Now that the 2019 NCAA match discipline is ready, you may want the suitable info to make the suitable picks in your bracket. We’re right here to assist with our annual 68-team preview. This is a short take a look at each staff within the discipline:
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The ACC has the highest three groups within the discipline. One might should play Kansas very near the Jayhawks’ residence.
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Duke Blue Devils
Zion Williamson is probably the most dominant participant in school basketball since Anthony Davis led Kentucky to the nationwide title in 2012. Within the 17 video games wherein he has performed not less than 30 minutes, the Blue Devils have misplaced simply twice (in opposition to Gonzaga within the Maui Invitational in November and versus Syracuse in January, when Cam Reddish did not play due to sickness and Tre Jones performed simply six minutes after struggling a shoulder harm early within the first half). This Duke squad has three potential top-five picks (Williamson, Reddish, RJ Barrett) and a gifted nucleus that has led the staff to wins over Auburn, Texas Tech, Florida State (twice), Louisville, Virginia (twice) and North Carolina. The Blue Devils ought to be favored to be the final staff standing in Minneapolis subsequent month.
Many have pointed to the loss in opposition to rival Saint Mary’s within the West Coast Convention match title sport as proof that the Bulldogs didn’t deserve a prime seed. However that is a shortsighted tackle a Gonzaga squad that has boasted the nation’s best offense for the majority of the season. Duke, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan State? All under Gonzaga, a squad that is led by a pair of potential All-Individuals in Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke. The Bulldogs are a scary, elite squad that would go away this match with their college’s first NCAA championship.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Two years in the past, North Carolina gained a nationwide title with large our bodies and paint manufacturing. This 12 months’s staff nonetheless does its greatest stuff within the put up, however Roy Williams has a group of fascinating athletes who can play inside and outdoors. Cameron Johnson stretches the ground with a 47 p.c success fee from the Three-point line. Luke Maye is an efficient free throw shooter who makes use of his large body to get to the rim. Nassir Little and Coby White are each legit NBA prospects. The Tar Heels, who personal a win over Gonzaga, battled Duke to the ultimate seconds within the ACC match semifinals on Friday. They fly across the courtroom, however they’ve nonetheless managed to rank within the prime 10 in offensive and defensive effectivity this season.
It is actually as much as you. You possibly can assume Virginia will observe the identical underwhelming path it has traveled in previous NCAA tournaments underneath Tony Bennett when the staff has had a prime seed, together with final season’s first-ever loss to a 16-seed (UMBC). Or you possibly can take a tough take a look at this 12 months’s squad, a gaggle that encompasses a pair of NBA prospects in Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter. Kyle Man is without doubt one of the greatest guards within the nation. The Cavaliers have one of many 5 best offenses and defenses in America. They’ve made almost 41 p.c of their Three-pointers. Virginia has all the things you’d need in a champion this season. However Friday’s loss to Florida State within the semifinals of the ACC match conjured up reminiscences of final 12 months’s (and former years’) early exit. Onerous accountable anybody who doubts this staff.
John Calipari does not get sufficient credit score for molding his younger groups over the course of a season. However the Wildcats, who misplaced to Duke by 34 factors within the Champions Basic in November, have matured as a staff and reached this level as the most effective model of themselves. They defeated Louisville, North Carolina, Kansas and Tennessee. PJ Washington (14.7 PPG, 7.6 RPG) has made 42 p.c of his Three-pointers. Tyler Herro has developed right into a dependable contributor. Keldon Johnson has averaged 13.Four PPG. And a put up presence that options Washington, Reid Travis, Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery has extra depth than any frontcourt in America.
John Beilein’s squad possesses a group of huge wings who can unfold the ground with their taking pictures capacity, whereas suppressing opposing offenses with top-five protection. Heard this earlier than? It is the identical formulation (and largely the identical personnel, with the swap of Mo Wagner for Ignas Brazdeikis) the Wolverines used to succeed in the nationwide title sport final season. Charles Matthews (12.5 PPG, 1.1 SPG) lately missed three video games with an ankle harm, however he is again and able to be part of Brazdeikis (15.zero PPG, 42 p.c from the Three-point line) and Jordan Poole (12.9 PPG) for one more shot on the title.
