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NCAA Tournament: Capsule look at all 68 teams

By The Sports Xchange   |   March 14, 2016 at 1:25 AM
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EAST CAPSULES

1. North Carolina (28-6). Roy Williams led his "pretty dog-gone good basketball team" to its 15th No. 1 seed, most in ACC history. This balanced Tar Heels team is fresh off its 26th conference tournament crown and look to bring home the school's third NCAA title since 2005.

2. Xavier (27-5). With six players averaging more than nine points and their ability to play both man and the 1-3-1 zone defense, the Musketeers are in good position to build on last year's Sweet 16 appearance.

3. West Virginia (26-8). -- The Mountaineers continue to silence their critics after finishing second in the Big 12 after being picked to finish 12th in the preseason polls. This ferocious defensive team employs a full-court press that makes life hard by forcing plenty of turnovers.

4. Kentucky (26-8). -- The Wildcats may not have seven NBA-caliber players like they did last season, but the SEC Player of the Year and Naismith Trophy semifinalist Tyler Ulis (16.8 points, 7.2 assists) and Murray team up to make for a troublesome backcourt duo.

5. Indiana (25-7). The Hoosiers are not a one-trick pony any longer, but Tom Crean's team still features four players averaging 11 or more points and an offense that scores over 80 points per game.

6. Notre Dame (21-11). The Fighting Irish shot a solid 47.1 percent (869 of 1844) from the floor collectively this season, led by Zach Auguste's 54.9 percent clip, but they have been known to struggle on the defensive end.

7. Wisconsin (20-12). The Badgers are hot at the right time, winning 11 of 14 entering the tournament. That's good news for coach Greg Gard, who took the reins after Bo Ryan's sudden retirement in December. That five-year contract extension is looking pretty good right now.

8. Southern California (21-12). Under third-year coach Andy Enfield -- the architect of Florida Gulf Coast's Sweet 16 run in 2013 -- the Trojans have developed an impressive offense that scores over 80 points per game with a plethora of scoring options.

9. Providence (23-10). Dunn and Bentil are one of the best twosomes in the country when they're firing on all cylinders, but the Friars were consistently bogged down by poor shooting starts this season -- something that would send them packing early in March.

10. Pittsburgh (21-11). Michael Young's 16 points and seven rebounds per game lead a Panthers team that settled into ninth in the ACC and stalled out with four losses in its final six games.

11/11. Michigan (22-12)/Tulsa (20-11). The Wolverines struggled to the tune of a 4-12 record against teams with a top-100 RPI. As for Tulsa, it certainly doesn't hurt to have as experienced a roster as the Golden Hurricane does (nine seniors) has come tournament time.

12. Chattanooga (29-5). Coach Matt McCall and the Mocs don't like to think of themselves as the underdogs, but it's a role they'll need to embrace to get the upset against Indiana.

13. Stony Brook (26-6). -- Jameel Warney stuffed the stat sheet (19.0 points, 10.7 rebounds, 62.6 field goal percentage) and leads the way for the Seawolves, who are making their first ever NCAA tournament appearance.

14. Stephen F. Austin (27-5). Another year, another NCAA tournament appearance for Brad Underwood and the Lumberjacks. That marks three straight appearances in the big dance for Stephen F. Austin, which forces turnovers at a comparable rate to its opponent, West Virginia.

15. Weber State (26-8). The Wildcats are one of the country's best two-point shooting teams, finishing the regular season at a 55.5 percent clip, and are riding high as the Big Sky Conference champions.

16/16. Florida Gulf Coast (20-13)/Farleigh Dickenson (18-14). Dunk City makes its triumphant return to the NCAA Tournament after their magical run to the Sweet 16 in 2013, while Farleigh Dickenson (and its questionable defense) returns to the big dance for the first time since 2005.

SOUTH CAPSULES

1. Kansas (30-4). The No. 1 overall seed is fueled by upperclassmen and enters the NCAA Tournament on a 14-game winning streak.

2. Villanova (29-5). Would have been a No. 1 seed but lost to Seton Hall 69-67 in the championship game of the Big East tournament.

3. Miami (25-7). Plenty of quality wins: Utah, Duke, Virginia, Louisville, Notre Dame (twice).

4. Cal (23-10). Freshman forwards Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb are potential lottery picks, and point guard Tyrone Wallace could be a first-rounder, too.

5. Maryland (25-8). About as talented a team as you will find (four Terrapins are projected in the 2016 mock draft by DraftExpress.com), but Maryland lost four of its past eight games.

6. Arizona (25-8). The Wildcats haven't lost a game by double-digit points in the past 116 outings. Moreover, they have lost by more than four points only six times in the past three-plus seasons.

7. Iowa (21-10). Seemed to be in contention for a No. 1 seed back in February, but the Hawkeyes faded down the stretch, losing six of eight heading into NCAAs.

8. Colorado (22-11). Josh Scott and Wesley Gordon are a formidable and sizeable frontcourt, but wing George King has been a revelation, winning the Pac-12's Most Improved Player award.

9. Connecticut (24-10). Just two years removed from winning the national championship, the Huskies are led by wing Daniel Hamilton (12.4 points, 8.9 rebounds per game).

10. Temple (21-11). Guard Quenton DeCosey was a unanimous All-AAC selection for the league's regular-season champs. The Owls haven't been to the Sweet 16 since 2001.

11/11. Vanderbilt (19-13)/Wichita State (24-8). Seniors Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker are battle-tested Shockers; the Commodores beat Kentucky just two weeks ago.

