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2022 NCAA Tournament South Region rundown: A look at all teams

We already know about ‘Nova, but here’s a look at the other 16 teams at this region.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Georgetown Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

March Madness is back! Plenty of you may have already gotten a jump on your research for filling out brackets in your pools since Selection Sunday ended, but this may be a starting point for those who haven’t.

Here’s a general look at the teams in the 2022 NCAA Tournament South Region. All odds to make Final Four are from DraftKings Sportsbook.

No. 1 Arizona Wildcats (31-3)

Conference: Pac-12
How they got here: Defeated UCLA, 84-76, to win the Pac-12 Tournament title
KenPom Ranking: 2
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +150
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 7-2
Key players: #0 Bennedict Mathurin (6-6, 210) So., G/F — 17.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 46.0 FG%, 37.6 3FG%; #3 Pelle Larsson (6-5, 215) So., G — 7.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 47.6 FG%, 35.4 3FG; #10 Azuolas Tubelis (6-11, 245) So., F — 14.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 55.3 FG%; #25 Kerr Kriisa (6-3, 180) So., G — 10.1 ppg, 4.9 apg, 36.3 FG%; #35 Christian Koloko (7-1, 230) Jr., C — 12.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.7 bpg, 62.5 FG%

Scouting report: They might not have NCAA Tournament experience, but there’s no doubt that these Wildcats can ball. Arizona is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2018. It has played well all throughout the season, but will the lack of March experience hurt Arizona? Even teams that were one-and-done or freshmen-laden and enjoyed March success had a few veteran, experienced guys that had danced before, but Arizona doesn’t have that.

Either way, it’s been a big year for the Wildcats, who have seen tremendous strides from returning players like National Player of the Year candidate and Pac-12 Player of the Year Bennedict Mathurin, Pac-12 Defensive Player and Most Improved Player of the Year Christian Koloko, Pac-12 first-teamer Azuolas Tubelis and Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year Pelle Larsson.

The Wildcats like to push the pace and are ranked No. 5 in the country in offensive efficiency, according to KenPom. This is a team that doesn’t have many weaknesses. They’re unselfish, boasting the top assist rate in Division I — 65.4% of made baskets result from an assist, and they have a top-20 defense to complement their offensive firepower. Unsurprisingly, with a stalwart like Koloko and other standout forwards, this team excels at protecting the rim, but it also defends the three-ball well, holding teams to just 32.7% from beyond the arc.

There’s a lot of international flavor on this team, with half of the 16-man roster hailing from other countries such as Cameroon, Canada, Estonia, France, Sweden, Lithuania and Mali.

No. 2 Villanova Wildcats (26-7)

Conference: Big East
How they got here: Defeated Creighton, 54-48, to win Big East Tournament title
KenPom Ranking: 11
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +300
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 9-7
Key players: #2 Collin Gillespie (6-3, 195) Sr., G — 15.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 44.3 FG%, 42.2 3FG%; #3 Brandon Slater (6-7, 220) Sr., F — 9.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.1 spg, 50.5 FG%, 34.1 3FG%; #5 Justin Moore (6-4, 210) Jr., G — 15.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 39.9 FG%, 34.7 3FG%; #14 Caleb Daniels (6-4, 210) Sr., G — 10.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 44.6 FG%, 39.2 3FG%; #23 Jermaine Samuels (6-7, 230) Sr,. F — 10.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 44.9 FG%; #43 Eric Dixon (6-8, 255) So., F — 9.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 50.0 FG%

Scouting report: You already know the ‘Cats!