Michigan State Spartans
Tom Izzo is a nationwide coach of the 12 months candidate after a tough season that also featured a Large Ten championship. Joshua Langford suffered a season-ending foot harm weeks into the common season. Then, Nick Ward missed 5 video games in late February and early March with a fractured hand. The Spartans showcased their depth, nevertheless, as Cassius Winston (18.9 PPG, 41 p.c from past the arc) grew to become one of many nation’s prime 5 gamers. The resiliency of this Spartans squad is unmatched. Izzo has a staff that is stacked with succesful function gamers who’ve helped the squad navigate its challenges.
Rick Barnes has some of the full groups within the nation and a formidable slate of victories: Louisville, Gonzaga and Kentucky (twice). Grant Williams (19.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, Three.2 APG, 1.Four BPG, 1.2 SPG), the back-to-back SEC Participant of the 12 months, would possibly end second behind Zion Williamson within the Picket Award race. Admiral Schofield (16.Four PPG, 41 p.c from past the arc) would possibly play for an NBA staff subsequent season. The Vols, anchored by an eight-man rotation, had the SEC’s greatest offense and its No. 2 protection through the common season.
Kelvin Sampson’s squad was constant all through the season, dropping simply two video games on its technique to the American Athletic Convention match title sport. His staff swept Cincinnati within the common season and beat LSU, Utah State and Oregon (with Bol Bol) within the nonconference season. The Cougars have held their opponents under a 43 p.c clip contained in the arc. Corey Davis Jr. (16.Eight PPG) and Armoni Brooks (13.6 PPG) are reliable leaders for this staff.
Tony Benford will lead the SEC champion, into the NCAA match after coach Will Wade was indefinitely suspended earlier this month for his alleged ties to a pay-for-play scheme that reportedly concerned Javonte Sensible. With the return of Sensible (11.5 PPG), who was sidelined for a sport whereas the college investigated him, LSU — which has wins over Kentucky and Tennessee — has some of the gifted rosters within the discipline. Naz Reid and Tremont Waters lead a crew that is stacked with six former ESPN top-100 recruits.
Matt Painter emerged as a stylish nationwide coach of the 12 months favourite as he steered a Purdue squad that had misplaced a gifted senior class to a slice of this season’s title within the Large Ten, the consensus prime convention within the nation. The Boilermakers led the Large Ten in Three-point taking pictures and Carsen Edwards solidified himself as a Picket Award candidate after averaging 23.5 PPG. However Edwards’ 11-for-48 clip in a pair of losses to Minnesota in a latest 10-day stretch showcased Purdue’s limits when its greatest participant struggles.
Texas Tech Purple Raiders
Texas Tech’s listing of achievements is lengthy. A 12 months after they misplaced first-round choose Zhaire Smith to the NBA, the Purple Raiders secured a slice of the Large 12 championship. They performed America’s greatest protection, per ESPN Analytics. Chris Beard moved to the highest of the nationwide coach of the 12 months lists. Jarrett Culver (18.5 PPG, 6.Three RPG, Three.7 APG, 1.Four SPG) turned himself right into a lottery choose. Texas Tech can be powerful for any opponent within the discipline. The Purple Raiders had gained 9 in a row earlier than a loss to West Virginia within the first spherical of the Large 12 match.
Florida State Seminoles
Leonard Hamilton’s squad is blessed with a group of lengthy athletes who anchored the ACC’s greatest protection contained in the arc (41.9 p.c mark allowed) and helped the staff attain the ACC match title sport after a win over Virginia within the semifinals. Their résumé is boosted by wins over a fleet of NCAA match groups: Florida, LSU, Purdue, Louisville and Virginia Tech (twice). However FSU’s dominant victory over Virginia (1.17 factors per possession in opposition to a top-five protection) on Friday demonstrated Florida State’s postseason promise.
Invoice Self had one in all his most turbulent seasons, solely the second of his tenure that ended and not using a Large 12 championship. The Streak ended after Kansas misplaced Udoka Azubuike to a season-ending harm in addition to Lagerald Vick, the staff’s greatest shooter (45.5 p.c from the Three-point line), to a go away of absence that finally prolonged by means of the remainder of the season. However Dedric Lawson (19.2 PPG, 10.Four RPG, 1.1 BPG) is an All-American who’s doing all the things he can to hold a Kansas squad that completed sixth within the Large 12 in adjusted offensive effectivity on KenPom for the primary time in 15 years.
