11.2); Dwight Powell 3.2/2.9; Aaron Bright 2.3/1.0; Chasson Randle 2.2/2.2; Anthony Brown 2.0/1.9.

■ Last 10: 6-4

2. Kansas

24-9; Big 12 at-large

The Jayhawks’ run in the NCAA tournament may depend largely on whether star freshman center Joel Embiid makes his return. The Big 12 defensive player of the year did not play in the conference tournament because of a stress fracture in his back and is expected to miss at least the first two games of the NCAAs. Still, Kansas has more talent than most, led by Big 12 freshman of the year Andrew Wiggins, who scored a KU freshman-record 41 points against West Virginia. The Jayhawks led the Big 12 and ranked in the top five nationally by shooting 49.7 percent.

■ Tournament Record: 95-41, 42 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (79.6); Andrew Wiggins 17.4; Perry Ellis 13.6; Joe Embiid 11.2; Wayne Selden Jr. 10.2.

■ Rebounds: Team (38.1); Joe Embiid 8.1; Perry Ellis 6.5; Andrew Wiggins 6.0.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (15.1/13.2); Naadir Tharpe 5.2/2.0; Wayne Selden Jr. 2.5/1.9; Frank Mason 2.0/1.1.

■ Last 10: 6-4

15. Eastern Kentucky

24-9; Ohio Valley champion

The Colonels upset OVC heavyweight Belmont in the conference title game, and they don’t lack for experience, having six seniors on the roster and three in their starting lineup. EKU is trouble for opponents who lack good ball-handling, as it ranks second in the nation in turnover margin (6.3) and in the top 10 in steals (8.8). In noteworthy out-of-conference action, the Colonels lost in overtime at VCU, held a halftime lead at N.C. State before losing and were trounced at Wisconsin. Top player Glenn Cosey acquitted himself fairly well in those games, averaging 17.3 points.

■ Tournament Record: 0-7, 7 years. Last appearance: 2007.

■ Scoring: Team (79.0); Glenn Cosey 18.8; Corey Walden 14.1; Marcus Lewis 9.9; Orlando Williams 9.6; Tarius Johnson 9.5.

■ Rebounds: Team (26.2); Eric Stutz 4.7; Corey Walden 4.2; Trius Johnson 3.6.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (14.7/10.7); Glenn Cosey 4.2/1.9; Corey Walden 3.0/2.1.

■ Last 10: 8-2

EAST

1. Virginia

28-6; ACC champion

Virginia completed its best regular season since the Ralph Sampson era and won its first ACC tournament title since 1976. Armed with one of the nation’s deepest rosters, the Cavaliers wear down foes by relying on the nation’s No. 1 scoring defense and appear poised to advance past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1995. Virginia also has an efficient offense to go along with its methodical pace. Both Joe Harris and Malcolm Brogdon are capable of carrying the scoring load and sophomores Justin Anderson and Anthony Gill are weapons off the bench.

■ Tournament Record: 22-17, 17 years. Last appearance: 2012.

■ Scoring: Team (65.9); Malcolm Brogdon 12.6; Joe Harris 11.7; Anthony Gill 8.4; Justin Anderson 8.1.

■ Rebounds: Team (35.6); Akil Mitchell 7.1; Malcolm Brogdon 5.6.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (13.1/10.2); London Perrantes 3.8/1.1; Malcolm Brogdon 2.6/1.5; Joe Harris 2.3/1.3.

■ Last 10: 9-1

16. Coastal Carolina

21-12; Big South champion.

The Chanticleers are making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1993. This will be the fourth school Coach Cliff Ellis has taken there (South Alabama, Clemson, Auburn), making him the 10th coach to do so. Ellis is just the second coach to win at least 100 games at four schools, joining Lefty Driesell. Ellis is also tied with another former Maryland coach, Gary Williams, with 668 total victories (27th all-time).

■ Tournament Record: 0-2, 2 years Last appearance: 1993.

■ Scoring: Team (72.7); Elijah Wilson 16.1; Warren Gillis 14.8; Josh Cameron 14.1.

■ Rebounds: Team (39.6); El Hadji Ndieguene 6.9; Badou Diagne 6.5; Michel Enanga 5.3; Elijah Wilson 4.1.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (10.6/14.1); Warren Gillis 3.2/2.8; Josh Cameron 2.5/2.8.

■ Last 10: 8-2.