No. 3 Tennessee Volunteers (26-7)

Conference: SEC
How they got here: Defeated Texas A&M, 65-50, to win SEC Tournament title
KenPom Ranking: 7
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +330
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 7-7
Key players: #1 Kennedy Chandler (6-0, 170) Fr., G — 13.8 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2.2 spg, 46.1 FG%, 61.7 FT%, 36.0 FG%; #5 Zakai Ziegler (5-9, 170) Fr., G — 8.9 ppg, 1.8 spg, 37.7 FG%, 36.3 3FG%; #25 Santiago Vescovi (6-3, 190) Jr., G — 13.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.6 spg, 40.9 FG%, 39.4 3FG%; #30 Josiah-Jordan James (6-6, 215) Jr., G — 9.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.5 spg, 1.0 bpg, 37.8 FG%, 32.5 3FG%

Scouting report: Since suffering an 18-point loss to Villanova very early into the season, the Volunteers regrouped and proved to be one of the more formidable defenses in the country. They ranked third overall in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom, and it might not have shown much against the ‘Cats, but they’re one of the more disruptive teams in the country.

As the old adage goes, defense travels, and it will be the backbone to Tennessee’s success in March. The Volunteers have solid all-around defense and excel at generating turnovers. At 5-foot-9, scrappy guard Zakai Ziegler was the lone freshman on the SEC All-Defensive team. Former five-star prospect Kennedy Chandler, All-SEC first-teamer Santiago Vescovi and junior guard Josiah-Jordan James are also solid defensively. Tennessee doesn’t have great size and its thin frontcourt after a season-ending injury to Olivier Nkamhoua will be something to watch for.

While they’re solid defensively, they mostly rely on the one-two punch of Chandler and Vescovi to get them going on the scoring end. Chandler is the team’s top scorer and the Volunteers are 20-2 when he shoots 37.5% or more from the field. However, as seen in the Villanova game, when the Wildcats clamped him, it will be a long day for Tennessee when he’s kept quiet. Outside of offensive consistencies, Tennessee will need to step it up because there are no more home games now. The Volunteers went undefeated at home, but were a combined 10-7 in away and neutral games.

No. 4 Illinois Fighting Illini (22-9)

Conference: Big 10
How they got here: At-Large Bid, lost to Indiana in Big 10 Tournament quarterfinals
KenPom Ranking: 17
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +1200
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 10-7
Key players: #1 Trent Frazier (6-2, 175) Sr., G — 12.1 ppg, 4.1 apg, 40.8 FG%, 34.3 3FG%; #5 Andre Curbelo (6-1, 175) So., G — 8.1 ppg, 3.2 apg, 34.8 FG%; #11 Alfonso Plummer (6-1, 180) Sr., G — 14.8 ppg, 43.1 FG%, 41.3 3FG%; #21 Kofi Cockburn (7-0, 285) Jr., C — 21.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 59.8 FG%, 65.1 FT%

Scouting report: After getting bounced out early in last year’s tournament by Loyola-Chicago, the Fighting Illini are hoping for a better showing this March, especially after also facing an early exit in this year’s Big 10 Tournament by Indiana.

The core has remained largely the same. Although Ayo Dosunmu is now playing professionally, National Player of the Year candidate Kofi Cockburn, All-Big 10 second-teamer and all-defensive team selection Trent Frazier and point guard Andre Curbelo are still at the team’s core. The Illini also got a huge boost from transfer Alfonso Plummer, who’s made an immediate impact after coming from Utah and is amidst a career season.

Cockburn, a mountainous double-double machine, is the focal point of Illinois, but the Illini also shoot well around him, knocking down 36.7% of their three-point attempts (40th in the country). Surprisingly, as talented and as big as Cockburn is, he doesn’t block many shots, and overall, Illinois doesn’t generate many turnovers. It is a well-balanced team however, ranking in the top 30 for offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.