Kansas State Wildcats
This isn’t the déjà vu Bruce Weber anticipated. A 12 months after reaching the Elite Eight with out star Dean Wade, one other Wildcats staff will enter the NCAA match with its veteran chief nursing a foot harm that would influence his enjoying time. He missed the majority of final 12 months’s postseason with a foot harm, too. However the Large 12’s co-champions, who’ve performed top-five protection this season, succeeded with out him a 12 months in the past. Nonetheless, Wildcats have averaged 106 factors per 100 possessions and held opponents to only 86 factors per 100 possessions within the common season with Wade on the ground, numbers that dramatically modified for the more serious when he was on the bench.
Virginia Tech Hokies
Buzz Williams’ squad will enter the NCAA match ranked inside the prime 10 in Three-point taking pictures. Justin Robinson’s presence has helped increase that rating, and his anticipated return after lacking 12 video games to a foot harm may very well be large. Per hooplens.com, the Hokies have made 42.2 p.c of their Three makes an attempt with Robinson accessible and 36.Four p.c when he is on the bench. It is unclear how a lot he’ll contribute, however Kerry Blackshear (14.7 PPG, 7.Four RPG) is without doubt one of the nation’s most underrated skills, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker is a critical NBA prospect.
Jared Harper is perhaps the quickest guard in America. He is the maestro for an Auburn staff that has made 38 p.c of its Three-pointers. After a Three-5 stretch that prolonged into February, Auburn misplaced only one sport (in opposition to Kentucky, 80-53 on Feb. 23) previous to its SEC match title sport matchup in opposition to Tennessee on Sunday. It has pressured extra turnovers than any staff within the nation and has the offensive firepower (Bryce Brown is a 40.1 p.c shooter from the Three-point line) to show that ability into buckets in transition. However will probably be in hassle in opposition to any opponent if Chuma Okeke will get into early foul hassle.
Marquette Golden Eagles
Markus Howard (25.1 PPG) is a prolific scorer who would possibly put collectively a Kemba Walker-like stretch within the NCAA match and lead Marquette on a run. However Sam Hauser (39.5 p.c), Joey Hauser (44.Four p.c) and Sacar Anim (39.1 p.c) are all harmful Three-point shooters who discover house partly as a result of opponents regulate to corral Howard. The staff completed second in defensive effectivity in league play, however they don’t seem to be at all times cautious with the ball, proved by the 63 turnovers the staff dedicated of their final 4 regular-season video games.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
The Bulldogs made 37 p.c of their Three-pointers in SEC play (third) and secured wins over Saint Mary’s, Clemson, Cincinnati and Wofford earlier than ending 10-Eight within the SEC. Nonetheless, Auburn is the most effective staff they defeated in league play. Quinndary Weatherspoon (18.2 PPG) and his teammates have the expertise to advance past the primary spherical, however that is additionally one in all America’s most turnover-prone (46 of their previous three losses) groups.
After withdrawing from the NBA draft final season, Ethan Happ put collectively a uncommon stat line for a giant man: 17.Four PPG, 10.Three RPG, Four.7 APG, 1.Three BPG, 1.1 SPG. The Badgers, not the Wolverines, performed the most effective protection in Large Ten play this season. With restricted offensive choices on offense past Happ, nevertheless, Wisconsin completed 2-7 in opposition to the most effective groups on its schedule: Virginia, Marquette, Michigan, Michigan State, Maryland and Purdue.
What number of groups can be ready to steal Nate Oats from Buffalo at any time when his staff exits the NCAA match? He is coming into his second consecutive NCAA match as some of the coveted younger coaches within the nation. The Bulls have carried the momentum from final season’s upset of Arizona within the NCAA match into this season, which began with CJ Massinburg’s 43-point effort in a win over West Virginia. Buffalo additionally beat Syracuse. The Bulls can be a stylish upset choose as soon as once more.
Iowa State Cyclones
This is without doubt one of the nation’s most perplexing teams, gifted and deep however not persistently efficient or environment friendly. However the Cyclones, a middle-of-the-pack defensive staff in Large 12 play, impressed with their run to the convention match title after a dominant win over Kansas. Marial Shayok (18.7 PPG) leads a staff with 4 scorers who averaged double figures and employs key reserves Tyrese Haliburton and Nick Weiler-Babb in a robust rotation that fueled wins over Kansas (twice), Texas Tech and Kansas State (twice).
