EAST REGION (Washington, D.C.)
1. Indiana wing Victor Oladipo. A favorite for national player of the year, he has won big games for the Hoosiers with his offense and his defense.
2. Miami guard Shane Larkin. The son of baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, he's the playmaker behind Miami's resurgence.
3. UNLV forward Anthony Bennett. A force in the low post -- Cal will have to be creative with its interior defense -- Bennett is a projected first-round pick in the NBA Draft.
1. Miami's Jim Larranaga. The brains behind George Mason's stunning run the Final Four in 2006 and the odds-on favorite for national coach of the year.
2. Butler's Brad Stevens. The coolest customer in college basketball guided the Bulldogs to back-to-back appearances in the national championship game (2010-11).
3. Marquette's Buzz Williams. You know it's a loaded region when Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, Indiana's Tom Crean and Cal's Mike Montgomery can't crack the top three.
No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 6 Butler. The in-state rivals have already squared off this season, in December, and it was a classic: Butler stunned the top-ranked Hoosiers by two points in overtime. An Elite Eight collision would be off the hook, but it won't happen because ...
No. 11 Bucknell over No. 6 Butler. If you haven't watched Bucknell big man Mike Muscala (19 ppg, 11.2 rpg), here is your
chance. Butler knows all about Muscala, but stopping him is another matter.
Davidson. The No. 14 seed (and alma mater of the Warriors' Steph Curry) is well coached by Bob McKillop and won't be intimidated by the environment or the opponents. The Wildcats played Duke and Gonzaga this season and are making their fifth tournament appearance in the past eight years.
Last Team Standing
Indiana. The Hoosiers are the most complete offensive team in the country. Nobody has been better away from the comforts of home: IU has road wins over Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.
For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner's College Hotline at blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-920-5716. ___