8. Memphis

23-9; American Athletic at-large

The Tigers can win in a variety of ways, including ugly. They shot just 35 percent from the field in a late-season nonconference win at home over Gonzaga. Memphis does, however, have offensive firepower and the third most assists per game in the nation. Second-team all-AAC players Joe Jackson and Shaq Goodwin ranked first and third on the team in scoring, while Missouri transfer Michael Dixon Jr., a 6-foot-1 senior who was the AAC sixth man of the year, scored 12.2 points per game. Memphis was eighth in the 10-team AAC in free throw percentage at 65.5.

■ Tournament Record: 33-25, 25 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (77.6); Joe Jackson 14.3; Shaq Goodwin 11.8; Michael Dixon Jr. 11.8; Chris Crawford 9.1; Geron Johnson 8.9.

■ Rebounds: Team (37.6); Shaq Goodwin 6.6; Geron Johnson 4.9; Austin Nichols 4.3; Chris Crawford 4.0.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (17.4/13.5); Joe Jackson 4.5/2.1; Geron Johnson 3.6/2.5; Chris Crawford 2.9/1.7; Michael Dixon Jr. 2.4/1.6.

■ Last 10: 6-4

9. George Washington

24-8; Atlantic 10 at-large

The Colonials were picked to finish 10th in the conference before the season but ended up in third place after one of the more dramatic turnarounds in Atlantic 10 history. GW’s 23 regular season wins were 10 more than in all of 2012-13, and Mike Lonergan was able to direct the Colonials to a double bye into the Atlantic 10 tournament despite missing second-leading scorer Kethan Savage (broken foot) for the final 12 games of the regular season.

■ Tournament Record: 4-10, 10 years. Last appearance: 2007.

■ Scoring: Team (73.4); Maurice Creek 14.3; Kethan Savage 12.7; Isaiah Armwood 12.5; Patricio Garino 12.2; Kevin Larsen 11.3.

■ Rebounds: Team (37.4); Isaiah Armwood 8.5; Kevin Larsen 7.0; Joe McDonald 4.6; Kethan Savage 4.3; Patricio Garino 4.3.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (14.2/13.1); Joe McDonald 4.1/2.2; Kethan Savage 2.6/2.2.

■ Last 10: 6-4.

6. North Carolina

23-9; ACC at-large

The Tar Heels began the year by alternating between nice wins and baffling losses to UAB, Belmont, Wake Forest and Miami. It took North Carolina some time to learn to compensate for the loss of guard P.J. Hairston, who led the Tar Heels in scoring last season but did not return to the team after being suspended for this season’s first 10 games after the school found he had received impermissible benefits. Marcus Paige picked up the slack, finishing on the all-ACC first team after becoming the only player in the conference to rank in the top six in both scoring and assists.

■ Tournament Record: 109-42, 44 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (76.3); Marcus Paige 17.4; James Michael McAdoo 14.2; Brice Johnson 10.4; Leslie McDonald 10.3; J.P. Tokoto 9.2.

■ Rebounds: Team (39.8); James Michael McAdoo 6.7; Brice Johnson 6.2; Kennedy Meeks 5.9; J.P. Tokoto 5.8.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (15.6/12.0); Marcus Paige 4.3/2.1; J.P. Tokoto 3.0/1.9; Nate Britt 2.4/1.7.

■ Last 10: 8-2

11. Providence

23-11; Big East champion

Coach Ed Cooley has done a masterful job turning around Providence, culminating in Saturday’s 65-58 victory over No. 13 Creighton to win the Big East tournament for the first time since 1994. Bryce Cotton, a first-team all-Big East selection, was named tournament MVP after he scored 23 points to lead the Friars in the Big East title game. The senior finished second in the conference in scoring and led the Big East in assists.

■ Tournament Record: 14-16, 15 years. Last appearance: 1979.

■ Scoring: Team (73.2); Bryce Cotton 21.4; LaDontae Henton 13.9; Kadeem Batts 12.4; Tyler Harris 11.5.

■ Rebounds: Team (36.8); LaDontae Henton 7.8; Kadeem Batts 7.6; Tyler Harris 5.2; Carson Desrosiers 4.8.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (13.6/11.6); Bryce Cotton 5.8/2.4; Josh Fortune 2.1/1.9.

■ Last 10: 7-3.

3. Iowa State

26-7; Big 12 champion

The Cyclones, who won their first conference tournament title since 2000, are one of three teams in the country with three players averaging at least 16 points per game, and they had five players score at least 20 points in a game this season. Melvin Ejim was the second-leading scorer in the Big 12, and his 18.2 average is more than seven points better than his junior year. DeAndre Kane scored a game-high 27 points in the regular season finale to surpass 2,000 for his career.