There’s a lot to love about Mark Turgeon’s staff. Maryland level guard Anthony Cowan Jr. is averaging 16.zero PPG and Four.Three APG. Bruno Fernando is an all-Large Ten first staff choice who’s averaging a double-double (13.7 PPG, 10.Four RPG). And the Terps completed within the prime 5 in offensive and defensive effectivity within the Large Ten. However additionally they dedicated turnovers on one-fifth of their possessions in league play. It is a 22-10 staff that beat Wisconsin and Purdue but additionally misplaced within the first spherical of the Large Ten match to Nebraska. Good luck figuring them out.
A 12 months after securing his staff’s second nationwide title in three years, Jay Wright’s squad nonetheless managed to win the Large East regular-season and match titles after dropping three first-round picks and Picket Award winner Jalen Brunson. This staff lacks final season’s expertise pool, though Phil Sales space (18.7 PPG) and Eric Paschall (16.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG), an NBA prospect, each cracked the all-Large East first staff. That is the time of 12 months when the Wildcats do their greatest work. Wager in opposition to Wright at your individual peril.
Mick Cronin has quietly molded the Bearcats into an imposing staff in a Purdue-like speedy rebuild. For the ninth consecutive season, the Bearcats completed inside the prime 30 in KenPom’s adjusted defensive effectivity rankings. Wins over Ole Miss and UCF anchored their résumé previous to Sunday’s American Athletic Convention title matchup in opposition to Houston. It is clear that Jarron Cumberland is an underrated guard who has averaged 18.Four PPG, Four.Four RPG, Three.7 APG and 1.2 SPG.
The Cardinals are one 10-minute stretch (Duke overcame a 23-point deficit in a February loss) from being on a special seed line. That matchup for Louisville was one in all six video games that it misplaced by 5 factors or fewer (three extra time video games). The Duke loss highlighted the highs and lows of Louisville. The Cardinals have an inconsistent offense and top-20 protection. Jordan Nwora (17.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG) needs to be nice to offer Louisville an opportunity to make a run after the Cardinals completed Four-7 of their final 11 video games coming into the NCAA match.
Nevada Wolf Pack
Eric Musselman’s squad had a shot on the Elite Eight after amassing a major lead over Loyola Chicago within the Candy 16 final season earlier than its then-porous protection betrayed this system. However this 12 months’s Wolf Pack boosted its protection — they’re ranked within the 30s in effectivity — and added impactful gamers like Portland switch Jazz Johnson (45.2 p.c). However Jordan Caroline (17.Three PPG) missed Nevada’s Mountain West match loss to San Diego State with an Achilles harm. He’d gone 6-for-29 from the Three-point line in seven video games previous to that, a stretch that made each he and Nevada look weak.
Mike Younger’s squad performed its manner into the at-large dialog with a 20-game profitable streak that continued with a double-digit win over UNC Greensboro within the Southern Convention match title sport. Wofford does not have the athletes a few of the Energy 5 colleges possess. However the Terriers have made 41.6 p.c of their Three-pointers, rating No. 2 within the nation. 4 gamers on the roster have made greater than 41 p.c of their makes an attempt from past the arc this season, too.
Ole Miss Rebels
Kermit Davis made instant adjustments in his first season with Ole Miss, a squad that beat Baylor within the nonconference season and swept Auburn in SEC play. However the Rebels are 2-5 of their previous seven video games. They’re going to want Breein Tyree (18.2 PPG, 39 p.c from the Three-point line) to be Shabazz Napier to advance.
Syracuse’s opponents in ACC play made simply 33.Four p.c of their Three-point makes an attempt in opposition to its zone. In final season’s NCAA match, TCU, Michigan State and Duke all shot underneath 22 p.c from past the arc in opposition to the Orange, which reached the Candy 16 as an 11-seed. The formulation stays for Boeheim’s staff, which completed Four-7 in its previous 11 video games and can want one other breakout effort by Tyus Battle (17.2 PPG) — who missed the ACC match with a again harm — to launch one other surprising run.