No. 5 Houston Cougars (29-5)

Conference: American
How they got here: Defeated Memphis, 71-53, to win the AAC tournament
KenPom Ranking: 4
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +500
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 2-4
Key players: #1 Jamal Shead (6-1, 190) So., G — 9.4 ppg, 6.0 apg, 1.7 spg, 40.8 FG%; #11 Kyler Edwards (6-4, 195) Sr., G — 13.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.0 spg, 37.2 FG%; #25 Josh Carlton (6-11, 245) Sr., C — 11.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 62.5 FG%; #35 Fabian White (6-8, 230) Sr., F — 13.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 50.3 FG%, 39.5 3FG%

Scouting report: The analytics adore Houston. The Cougars rank 10th in offensive efficiency and 11th in defensive efficiency out of the entire country, according to KenPom. Their half-court and slow-tempo offense has worked out well for them, as they shoot 55.2% (22nd in the country) from inside the arc. They also rebound and score putbacks at a high-rate. On the other end of the court, they’re stifling defensively, limiting teams to just 29.0% from long range and recording the third-highest effective field goal percentage allowed in the country (43.5 eFG%). They’ve found a way to remain successful, even after their top player and leading scorer Marcus Sasser went down in December.

Houston suffers from the “who have they played?” question. The Cougars’ lone wins against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament are against First Four team Bryant and an AAC title game win over Memphis, who swept Houston in the regular season. They did lose one-possession games to teams like Wisconsin and Alabama, so they can compete at a high level. Shead is a high-caliber distributor, Edwards has stepped up as the top scorer in Sasser’s absence, Carlton is enjoying a career year after transferring in from UConn, and White has reinvented himself as a two-way big that can stretch the floor as one of the team’s top perimeter threats. AAC coach of the year Kelvin Sampson will look to guide his team to a deep run and prove they are for real.

No. 6 Colorado State Rams (25-5)

Conference: Mountain West
How they got here: At-Large Bid, lost to San Diego State in MWC semifinals
KenPom Ranking: 31
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +6000
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 6-3
Key players: #4 Isaiah Stevens (6-0, 185) Jr., G — 14.9 ppg, 4.8 apg, 1.2 spg, 46.7 FG%, 90.2 FT%, 37.3 3FG%; #21 David Roddy (6-6, 255) Jr., G/F — 19.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.1 bpg, 57.4 FG%, 69.6 FT%, 45.5 3FG%;

Scouting report: The Rams mostly rely on the one-two punch of Isaiah Stevens and David Roddy. Roddy is a do-it-all player that has the makings of being an under-the-radar talented player that becomes a March Madness hero on the big stage when everyone’s watching. He is a high-level scorer that can drain shots from anywhere, but he’s also a skilled rebounder and defender. Stevens is the only other player that averages double-digit points, but he’s also the top facilitator and another talented defender.

While this duo has been exciting to watch in the Mountain West, an off-day for either of them will be trouble for the Rams. UNLV didn’t qualify for the NCAA Tournament, and it mostly had an up-and-down season before finishing 18-14, but the Runnin’ Rebels were the only team to sweep Colorado State this season and they have provided the blueprint to shutdown Roddy in each of their double-digit wins.

No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes (19-11)

Conference: Big 10
How they got here: At-Large Bid, lost to Penn State in second round of Big 10 Tournament
KenPom Ranking: 32
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +3500
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 8-7
Key players: #22 Malaki Branham (6-5, 180) Fr., G — 13.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 49.2 FG%, 42.5 3FG%; #32 E.J. Liddell (6-7, 240) Jr., F — 19.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.6 bpg, 49.2 FG%, 37.6 3FG%

Scouting report: Ohio State had a pretty good start to the season, highlighted by wins over Duke, Seton Hall, and Wisconsin through the first couple months of the season. Then, the Buckeyes’ COVID-pause came, followed by a rash of injuries over the second half of the season.

Fortunately for Ohio State, National Player of the Year candidate E.J. Liddell and Big 10 freshman of the year and All-Big 10 third-teamer Malaki Branham — their top two players — have been able to avoid the injury bug. Liddell is a complete player and one of the top scorers and defenders in the country, it’s no surprise he’s up for national awards. Branham has made a splash in his first season and turned the corner since the New Year, starting things off with a 35-point outing against Nebraska on Jan. 2.