■ Tournament Record: 14-15, 15 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (82.9); Melvin Ejim 18.1; DeAndre Kane 17.0; Georges Niang 16.5; Dustin Hogue 10.7.

■ Rebounds: Team (38.8); Dustin Hogue 8.6; Melvin Eljim 8.5; DeAndre Kane 6.7; Georges Niang 4.4.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (18.5/10.5); DeAndre Kane 5.8/2.8; Monte Morris 3.8/0.7; Georges Niang 3.6/2.4.

■ Last 10: 8-2

14. North Carolina Central

28-5; MEAC champion

The Eagles won 17 straight to close the regular season and earned their first Division I tournament bid in only their third season at the highest level. Coach LeVelle Moton, in his fifth season, was a freshman on the 1992-93 N.C. Central squad, which also won 17 straight and advanced to the Division II tournament’s Elite Eight. The Eagles had the top-scoring offense (73.6 points) and allowed the fewest points (59.2) in the MEAC this season.

■ Tournament Record: First year. Last NCAA Appearance: First year.

■ Scoring: Team (73.9); Jeremy Ingram 20.6; Jordan Parks 10.2; Alfonzo Houston 9.6.

■ Rebounds: Team (35.5); Jay Copeland 5.9; Jordan Parks 5.6; Karamo Jawara 4.8; Emanuel Chapman 4.3.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (14.8/11.6); Emanuel Chapman 6.5/2.5; Karamo Jawara 2.6/0.9.

■ Last 10: 10-0

WEST 1. Arizona 30-4; Pac-12 at-large

For a majority of the season, the Wildcats looked like the best team in the country. They started out 21-0 and spent eight weeks atop the AP top 25. A season-ending foot injury to third-leading scorer Brandon Ashley in early February slowed things down a little but Arizona still finished its regular season 28-3 and remains a national title contender. Aaron Gordon is one of the most dynamic players in the country, and point guard T.J. McConnell, a Duquesne transfer, has been a steadying presence in his first year playing for Coach Sean Miller, a fellow Western Pennsylvania native

■ Tournament Record: 48-29, 30 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (73.1); Nick Johnson 16.2; Aaron Gordon 12.1; Kaleb Tarczewski 10.1.

■ Rebounds: Team (38.9); Aaron Gordon 7.8; Kaleb Tarczewski 6.6; Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 5.8; Nick Johnson 4.0.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (15.1/10.4); T.J. McConnell 5.5/1.8; Nick Johnson 2.8/1.7.

■ Last 10: 7-3

16. WEBER STATE

19-11; BIG SKY CHAMpion

The Wildcats were the class of the Big Sky, garnering conference awards for most valuable player (Davion Berry), defensive player of the year (Joel Bolomboy) and freshman of the year (Jeremy Senglin). The Wildcats have former point guard, and current NBA star, Damian Lillard to thank for having Berry’s services; they grew up together in Oakland, Calif., and Lillard persuaded Berry to transfer to Weber State from a Division II school. Not surprisingly, the team was at or near the top of the Big Sky in many statistical categories, but it finished last in steals and turnover margin.

■ Tournament Record: 6-15, 14 years. Last appearance: 2007.

■ Scoring: Team (73.2); Davion Berry 19.1; Kyle Tresnak 11.8; Jeremy Senglin 11.2.

■ Rebounds: Team (34.4); Joel Bolomboy 10.8; Kyle Tresnak 4.8; Davion Barry 4.3.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (13.3/12.4); Davion Barry 4.0/2.8; Jordan Richardson 2.5/1.7; Jeremy Senglin 2.3/1.5; Richaud Gittens 2.3/1.9.

■ Last 10: 6-4

8. Gonzaga

28-6; WCC champion

The Bulldogs are back in the tournament for the 16th straight season after winning the WCC for the 11th time since 1999. The Zags don’t carry the same expectations they did last year, when they were upset in the round of 32 as a No. 1 seed, but an underdog role has traditionally suited them better anyway. Gonzaga lost its top two leading scorers from last season, but Sam Dower and Kevin Pangos were both all-conference selections, and David Stockton, son of NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton, is an efficient pass-first point guard. Gonzaga has lost on the first weekend in six of the past seven years.

Tournament Record: 18-16, 16 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (76.9); Sam Dower 15.0; Kevin Pangos 14.1; Gary Bell Jr. 11.2; Przemek Karnowski 10.2.

