Wildcats (K-State and Villanova) enter Midwest play on a slide
• No. 1 Kansas: The Jayhawks went to Texas A&M to close out the regular season and dispatched the Aggies. Then they cruised through the Big 12 tournament, culminating in a victory over Texas in the final. Kansas is rolling at the right time.
• No. 9 Kent State: The Golden Flashes won the MAC regular-season and tournament titles, no small feat in a conference in which road wins are tough to come by.
• No. 5 Clemson: The Tigers beat back Virginia Tech to close the regular season, crushed Boston College in the ACC quarterfinals, outlasted Duke in the semifinals and nearly caught up with North Carolina in the final.
• No. 3 Wisconsin: The Badgers won the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles. No matter what you think about the quality of the bottom of the Big Ten this season, that's still quite an accomplishment.
• No. 10 Davidson: The Wildcats didn't lose a game to a Southern Conference team in the regular season or in the conference tournament. The only other team to do that this season was Memphis in Conference USA.
• No. 14 Cal State Fullerton: The Titans have won 10 of their past 11 games, shared the Big West regular-season title with UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge, and won the Big West conference tournament title in nearby Anaheim.
• No. 11 Kansas State: The Wildcats lost by three to Texas A&M in the Big 12 tournament and had been on a skid at the end of the regular season, losing four of their previous six games.
• No. 4 Vanderbilt: The Commodores are scorching hot in Nashville but have struggled away from home, losing in overtime at Alabama and twice to Arkansas in the past few weeks -- once in Fayetteville and over the weekend in Atlanta.
• No. 12 Villanova: Against NCAA-like teams, the Wildcats have struggled of late, losing to Marquette, at Louisville and to Georgetown. The wins during that time came against South Florida, Providence on the road and Syracuse in the Big East tourney.
• USC's Tim Floyd has done a masterful job of playing junk defenses against opponents this season, and you can bet he'll have something for Kansas State's Michael Beasley in arguably the best first-round game of the tournament.
UNDER THE RADAR
• For the first time in years, Gonzaga is coming into the tournament without much fanfare. The Zags lost the WCC final at San Diego and got shipped to Raleigh to play in-state Davidson even though the Zags are the higher seed (No. 7). Davidson has had to work all season to climb back into the rankings (now 22nd).
MOST DESERVING COACH
• It's hard to argue against Lon Kruger, who went through heart bypass surgery over the summer, retooled a team that had its starting lineup gutted and coached UNLV to the Mountain West Conference tournament title.
• Unless Kent State pulls the shocker and upsets Kansas after first besting UNLV, the arrow points to Davidson. The Wildcats didn't lose in the SoCon but still aren't nationally known. Stephen Curry is a sensational guard and likely will follow his father, Dell, into the NBA. But a Davidson run into the Sweet 16 would constitute glass-slipper material.
• The loss to Pitt in the Big East tournament title game put a bit of a damper on Georgetown's magnificent run to the Big East regular-season title. It also may have quieted talk of the Hoyas as a Final Four team. But the Hoyas have the talent and have had good fortune in late-game situations this season, so they could make a run. A No. 1 Kansas versus No. 2 Georgetown Elite Eight in Detroit would be a monster matchup.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- UConn agrees to play Arizona, Ohio State
- Lawsuit: Tulsa failed to protect woman from player
- Source: Ex-Vandy G Johnson to join Memphis
- Tulsa being sued over alleged Swilling rape
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
NCAA Tournament 2008
Analysis• Katz: Sneak peek at Sweet 16
• Forde: Dorsey a confusing, entertaining enigma
• Low: Vols figuring out unsteady point-guard play
• Schlabach: Horn, Lee break through at WKU
• Dinich: Davidson proves it is no one-man show
• ATR: UCLA wins, Day 3 recaps
• Katz: Neitzel shoots Spartans into Sweet 16
• Gene Woj: Trent Johnson nearly costs his team
• Miller: Tough to stop Cardinal's Twin Towers
• Griffin: Wisconsin gives vintage performance
• O'Neil: WVU players embrace Huggs' toughness
• ATR: The end to IU's tumultuous season
• Katz: What's on tap for the weekend?
• Forde: Tampa was awesome ... wish I was there
• Schlabach: Still can't believe the 'Tampa Turmoil'
• Schlabach: Siena joins upset party in Tampa
• Schlabach: USD's Grier no long in the shadows
• Schlabach: WKU's Rogers hits 'dream' shot
• Dinich: Curry puts on a show against Gonzaga
• ATR: Arizona's questions, Pitt and MSU roll
• O'Neil: Belmont lets Duke upset slip away
• Griffin: Beasley, Walker team up to down USC
• Gene Woj: Kentucky's roller coaster ends
• O'Neil: Xavier survives Dawgs' upset bid
• Forde: Best case/Worst case scenarios
• Lunardi: Ranking the teams 64-1
• Experts: "Best of" lists for tourney
• Whelliston: Mount St. Mary's honors friend
• Forde: Bruce Pearl's purgatory
• Katz: Officiating has had a rough season
• Gottlieb: Scrutiny on officials higher than ever
• Katz: Mayo, Love exceed freshman expectations
• Rittenberg: Baby Boilers lead Purdue to Dance
• Wojciechowski: Liking Psycho T isn't about race
• Bilas: Grading the committee and talking snubs
• Regions: East | South | West | Midwest
• Forde: Super-sized edition of Forde Minutes
• O'Neil: Serendipitous storylines fill bracket
• Katz: Committee chair talks hot topics
• Wojciechowski: 15 suggestions to improve Dance
• Dinich: UNC's Tobacco Road to San Antonio
News• Curry says he's returning to Davidson next year
• Ford Field, Reliant raise NCAA tourney to new level
• UCLA's Mbah a Moute to have MRI
• Nova's Drummond done for season
• Vols' Pearl explains decision to start Prince
• Stanford's Johnson not changing after ejection
• UConn: Price tore ACL, likely to miss six months
• Love, Mbah a Moute on mend for UCLA
• Arkansas' Weems hurts knee, expected to play
Video• Vitale: Rounds 1 & 2 MVP
• Vitale: Round 1 prime-time players
• Gottlieb: Mid-majors make their mark
• Lunardi: Video previews for all 65
• Breaking down the East region
• Breaking down the West Region
• Breaking down the Midwest region
• Breaking down the South region
• ESPN experts fill out their brackets
Audio• Podcast: Bilas looks at Thursday's games
• Podcast: Gottlieb makes bracket predictions
Strategies• Tiernan: "Low-risk" bracket strategy
• Tiernan: "Medium" bracket advice
• Tiernan: "High-risk" bracket strategy
• Tiernan: "Dangerous" bracket advice
Photos• Day 4 photo gallery
• Day 3 photo gallery
• Day 2 photo gallery
• Day 1 photo gallery
More• Tournament Challenge | Bracket Master
• Insider tourney guide | BracketCaster