They’ve been the focal point throughout the season, but late-season injuries will be something to keep a close eye on. Kyle Young hasn’t played in the last three games due to injury, Zed Key has been dealing with an ankle injury, Meechie Johnson has also been in and out of the rotation with ailments.

No. 8 Seton Hall Pirates (21-10)

Conference: Big East
How they got here: At-Large Bid, lost to UConn in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals
KenPom Ranking: 35
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +6000
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 7-8
Key players: #0 Kadary Richmond (6-6, 200) So., G — 9.0 ppg, 4.1 apg, 1.6 spg, 40.1 FG%; #14 Jared Rhoden (6-6, 210) Sr., G — 15.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.2 spg, 39.2 FG%; #21 Ike Obiagu (7-2, 265) Sr., C — 2.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.3 bpg; #22 Myles Cale (6-6, 210) Sr., G — 9.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 43.2 FG%, 62.5 FT%, 34.9 3FG%

Scouting report: Between COVID quarantines and injuries, it hasn’t been an easy road for Seton Hall, but it has persisted and found a way to the Big Dance. It had a six-game win streak going, before it fell to UConn in a defensive battle in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals. Unfortunately, the loss magnified the injuries and the team’s limitations without Bryce Aiken, who’s been out since suffering a concussion in January, Kadary Richmond dealing with a hand injury, and what happens when leading man Jared Rhoden has a tough time shooting the ball.

On the bright side though, the Pirates can always be proud of their defense. They played well on that end of the court through the Big East Tournament, and even during their scoring woes throughout the entire season, their defense has always been a bright spot.

Seton Hall ranks 26th in defensive efficiency according to KenPom. With defensive stalwart and shot-blocking machine Ike Obiagu, the Pirates have allowed the 17th-lowest 2-point shooting percentage, holding opponents to just 44.8% inside the arc. They’ve also clamped down at the perimeter, where they limit their foes to just 31.0% from deep.

Cale and Rhoden both have to get going and lead the way offensively, or Seton Hall will just have to scrape by like it did when it held off upset-minded Georgetown in the Big East Tournament opening round.

No. 9 TCU Horned Frogs (20-12)

Conference: Big 12
How they got here: At-Large Bid, lost to Kansas in Big 12 Tournament semifinals
KenPom Ranking: 38
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +6500
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 5-4
Key players: #1 Mike Miles Jr. (6-2, 195) So., G — 15.0 ppg, 3.9 apg, 1.3 spg, 38.3 FG%, 29.7 3FG%; #2 Emanuel Miller (6-7, 215) Jr., F — 10.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 49.1 FG%; #10 Damion Baugh (6-4, 195) Jr., G — 10.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.3 spg, 43.0 FG%, 64.8 FT%

Scouting report: After a lackluster non-conference schedule, the Horned Frogs pulled off a few upsets and did enough to secure only their second NCAA Tournament appearance since 1999. Depending on which TCU team shows up, it can be due for a big win, but even in some of its losses, it remained highly competitive and close to pulling off even a few more upsets.

TCU doesn’t play a pretty style of basketball, taking pride in defense and fighting for rebounds and second-chance points. The Horned Frogs boast the second-highest offensive rebound rate in the entire country. They’re also ranked 24th in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.

Offensively, the Horned Frogs are turnover prone, ranking the 336th in the country in turnover rate and coughing the ball up on 21.6% of possessions. They don’t shoot well from the free throw line, knocking down just 66.8% of foul shots and they struggle from long range, shooting just 30.4% as a team. Their trio of top scorers and All-Big 12 honorees can be streaky at times.