12. South Dakota State (26-7). The Jackrabbits beat North Dakota State to win the Summit League tournament. Watch for freshman big man Mike Daum (15.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg).

13. Hawaii (27-5). First-year coach Eran Ganot is one of the young, up-and-comers in the business and can really make a name with a first-round upset.

14. Buffalo (20-14). Coach Nate Oats replaced Bobby Hurley after last season and led the Bulls to a repeat Mid-American Conference tournament championship.

15. UNC Asheville (22-11). The Bulldogs won the Big South tournament by beating Winthrop behind freshman Dwayne Sutton's 25 points and 18 rebounds.

16. Austin Peay (18-17). The Governors are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008, when they lost to Texas 74-54 as a No. 15 seed.

MIDWEST CAPSULES

1. Virginia (26-7). Cavaliers are fourth in adjusted defense, per kenpom.com rankings, and a surprising ninth offensively. But they are still prone to long scoring droughts.

2. Michigan State (29-5). If Sparty runs into Virginia in the regional finals, it's not the matchup Cavs fans would want. Michigan State has sent Virginia packing in the last two NCAAs.

3. Utah (26-8). Utes appear to have a favorable draw for their first two games, plus a short trip to Denver, and that should give them a second straight Sweet 16 berth.

4. Iowa State (21-11). If Cyclones can defend adequately and keep scoring, they are capable of reaching the regional semifinals.

5. Purdue (26-8). Boilermakers must get competent guard play. If that happens, they can use their height advantage to its fullest.

6. Seton Hall (25-8). Coach Kevin Willard was on the hot seat prior to the season. After Big East tourney title, the seat has cooled considerably.

7. Dayton (25-7). Flyers limp into the tournament with a 4-4 mark in their last eight games, but their recent tourney success can't be discounted.

8. Texas Tech (19-12). Tubby Smith reaches the tourney with his fifth different school, and perhaps his most unlikely. Might be one of his best coaching jobs.

9. Butler (21-10). Bulldogs were exposed a bit in the tungsten-tough Big East, but have the toughness and skill to be a tough out for anyone.

10. Syracuse (19-13). Orange stunk down the stretch, going 1-5 in their last six games. A one-and-done would surprise absolutely no one.

11. Gonzaga (26-7). Make it 18 straight NCAA appearances for the Zags, who delivered under pressure in the West Coast Conference tournament and have the size to control Seton Hall in the lane.

12. Little Rock (29-4). Picked fourth in the Sun Belt back in October, Trojans backed up their regular-season title with the tournament championship. Great defensive team.

13. Iona (22-10). Gaels can run and gun with almost anyone, thanks to guard A.J. English. Iowa State would have picked plenty of other first-round foes before this one.

14. Fresno State (25-9). Last time the Bulldogs went dancing, the coach was Jerry Tarkanian and the star player was Chris Herren. That's 15 years ago, in case you're wondering.

15. Middle Tennessee (24-9). Forward Reggie Upshaw is the reason the Blue Raiders are here, nailing two free throws Saturday with 2.9 seconds left to topple Old Dominion for the Conference USA tournament crown.

16. Hampton (21-10). Pirates are 0-7 all-time against Virginia, including a 69-40 beat-down last season. It might be a similar story on Thursday.

WEST CAPSULES

1. Oregon (28-6). The Ducks have won eight in a row since dropping back-to-back games to Cal and Stanford. They posted a resounding 88-57 victory over Utah in the championship game of the Pac-12 tournament.

2. Oklahoma (25-7). Two-time Big 12 Player of the Year Buddy Hield led the Sooners to a third-place finish in one of the nation's toughest conferences.

3. Texas A&M (26-8). The Aggies, led by senior guard Jalen Jones, won their first regular-season conference title since 1986.

4. Duke (23-10). The Blue Devils, who feature the dynamic duo of Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram, are making their 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance under legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski.

5. Baylor (22-11). The Bears lost four of their past six games, but they put up a fight in a 70-66 loss to Kansas in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament.

6. Texas (20-12). The Longhorns lost five of their last nine during a brutal stretch run that included two games against No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 22 Baylor as well as matchups with No. 1 Kansas, No. 9 West Virginia and No. 21 Iowa State.

7. Oregon State (19-12). The Beavers, under second-year coach Wayne Tinkle, reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1990.

8. St. Joseph's (27-7). The Hawks won the Atlantic 10 Conference tourney to reach the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in 21 seasons under coach Phil Martelli.

9. Cincinnati (22-10). The Bearcats posted their sixth consecutive 20-win season and reached the NCAA Tournament for the sixth year in a row.

10. VCU (24-10). The Rams, who reached the Final Four in 2011, are in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth year in a row.

11. Northern Iowa (22-12). The Panthers, who won 12 of their past 13 games, including dramatic victories over Wichita State and Evansville in the Missouri Valley tournament, feature four players with double-figure scoring averages.

12. Yale (22-6). The Ivy League champion Bulldogs are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1962.

13. UNC Wilmington (25-7). The Colonial Athletic Association champions are led by junior guard Chris Flemmings, who averages 16.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest.

14. Green Bay (23-12). The Phoenix won the Horizon League tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years.

15. CSU Bakersfield (24-8). The Roadrunners, making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since moving to Division I in 2007, beat New Mexico State at the buzzer to win their first Western Athletic Conference tournament title.

16/16. Holy Cross (14-19)/Southern (22-12). Holy Cross is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007 after winning the Patriot League Tournament as a No. 9 seed. Southern, which finished fourth in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, earned its bid by beating Jackson State 54-53 to win the SWAC tournament.

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