■ Rebounds: Team (35.7); Sam Dower 7.1; Przemek Karnowski 6.9; Kyle Dranginis 4.1

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (14.7/11.3); Kevin Pangos 3.7/1.6; David Stockton 4.2/1.9; Kyle Dranginis 2.6/1.4.

■ Last 10: 7-3.

9. Oklahoma State

21-12; Big 12 at-large.

The Cowboys endured a six-game losing streak, which included an ugly episode at Texas Tech that involved Marcus Smart shoving a fan, to rally for an NCAA tournament bid. Despite a three-game suspension that followed the incident, Smart was named to the all-Big 12 first team for a second straight season as he led the conference in steals (2.7) and finished in the top five in scoring and assists. Oklahoma State had a league-best plus-11.6 scoring margin during the regular season, while 11 of its losses were by two or fewer possessions, and two came in overtime.

■ Tournament Record: 38-24, 25 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (80.3); Marcus Smart 17.8; Markel Brown 17.1; Le’Bryan Nash 14.2; Phil Forte III 13.3.

■ Rebounds: Team (35.2); Kamari Murphy 6.2; Le’Bryan Nash 5.7; Marcus Smart 5.7; Markel Brown 5.3.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (13.6/10.4); Marcus Smart 4.7/2.5; Markel Brown 2.9/1.6; Stevie Clark 2.7/1.4.

■ Last 10: 5-5.

6. Baylor

24-11; Big 12 at-large

The Bears enter the NCAA tournament on a bit of a hot streak, winning seven of their last eight conference games during the regular season and advancing to the Big 12 tournament title game. The streak coincides with Kenny Chery’s return to the lineup following a turf toe injury. Jefferson recorded 24 double-doubles during the season and entered the conference tournament with 54 in his career; the Bears are 42-12 in those games. Baylor closed the regular season by making at least one three-pointer in 725 games, a mark that dates from Feb. 21, 1990.

■ Tournament Record: 9-9, 7 years. Last appearance: 2012.

■ Scoring: Team (75.2); Corey Jefferson 13.5; Brady Heslip 11.8; Kenny Cherry 11.6; Isaiah Austin 11.0.

■ Rebounds: Team (38.7); Corey Jefferson 8.4; Rico Gathers 6.4; Isaiah Austin 5.5; Royce O’Neale 5.3.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (15.0/11.8); Kenny Cherry 5.0/2.0; Royce O’Neale 2.7/1.7; Gary Franklin 2.4/1.3.

■ Last 10: 8-2

11. Nebraska

19-12; Big Ten at-large

The Cornhuskers finished dead last in a preseason poll of Big Ten writers, so making the NCAA tournament - after starting 0-4 in conference play - should be considered nearly as big of a surprise as the fact that they’ve been able to take Nebraskans’ minds off of football (at least occasionally). Little wonder, then, that Tom Miles, in his second season in Lincoln, was named Big Ten coach of the year. This will be the Huskers’ first tournament appearance since 1998, and leading the way is Terrar Petteway, who sat out last season after transferring from Texas Tech.

■ Tournament Record: 0-6, 6 years. Last appearance: 1998.

Scoring: Team (67.0); Terran Petteway 18.1; Shavon Shields 12.7; Devell Biggs 9.9; Walter Pitchford 9.5.

■ Rebounds: Team (33.4); Shavon Shields 5.8; Leslee Smith 4.9; Terran Petteway 4.9; Walter Pitchford 4.7.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (9.6/10.9); Tai Webster 2.0/1.9.

■ Last 10: 8-2.

3. Creighton

26-7; Big East at-large

The Bluejays are making a third straight appearance in the NCAA tournament after finishing their first season in the Big East in second place behind Villanova. Much of the credit goes to Doug McDermott, who led the country in scoring and is the favorite to be named national player of the year. The senior forward became the first player since Glenn Robinson in 1993-94 to win the scoring title while leading his team to the NCAA tournament, and also became the eighth player in Division I history to score 3,000 career points

■ Tournament Record: 11-19, 18 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (79.5); Doug McDermott 26.9; Ethan Wragge 10.5; Austin Chatman 7.4.

■ Rebounds: Team (34.4); Doug McDermott 7.0; Ethan Wragge 4.0.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (17.7/9.9); Austin Chatman 4.5/1.7; Grant Gibbs 3.8/1.9; Jahenns Manigat 2.9/0.8; Devin Brooks 2.8/1.9.

