By dinnertime Sunday, the NCAA tournament selection committee will scatter 68 teams, not to mention numerous NBA executives and scouts, across the country from Seattle to Syracuse, from Midwest to South with each group in search of its own treasure.
Timberwolves president of basketball operations and coach Flip Saunders is staying put, right where he is with his own team.
This time last season, Saunders hit the road evaluating tournament talent, not completely certain if his team even would have a first-round pick in the NBA draft come June.
A year later, Saunders hopes the NBA's annual draft lottery rewards his franchise for the first time in its history, preferably with a No. 1 overall pick to call its own. Given that his Wolves are aimed at one of the three or four worst records, he's likely looking at a pick no worse than among the draft's first six.
Wearing two proverbial hats for the first time this time around, Saunders said he'll still be able to do two jobs while anchored physically to just one.
"I'll watch a lot on TV," he said. "I went out to games last year. To some of them, you can almost see as much on TV."
Saunders has left the in-person scouting to seven staff members this season, his occasional trip to Williams Arena to see the Gophers and their opponent the only exceptions. A year ago, the Wolves selected 13th in the draft, far enough down that it complicated a season's worth of scouting and weeks of predraft workouts and interviews.
This time, the Wolves' lowly record and relatively high draft position should greatly narrow the field and simplify things. Lottery luck would bring a choice of centers Jahlil Okafor from Duke and Kentuck's Karl-Anthony Towns or guards D'Angelo Russell from Ohio State or Emmanuel Mudiay, who played in China this season. No luck would leave such players as UCLA power forward Kevon Looney, Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein or Latvian power forward Kristaps Porzingis.
Saunders said he already has seen plenty.
"I probably watched more college games this year than I did last year," Saunders said. "I've probably seen the top guys play more this year than a year ago. It's a little different than where we were at last year."
He can learn almost everything he needs to know from video scouting, including possession-by-possession breakdowns that identify a player's precise tendencies.
"The reason you want to see guys in person now is so you can see what their true size is," he said, "and you want to see how they react when they go to the bench and all those things."
Saunders doesn't plan to attend NCAA games because he's busy with his other job and because it's unwise to emphasize on a tournament game or two. The Wolves might have been guilty of that under another regime when they drafted Jonny Flynn in 2009 and Derrick Williams in 2011 after each had a huge conference or NCAA game.
"You can fall in love if a guy has an unbelievable game," Saunders said. "That's why you have to look at the whole body of work. That's why we have a lot of our people out all over so we can have discussion. I don't want our people to agree."
Saunders said he and General Manager Milt Newton right now differ over the order in which this draft's expected top players should be ranked.
"But that's good," he said. "We have a pretty good handle where we're at. It'll change depending where we pick. We have confidence in our ability to evaluate players. You have to make sure you can evaluate the right players and how they'll fit into what you do. Debate is good and you keep working on it. Then we'll come to a consensus. That's how you want to go about it."