Duke (26-7), the No. 2 seed that plays Iona on Thursday, could face a potential Sweet 16 matchup against Michigan State.
"Obviously, we are excited about this opportunity", head coach Bruce Pearl said.
No teams from the District of Columbia made the field of 68, and the only school representing Maryland is UMBC. A total of 15 different counties are represented in the tournament this season. Looking at those teams in this year's tournament, there are a few that aren't really considered title contenders. St. Mary's was left out despite going 28-5 and beating Gonzaga because, Rasmussen said, it did not have enough quality wins, even as he acknowledged that it is structurally hard for teams outside basketball's six power conferences to schedule top nonleague competition. Purifoy and Wiley were ruled out due to eligibility concerns on November 2 and have not appeared in a game this season. The 6-foot-3 senior guard played his first two seasons at Kansas State but is averaging 20.3 points for Creighton. This year marked the first time since 1999 that any of those things have happened on the Plains. For instance, Louisville has lost its coach (Rick Pitino), athletic director (Tom Jurich) and latest national title (2013) in the culmination of scandals that have slammed that program for the better part of this decade. The Tigers earned a No. 4 seed after playing all season without top post players Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley. "We're very, very optimistic we'll have him this weekend".
"They always wanted me to coach at Marshall", said D'Antoni, now 70. "Auburn's come a long way with the basketball program and we've all come a long way within it".
Looking back at the third sunflower showdown on the season at the Big 12 tournament, K-State losing that game created some doubts of their own if they would get the chance at the dance. The offensive duo of Maye and Berry is among the strongest inside-outside pairs in the country and is certainly able to carry North Carolina deep into the NCAA tournament, but if the Tar Heels go cold from the perimeter, they could also lose to anybody.
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Mamadi Diakite #25 of the Virginia Cavaliers reacts in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the championship game of the 2018 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 10, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. "I remember how we viewed Auburn", Pearl said.
Kansas freshman Silvio De Sousa, who joined the team at midseason, had 16 points on 8-for-8 shooting and 10 rebounds in the Big 12 title game against West Virginia. "And now, Auburn is competitive. (If) we're fortunate to win two games, Omaha is kind of a home away from home during the NCAA Tournament". "So yes, it means a great deal to me from a historical perspective".