■ Last 10: 7-3

14. Louisiana-Lafayette

23-11; Sun Belt champion

The Ragin’ Cajuns are back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005 with an unlikely run through the Sun Belt tournament that included one-point victories over Western Kentucky and Georgia State, teams they went a combined 0-4 against during the regular season. Elfrid Payton and Shawn Long were the second- and third-ranked scorers in the Sun Belt this season, while the Ragin’ Cajuns led the league in scoring, assists and rebounds. Payton, who was selected to the all-conference first team for the second straight season, was also its defensive player of the year.

■ Tournament Record: 4-10, 9 years. Last appearance: 2005.

■ Scoring: Team (81.4); Elfrid Payton 19.1; Shawn Long 18.7; Bryant Mbamalu 12.5.

■ Rebounds: Team (38.2); Shawn Long 10.5; Elfrid Payton 5.9; Bryant Mbamalu 4.3.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (13.6/13.6); Elfrid Payton 6.0/3.7.

■ Last 10: 8-2.

MIDWEST

1. Wichita State

34-0; Missouri Valley champion

Missouri Valley champion

The Shockers became the first team to go undefeated in the regular season since Saint Joseph’s in 2003-04 and tied the NCAA record for victories to start the season — set by UNLV in 1990-91 — after their win over Indiana State in the Missouri Valley tournament title game. People will scrutinize its schedule strength — Wichita State played only three teams in the RPI top 50, and the Missouri Valley was not strong this season — but finishing undefeated is still a remarkable accomplishment, and a repeat run to the Final Four would not surprise anyone.

■ Tournament Record: 12-11, 10 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (75.5); Cleanthony Early 15.8; Ron Baker 13.1; Fred VanVleet 12.1; Tekele Cotton 10.8.

■ Rebounds: Team (38.6); Cleanthony Early 5.9; Chadrack Lufile 5.1; Darius Carter 4.5; Tekele Cotton 4.1.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (13.5/10.4); Fred VanVleet 5.3/1.4; Ron Baker 3.1/1.7; Tekele Cotton 2.4/1.1.

■ Last 10: 10-0.

16. Cal Poly

14-19: Big West champion

■ Tournament Record: 1-0. Last appearance: Beat Texas Southern on Wednesday.

Third straight year a team with a losing record has made the tournament. Cal Poly secured its first NCAA tourney berth in improbable fashion, winning the Big West tournament as the seventh seed. Reserve guard Ridge Shipley’s 3-pointer gave the Mustangs the lead in the final seconds of the title game.

■ Scoring: Team (63.2); Chris Eversley 13.6; Dave Nwaba 11.9; Kyle Odister 9.3.

■ Rebounds: Team (32.3); Chris Eversley 7.1; Dave Nwaba 4.9.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (11.7/9.0); Jamal Johnson 2.8/1.1.

■ Last 10: 5-5.

8. Kentucky

24-10; SEC at-large

Coach John Calipari’s latest one-year wonders haven’t underachieved quite like last year’s NIT-destined bunch, but the current Wildcats weren’t exactly playing like the 2012 national champions, either, at least until their run to the SEC title game. Julius Randle and twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison headlined a 2013 recruiting class that featured six five-star prospects, and Kentucky opened the season ranked No. 1 in the AP poll. After a slow but steady decline, the Wildcats finally dropped out of the top 25 entirely last week following three losses in four games. The talent is there, but the poise is lacking.

■ Tournament Record: 113-47, 53 years. Last appearance: 2012.

■ Scoring: Team (75.9); Julius Randle 15.0; James Young 14.5; Aaron Harrison 13.8; Andrew Harrison 10.8.

■ Rebounds: Team (41.1); Julius Randle 10.5; Willie Cauley-Stein 6.3; Alex Poythress 4.6; James Young 4.1.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (11.5/12.2); Andrew Harrison 3.8/2.5; Aaron Harrison 2.1/1.6.

■ Last 10: 5-5

9. Kansas State

20-12; Big 12 at-large

The Wildcats recorded their eighth consecutive 20-win season — a program record — and ended the regular season with seven wins against teams in the RPI top 50, but they also lost three straight to end the year. Kansas State ranked first in Big 12 defense, holding 14 opponents to 60 points or less. Marcus Foster led the Wildcats in scoring while connecting on nearly 40 percent of his three-point attempts and was named to the all-conference second team.