Utah State Aggies
Craig Smith’s staff was projected to complete ninth in his first season on the college after making the transfer from South Dakota. As an alternative, Utah State shared the Mountain West title with Nevada earlier than defeating San Diego State within the convention title sport. Sam Merrill (21.2 PPG) is a star, and Utah State is a sleeper staff you need to know.
A primary-round loss to Rhode Island within the Atlantic 10 match did not damage VCU’s NCAA match goals. Wins over Temple, Hofstra, Texas and Wichita State (all top-100 groups within the NET rankings) and a 16-2 file in league play was sufficient to uphold its résumé.
Scott Drew’s staff endured a mess of accidents all through the season. Tristan Clark, the highest scorer on the staff at 14.6 PPG, suffered a season-ending knee harm in January. King McClure missed 5 video games with a knee harm, and Makai Mason, tied with Clark at 14.6 PPG, has been hindered by a proper toe harm. That every one contributed to the staff’s four-game dropping streak previous to the NCAA match. At their greatest, nevertheless, the Bears swept Iowa State through the common season and beat Texas Tech by double digits.
Life with out Trae Younger has been totally different for Lon Kruger’s staff this season. Solely Oklahoma State was a worse offensive staff in Large 12 play, however strong protection led to résumé-altering wins over Kansas, Wofford and Florida. Christian James led the staff with 14.Four PPG.
Tacko Fall is averaging 10.9 PPG, 7.Three RPG and a couple of.5 BPG for Central Florida’s squad, a staff that has defeated Cincinnati and Houston however has additionally misplaced to Florida Atlantic. The Knights put up simply 55 factors in Friday’s 24-point loss to Memphis within the first spherical of the American Athletic Convention match. The Knights have performed top-40 protection however they’ve scored greater than 70 factors solely twice previously seven video games.
The Pac-12 has been a multitude all season. However Washington surged to the highest of the subpar convention. The Huskies will go so far as Matisse Thybulle, the Pac-12 Defensive Participant of the 12 months, takes them. Throughout the common season, UW pressured turnovers on 25 p.c of its opponents’ possessions when he was on the ground.
Mike White has discovered a future star in Andrew Nembhard, who scored 20 factors in a win over LSU within the SEC match, a victory that sealed Florida’s at-large standing. KeVaughn Allen & Co. endured two three-game dropping streaks in SEC play alone. However additionally they excelled late by limiting their very own turnovers and forcing an abundance of them in league play.
The Hawkeyes have been the kings of clutch wins within the closing seconds (three wins by two factors or much less). However Fran McCaffery’s squad has been in a free fall since mid-February, going 2-6 in its final eight video games — a byproduct of a protection ranked 13th out of 14 Large Ten groups. Can Tyler Prepare dinner and Luka Garza restore a squad with wins over Oregon, Iowa State and Michigan?
Minnesota Golden Gophers
No bubble staff did extra to eradicate its Choice Sunday suspense than Minnesota, which defeated Purdue, the Large Ten co-champion with Michigan State, twice in a 10-day stretch, together with as soon as within the convention match on Friday. The Gophers have been up and down all through the season, which is why they have been on the bubble late. However they’re 12-Three when Amir Coffey scores 18 or extra factors.
Seton Corridor Pirates
It has been an fascinating trip for Kevin Willard’s staff. The Pirates beat Kentucky, however then they began Three-5 within the Large East. They possessed one of many worst defenses within the league, however additionally they completed the 12 months with a Three-1 file in opposition to Marquette and Villanova within the weeks previous to the NCAA match. Myles Powell (22.9 PPG) leads a captivating squad.
Arizona State Solar Devils
The professionals for Bobby Hurley’s crew? Arizona State has Luguentz Dort, the Pac-12’s freshman of the 12 months who averaged 16.1 PPG, Four.Three RPG, 2.Three APG and 1.6 SPG. The cons? The Solar Devils surrendered a 48 p.c clip to their opponents within the lukewarm (see: horrible) Pac-12, which is why the identical squad that beat Kansas and Utah State additionally has a 21-point loss to Washington State on its résumé.
Rick Byrd does not get a variety of calls from Energy 5 colleges in search of nonconference matchups in opposition to his staff. However the Bruins secured an at-large berth with an excellent run within the Ohio Valley Convention that included a win over Murray State on Jan. 24, when Ja Morant went 5-for-19.
Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes soared in a stunning run in Chris Holtmann’s first season a 12 months in the past, however the follow-up didn’t function that stage of success. The identical squad that beat Cincinnati within the season opener misplaced six of seven in January and by no means actually discovered itself once more. Kaleb Wesson, the staff’s prime scorer at 14.Four PPG, returned from a three-game suspension in time to drop 17 factors in a must-win sport over Indiana within the Large Ten match. His presence issues.
St. John’s Purple Storm
Chris Mullin remains to be looking for the solutions for his alma mater, a staff with a Three-2 file mixed in opposition to Marquette and Villanova however a 9-12 end after it gained its first 12 video games of the 12 months. Shamorie Ponds (19.5 PPG, 84 p.c from the free throw line) is without doubt one of the nation’s most explosive scorers, however the Purple Storm (sub-100 protection) stumbled into the sector of 68.
Saint Mary’s Gaels
Some used Saint Mary’s as Exhibit A for his or her argument in opposition to Gonzaga capturing a prime seed. However the Gaels have had one in all America’s most explosive offenses (prime 20, per ESPN Sports activities Analytics) this season. With 22 seconds to play, Saint Mary’s was down by two in opposition to SEC champ LSU in December after Jordan Ford (21.Three PPG) hit a clutch Three-pointer.
Fran Dunphy’s staff squeezed into the sector with an Eight-Four end in its remaining 12 convention video games. Common in most areas, the Owls cut up their two video games with Houston but additionally misplaced to Penn and Tulsa by 25 factors mixed.
Ritchie McCay’s staff’s win at UCLA in December pre-empted the termination of Steve Alford. At present, Scottie James (13.1 PPG) leads a balanced group that knocked out Lipscomb within the Atlantic Solar Convention match title sport.
Murray State Racers
Ja Morant, a projected top-three choose on this summer season’s NBA draft, exploded onto the nationwide scene with some of the spectacular stat strains in NCAA historical past: 24.6 PPG, 10.zero APG and 1.Eight SPG, whereas making 81 p.c of his free throws. He is the explanation Murray State has made greater than 57 p.c of its photographs contained in the arc and hasn’t misplaced since Jan. 31.
New Mexico State Aggies
Chris Jans’ squad has made 56.5 p.c of its photographs contained in the arc this (top-10 in America). However almost half of their shot makes an attempt come from past the arc, the place they’ve made about 34 p.c of them. General, nevertheless, this is without doubt one of the best mid-major offenses within the nation. It is a balanced staff, with no participant averaging greater than 11.Three PPG.
In fact Oregon is right here, because the Pac-12 hasn’t actually made any sense this 12 months, so why not? Dana Altman misplaced Bol Bol, a projected first-round choose, to a foot harm in January. However the Geese shed their bubble standing with a win over Washington within the Pac-12 match title sport on Saturday night time, extending an eight-game profitable streak for Altman’s squad. Louis King, the previous five-star recruit, has averaged 19 factors in his previous three video games.
The Colonial Athletic Affiliation match champion is using a seven-game profitable streak into the NCAA match. Vasa Pusica (40.1 p.c from past the arc) scored 20 factors in his staff’s 16-point win over Alabama within the nonconference season.
Saint Louis Billikens
Regardless of ending sixth within the Atlantic 10 standings, the Billikens steamrolled Davidson within the semifinals of the A-10 match earlier than defeating St. Bonaventure within the title sport. Javon Bess, who scored 24 factors within the upset over Davidson, is the participant to observe for Saint Louis.
UC Irvine Anteaters
The Anteaters produced probably the most dominant efficiency in a convention match this season by securing the Large West title by way of three wins by a mixed 55 factors. Elston Jones (1.6 BPG) and Jonathan Galloway (1.1 BPG) have been essential contributors for America’s prime inside protection (40.6 p.c clip contained in the arc allowed).
The Catamounts performed aggressive matchups in opposition to Louisville and Kansas lengthy earlier than they dominated the America East and gained the match title with a win over UMBC, the 16-seed that made historical past in opposition to Virginia after beating Vermont in final 12 months’s convention match title sport. John Becker’s squad has relied on Anthony Lamb (21.1 PPG) and his staff’s protection, which has held 9 opponents underneath 60 factors in league play.
