Kansas no early tests: Even though they lost their conference title streak this season, put the Jayhawks into the Sweet 16, where they will meet North Carolina.
Pac-12 stench: The Pacific-12 was lucky to get three teams in. Oregon, Arizona State, Washington — bounce them all early.
Minnesota ties: Utah State coach Craig Smith is from Stephen, Minn. This is his first season leading the Aggies (after four years at South Dakota), and it will soon include a victory over Washington in Round 1.
Happy Hunter: Who can forget the scene four years ago when Georgia State’s Ron Hunter was rolling around on a scooter with a bad knee coaching his son and team to an upset over third-seeded Baylor? Hunter is back to pull off another shocker against another team from Texas.
Bye, bye, Big Ten: Michigan and Michigan State are title contenders, but the Wolverines will be the only Big Ten team remaining when they fall in the Elite Eight.
Power with Prohm: Steve Prohm can coach Iowa State into the program’s first Sweet 16 since 2014. The strong backcourt is led by Lindell Wigginton, but Virginia transfer Marial Shayok was the second-leading scorer in the Big 12 (18.6 points per game).
Cats’ claws: Kentucky isn’t loaded with lottery picks, but it has plenty of talent, including Minneapolis native Reid Travis. The DeLaSalle product is back after missing five games because of a knee injury, but the Wildcats still can’t avoid a Sweet 16 upset.
Zapping Zion: Gonzaga defeated Duke with Zion Williamson in nonconference play. We’ll get a rematch and be treated to another game decided in the last minute, right here in Minneapolis.
Been there: Freshman Coby White is an outstanding point guard, but North Carolina’s upperclassmen played on the 2017 national championship team. They will lead them past the Volunteers and into a 2017 title game rematch with Gonzaga.
Few the favorite: Gonzaga, once a No. 1 seed lock, slipped to shaky territory after losing to St. Mary’s in the West Coast Conference tourney final. Forget that performance. Mark Few’s squad has two All-America players in the frontcourt (Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke) and guards with Final Four experience (Zach Norvell Jr. and Josh Perkins). No big risk here, but the Zags are the pick.