No. 10 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (25-7)

Conference: Missouri Valley
How they got here: Defeated Drake, 64-58, to win the Missouri Valley Tournament title
KenPom Ranking: 24
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +3000
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 1-2
Key players: #1 Lucas Williamson (6-4, 205) Sr., G — 14.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.3 spg, 45.3 FG%, 39.6 3FG%; #4 Braden Norris (6-0, 180) Jr., G — 10.3 ppg, 3.9 apg, 1.1 spg, 44.3 FG%, 43.5 3FG%; #30 Aher Uguak (6-7, 225) Sr., F — 9.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 51.0 FG%, 33.8 3FG%

Scouting report: Since graduating standout forward Cam Krutwig, who was crucial in the Ramblers’ 2018 Final Four appearance and last year’s Sweet 16 run, Loyola-Chicago has reloaded behind a trio of returning starters in Lucas Williamson, Braden Norris and Aher Uguak.

Williamson was a finalist for Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, but he did take Defensive Player of the Year honors and all-conference first team nods. Norris was a third-team all-conference selection and the team’s top perimeter shooter. Uguak is more of a defensive specialist, but he can score when called upon.

The Ramblers excel defensively and hold teams to an average of 61.7 points per game. They rank 22nd in defensive efficiency according to KenPom. While defense is their strength, they are pretty smooth on the offensive side of the court, ranking in the top 16 in shooting percentages inside and outside the arc. Overall, they have an effective field goal percentage of 56.3% (seventh-highest in the country) and make the most of their half-court possessions in their slower style of play.

One issue for Loyola-Chicago is that it’s vertically challenged and doesn’t have any rotational players that stand above 6-foot-8.

No. 11 Michigan Wolverines (17-14)

Conference: Big 10
How they got here: At-Large Bid, lost to Indiana in second round of Big 10 tournament
KenPom Ranking: 33
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +3000
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 7-12
Key players: #1 Hunter Dickinson (7-1, 260) So., C — 18.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 56.3 FG%; #12 DeVante Jones (6-1, 200) Sr., G — 10.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.6 apg, 46.4 FG%, 33.8 3FG%; #22 Caleb Houstan (6-8, 205) Fr., F — 10.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 38.8 FG%; #55 Eli Brooks (6-1, 185) Sr., G — 12.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 44.1 FG%, 38.9 3FG%

Scouting report: It feels like metrics and standards should be thrown out the window when assessing this team, because this Wolverines squad has the biggest boom-or-bust potential. One day, they can beat Purdue by 24, upset Iowa on the road, then the next, they’re struggling to bottle up Illinois in a 93-85 loss or falling to the likes of UCF and Minnesota. Their longest win-streak was a three-game stretch in late January, but it’s been mostly up and down for Michigan.

Hunter Dickinson followed up from his big freshman season, and although the preseason hype was curtailed a bit with Michigan’s rocky start, he’s picked up his play through the second half of the season and will be the top player to watch.

Overall, this is a top 20 offense according to KenPom, but there are some holes on the defensive end of the court.

No. 12 UAB Blazers (23-7)

Conference: Conference USA
How they got here: Defeated Louisiana Tech, 82-73, to win Conference USA Tournament title
KenPom Ranking: 46
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +10000
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 0-1
Key players: #2 Michael Ertel (6-2, 190) Sr., G — 10.3 ppg, 1.4 spg, 43.1 FG%, 39.4 3FG%; #5 K.J. Buffen (6-7, 230) Jr., F — 10.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 51.8 FG%, 30.8 3FG%; #10 Jordan Walker (5-11, 170) Jr., G — 20.4 ppg, 4.8 apg, 1.5 spg, 40.3 FG%, 88.3 FT%, 40.6 3FG%; #13 Quan Jackson (6-4, 190) Sr., G — 12.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.4 spg, 48.5 FG%, 69.8 FT%

Scouting report: The Blazers are dancing for the first time since 2015, and they’ll likely be one of the trendy upset picks in a No. 5 vs. 12-seed matchup, especially with a player like Jordan Walker. Another member of “Jelly Fam” that has revitalized his career and revamped himself in his new surroundings, Walker is thriving at UAB after previous stops at Seton Hall and Tulane.