■ Tournament Record: 33-31, 27 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (69.7); Marcus Foster 15.6; Thomas Gipson 11.8; Shane Southwell 9.8.

■ Rebounds: Team (36.0); Thomas Gipson 6.5; Shane Southwell 4.4; Wesley Iwundu 4.3.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (15.5/12.3); Jevon Thomas 2.8/1.1; Shane Southwell 2.8/1.6; Will Spradling 2.9/1.0; Marcus Foster 2.5/2.3.

■ Last 10: 5-5.

6. UMass

24-8; Atlantic 10 at-large

The Minutemen, who are back in the tournament for the first time since 1998, have one of the quickest and most entertaining players in the country in Dhaz Williams, who despite his diminutive stature is fearless driving into the lane. The three-time first-team all-Atlantic 10 selection finished first in the conference in assists and was seventh in steals and ninth in scoring. Massaschusetts also has one of the top reserves in the conference in forward Maxie Esho, who is fourth in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage and third on the team in rebounding.

■ Tournament Record: 11-8, 8 years. Last appearance: 1998.

Scoring: Team (76.1); Chaz Williams 15.8; Cady Lalanne 11.4; Sampson Carter 10.5; Derrick Gordon 9.3; Trey Davis 9.2; Raphiael Putney 9.1.

■ Rebounds: Team (38.6); Cady Lalanne 8.0; Raphiael Putney 5.5; Maxie Esho 5.0; Sampson Carter 4.9.

Assists/Turnovers: Team (15.2/13.5); Chaz Williams 7.0/3.4; Trey Davis 2.5/1.1; Derrick Gordon 2.1/1.7.

■ Last 10: 6-4

11. Tennessee

22-12; SEC at-large.

A five-game winning streak late in the season enabled the Volunteers to slip into the field of 68. Tennessee had a few nice victories before that, though, including a 35-point rout of Virginia and a 15-point win over Xavier.

■ Tournament Record: 17-20, 19 years. Last appearance: 2011.

■ Scoring: Team (71.3); Jordan McRae 18.6; Jarnell Stokes 14.7; Jeronne Maymon 10.1; Josh Richardson 9.2.

■ Rebounds: Team (38.8); Jarnell Stokes 10.3; Jeronne Maymon 8.2.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (12.6/10.7); Jordan McRae 2.5/2.1; Darius Thompson 2.5/1.0.

■ Last Ten: 7-3

3. Duke

26-8; ACC at-large

Hovering around the top of the ACC all season, the Blue Devils boast one of college basketball’s biggest stars in Jabari Parker and a deep cast of supporting players that forms the second-most efficient offense in the country. But Duke is also 2-5 this season against the RPI top 100 either on the road or at neutral sites, so how will Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s group fare in a win-or-go-home situation? If the intense, high-scoring Blue Devils show up, they will be tough to beat. But conference losses to Syracuse and North Carolina have also provided a formula for denting the machine.

■ Tournament Record: 99-33, 37 years. Last appearance: 2013.

■ Scoring: Team (78.6); Jabari Parker 19.3; Ronald Hood 16.4; Quinn Cook 11.3; Rasheed Sulaimon 9.6.

Rebounds: Team (34.5); Jabari Parker 8.8; Amile Jefferson 6.7.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (14.5/9.5); Quinn Cook 4.4/1.6; Rasheed Sulaimon 2.4/1.1; Tyler Thornton 2.4/0.7; Rodney Hood 2.1/1.5.

■ Last 10: 7-3.

14. Mercer

26-8; Atlantic Sun champion

With four returning starters and a senior-laden lineup, the Bears won a second straight Atlantic Sun regular season championship and their first tournament title since 1985. Langston Hall became the second player in league history to record more than 1,500 points and 600 assists in his career. Hall was the Atlantic Sun player of the year, Bob Hoffman was named coach of the year, and Daniel Coursey earned defensive player of the year — the first time an Atlantic Sun team took all three awards in the same season.

■ Tournament Record: 0-2, 2 years. Last appearance: 1985.

■ Scoring: Team (79.3); Langston Hall 14.7; Daniel Coursey 9.9; Bud Thomas 9.1.

■ Rebounds: Team (38.0); Daniel Coursey 6.6; Jakob Gollon 4.5; Bud Thomas 4.1.

■ Assists/Turnovers: Team (16.4/11.9); Langston Hall 5.6/2.4; Jakob Gollon 2.6/1.8.

■ Last 10: 8-2.

Compiled from The Associated Press and The Washington Post

 

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