Georgia State Panthers
For the second season in a row, Georgia State led the Solar Belt by connecting on not less than 39 p.c of its Three-point makes an attempt. However the Panthers will want D’Marcus Simonds, who’s 19-for-64 within the final 5 video games, to shake his stoop to have a shot within the opening spherical
Northern Kentucky Norse
Jalen Tate has registered not less than 14 factors in seven of his staff’s previous 9 video games. Plus, John Brannen’s squad was the Horizon League’s greatest Three-point taking pictures staff (37.Three p.c).
Previous Dominion Monarchs
The Monarchs, who defeated Western Kentucky within the Convention USA match title sport on Saturday, hovered across the 50s in defensive effectivity this season. That is the muse of a program with an unreliable offense (64.7 p.c from the charity stripe in league play) however victories over Syracuse and VCU.
The Bulldogs shared the Ivy League regular-season crown with Harvard earlier than defeating the Crimson within the convention match title sport. When Yale misplaced to Duke earlier this season, Mike Krzyzewski stated the Bulldogs’ Miye Oni (17.6 PPG) “can be a first-round choose.” Excessive reward for an Ivy League star.
Abilene Christian Wildcats
Six years into its Division I transition, Abilene Christian, the Southland Convention’s greatest defensive staff, will take part within the NCAA match for the primary time. Jaren Lewis scored 20 factors in his staff’s win over New Orleans on Saturday and stored the season alive for a squad that has made 38.Four p.c of its Three-pointers this season.
Brian Wardle has led his staff to its first NCAA match look in 13 years, a major second for the Bradley model. For those who’re questioning why Loyola-Chicago and Sister Jean aren’t coming to this 12 months’s NCAA match, it is as a result of Bradley (wins over SMU, Penn State) made 39 p.c of its Three-pointers and eradicated the Ramblers within the semifinals of the MVC match.
Matt Langel has led this group to its first NCAA match look since 1996 by way of its victory over Bucknell within the Patriot League title sport. Like a few of the different mid-majors on this listing, Colgate completed within the prime 20 in Three-point taking pictures this season (39.1 p.c), a mark led by Rapolas Ivanauskas (16.Four PPG, 43 p.c from the Three-point line).
Travis DeCuire has led his alma mater to its second consecutive NCAA match look after defeating Japanese Washington in Saturday’s Large Sky Convention match championship sport. The Grizzlies have made almost 38 p.c of their Three-point makes an attempt this season and superior to the NCAA match regardless of lacking main scorer Jamar Akoh, who has been injured since mid-February.
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights
For those who’re in search of a staff that in all probability cannot get stops in opposition to a excessive seed within the opening spherical however would possibly maintain its dream alive with a scorching hand, you then would possibly need to try Fairleigh Dickinson, a staff that made 41 p.c of its Three-pointers, a top-10 mark nationally. Darnell Edge (16.Four PPG) is one in all 5 gamers on the roster who’ve averaged in double figures.
Tim Craft’s staff completed seventh and fifth, respectively, in offensive and defensive effectivity throughout league play. However Gardner-Webb, which scored nonconference wins over ACC reps Wake Forest and Georgia Tech, related on 61 p.c of its photographs contained in the arc on its run to its league’s match championship.
Almost 4 of each 10 photographs for Iona are Three-pointers. And that may make issues difficult for a Tim Cluess-led staff that shoots about 35 p.c from past the arc. However E.J. Crawford (17.9 PPG, 39 p.c from the Three-point line) and his teammates are enjoyable to observe.
North Carolina Central Eagles
LeVelle Moton has led his alma mater, which was a Division I unbiased seven years in the past because it transitioned from Division II, to 4 NCAA match appearances in six seasons. Raasean Davis is averaging 14.Four PPG, Eight.Eight RPG and 1.2 BPG for a staff that led the MEAC in offensive rebounding share.
North Dakota State Bison
The Bison averted rival South Dakota State within the Summit League match, however additionally they gained two video games by double digits on their technique to the title. Vinnie Shahid (12.Eight PPG) & Co. received scorching on the proper time.
Prairie View A&M Panthers
The SWAC common season and convention match champions have misplaced only one sport in 2019 (at Texas Southern on Feb. 9). Gary Blackston dropped 18 factors in a loss to Baylor in November.