Walker was named the Conference USA Player of the Year and despite the attention that comes his way from opposing defenses, he continues to be a problem. He’s not afraid of the big moments, dropping 40 points to help UAB outlast Middle Tennessee State in a triple-overtime conference tournament semifinal to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive. Walker has only scored fewer than 10 points only once this season, and if he stays hot, he can easily be the next March Madness darling if UAB gets on a run.

It’s far from a one-man show though, with three other players averaging at least 10 points per game, but overall, UAB shoots it well as a team from beyond the arc. The Blazers shoot at a 38.4% clip, the ninth-highest mark in the country. Their up-tempo style is controlled and efficient, keeping their turnovers low, but the scoring and offensive rebounding high. The Blazers are ranked 28th in offensive efficiency. Scoring is certainly its strength, but UAB is also solid defensively, generating turnovers on 21.4% of opponents possessions and entering in the top 90 for defensive efficiency.

No. 13 Chattanooga Mocs (27-7)

Conference: Southern
How they got here: Defeated Furman, 64-63, to win the Southern Conference title
KenPom Ranking: 72
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +15000
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 0-1
Key players: #3 David Jean-Baptiste (6-1, 195) Sr., G — 14.7 ppg, 41.8 FG%, 37.4 3FG%; #13 Malachi Smith (6-4, 205) Jr., G — 20.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.7 spg, 50.5 FG%, 41.5 3FG%; #22 Silvio De Sousa (6-9, 250) Sr., F — 11.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 57.4 FG%

Scouting report: The Mocs lost their only game to an NCAA Tournament-qualifying team, an 11-point loss to Murray State. One bright spot though was Malachi Smith, who dropped 38 in the loss. A complete scorer, he’s the engine that drives this offensive-minded team forward. Fifth-year senior David Jean-Baptiste has taken a step down from last season, but remains a solid secondary option and scoring threat.

Silvio De Sousa has finally gotten his career going, after facing trouble at Kansas, where he was suspended for a year after FBI investigations into college basketball’s Adidas recruiting scandal. Upon returning to the Jayhawks, he played a major part in a post-game brawl with Kansas State on Jan. 21, 2020.

He hadn’t played in a single game until the start of this season, and he’s made the most of this opportunity.

No. 14 Longwood Lancers (26-6)

Conference: Big South
How they got here: Defeated Winthrop, 79-58, to win the Big South Tournament title
KenPom Ranking: 144
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +20000
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 0-1
Key players: #1 Isaiah Wilkins (6-4, 220) Sr., G — 12.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.6 spg, 47.4 FG%, 40.5 3FG%; #3 DeShaun Wade (6-2, 200) Sr., G — 11.9 ppg, 44.7 FG%, 44.4 3FG%; #11 Justin Hill (6-0, 185) So., G — 14.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.5 spg, 42.2 FG%, 33.3 3FG%

Scouting report: This is a historic season for the Lancers, who are dancing for the first time since becoming a Division I program 15 years ago. They previously made NCAA Division II Tournament trips in 1994, 1995 and 2001, and before that a 1980 NCAA Division III appearance.

Longwood lives and dies by the three. It has had tremendous success doing so, boasting the sixth-highest three-point percentage in the country at 38.6%. It also excels at drawing fouls and getting to the free-throw line.

Interestingly, the Lancers have an offensive rebounding rate of 34.1% — the 20th best in the country — despite not having a rotational player taller than 6-foot-7. All of these strengths will be put to the test. They lost their lone game to a NCAA Tournament team, Iowa, in the season-opener. The Hawkeyes limited them at the perimeter and won by 33 points, but maybe the Lancers have grown since then.

No. 15 Delaware Blue Hens (22-12)

Conference: CAA
How they got here: Defeated UNC Wilmington, 59-55, to win CAA Tournament title
KenPom Ranking: 145
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +25000
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 0-1
Key players: #0 Jameer Nelson Jr. (6-1, 200) Jr., G — 13.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.6 spg, 45.4 FG%, 36.9 3FG%; #2 Ryan Allen (6-2, 200) Sr., G — 11.8 ppg, 40.0 FG%, 69.0 FT%, 34.1 3FG%; #13 Jyare Davis (6-7, 215) Fr., F — 9.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 60.1 FG%; #21 Andrew Carr (6-9, 210) So., F — 9.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 55.5 FG%, 39.0 3FG%; #42 Dylan Painter (6-10, 235) Sr., F — 11.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 55.1 FG%, 38.1 3FG%

Scouting report: After limping into the postseason with a three-game losing streak, the Blue Hens heated up at the right time and won their conference tournament as a 5-seed. Delaware is anchored by transfers Jameer Nelson Jr. (George Washington), who is the son of former Saint Joseph’s standout and NBA point guard Jameer Nelson Sr., Dylan Painter (Villanova), who played 2.5 seasons with the ‘Cats, and CAA Rookie of the Year Jyare Davis (Providence).

The Blue Hens also have fifth-year senior Ryan Allen, who ranks in the program’s top 10 for all-time scoring, and promising sophomore Andrew Carr.

Delaware is solid and balanced offensively, with six different players averaging at least 9.5 points or more. As a team, it shoots 54.2% inside the arc (35th in the country) but is also decent from long range, knocking down 35.0% of long range attempts.

There are some concerns on the defensive and rebounding sides of the game. Delaware is close to the bottom-third of the country when it comes to offensive and defensive rebounding rates. The Blue Hens protect the interior well, but have allowed opponents to shoot 34.9% from deep (257th in the country).

No. 16 Wright State Raiders (21-13)

Conference: Horizon League
How they got here: Defeated Northern Kentucky, 72-71, to win Horizon League tournament title
KenPom Ranking: 182
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +25000
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 0-2
Key players:

Scouting report: After getting its heartbroken three-straight times in the conference tournament as the regular season champ and No. 1 seed, Wright State finally made it to the Big Dance. They have a trio of solid scorers, but Trey Calvin is the lone perimeter shooting threat.

Wright State’s best defense and biggest flaw is its offense. The Raiders rank 262nd in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom, and fall in the bottom third of various defensive categories out of all Division I teams. It likes to play a fast-paced style and while it might not be the best three-point shooting team (33.0%, 213th in the nation), it does finish well at the basket.

No. 16 Bryant Bulldogs (22-9)

Conference: NEC
How they got here: Defeated Wagner, 70-43, in the NEC Tournament
KenPom Ranking: 183
Vegas Odds to make Final Four: +20000
Record against NCAA Tournament teams: 0-1
Key players: #3 Adham Eleeda (6-5, 210) Sr., G — 10.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 34.2 FG%; #5 Charles Pride (6-4, 200) Jr., G — 18.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.6 spg, 45.7 FG%; #32 Peter Kiss (6-5, 200) Sr., G — 25.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.6 spg, 4.2 topg, 45.6 FG%; #34 Hall Elisias (6-8, 230) Sr., F — 8.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.0 bpg, 56.3 FG%

Scouting report: Much like its First Four opponent, Wright State, Bryant also struggles with the three-ball, knocking down just 30.7% of its long-range shots as a team (311th in the country). The Bulldogs play an up-tempo style of play behind Peter Kiss, the leading scorer in the country. He’s a bit of a volume scorer and not the most efficient, but is more than capable of carrying his team.

Defensively, Bryant ranks 218th in the country in defensive efficiency, which may be mostly because it’s not a great rebounding team and it doesn’t generate much turnovers, falling in the bottom 60 in those two categories, but they hold teams to 32.1% from beyond the arc, and just 47.0% inside of it. (64th in the country)