Here is a look at 68 people who will impact the 68-team NCAA Tournament:
1. Shane Larkin: High times for the Larkin family. Barry Larkin went into the Baseball Hall of Fame last July. Now his son could lead Miami U. to the Final Four. Shane Larkin, a sophomore, has ignited the Hurricanes' rise to college hoops' elite.
2. Ryan Kelly: The 6-foot-11 Duke senior missed 13 games with a foot injury but returned March 2 to score 36 points in a win over Miami. Kelly also fortifies the Blue Devil defense and makes Duke the tournament favorite.
3. Doug Gottlieb: The former Eddie Sutton point guard jumped to CBS from ESPN for this reason. To be part of the March Madness broadcasts. Gottlieb will call games the first weekend, then move to the studio for the regional round.
4. Otto Porter Jr.: The 6-foot-8 Georgetown sophomore was not a ballyhooed recruit, but Porter has turned into one of America's best players. The Big East Player of the Year has been compared to Tayshaun Prince.
5. Jim Crews: The Saint Louis U. coach played on Bobby Knight's undefeated 1976 Indiana team, then coached Evansville to four NCAAs during a 17-year run as the Purple Aces coach. He was named Saint Louis' interim coach in August, when Rick Majerus took a medical leave of absence. Majerus died in December, and now Crews has the Billikens riding high.
6. Marcus Smart: OSU's point guard is the national freshman of the year, and here's an oft-overlooked part of his game. Smart has a nose for the ball. He's third nationally in steals per game, 2.9, and Smart has a chance to overtake leader Duke Mondy of Oakland.
7. Juvonte Reddic: The most productive player of the four veterans off Virginia Commonwealth's 2011 Final Four team, Reddic is averaging 14.3 points a game. Reddic didn't start on the Final Four team; Shaka Smart has retooled the Rams into another contender.
8. Mike Bobinski: The transient nature of college basketball, with players transferring and coaches jumping jobs, extends to the administrators. Bobinski, the Xavier athletic director and chairman of the basketball selection committee, becomes AD at Georgia Tech on April 1, the week of the Final Four.
9. Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga: A college basketball success story, the Zags' 7-foot center was a role player for two seasons, then redshirted a year ago. Now he's a first-team all-American.
10. Rotnei Clarke: If it seems like Oklahomans have been watching Clarke play for a decade, it's because they have. The high school legend from Verdigris is about to close out a collegiate career at Butler, where in his first season since transferring from Arkansas, Clarke is averaging 16.7 points a game.
11. Jamie Dixon: The Pitt coach has overseen his share of March Madness moments. But Dixon produced his own miracle moment — a desperation, 30-foot one-handed shot at the buzzer that gave TCU a 55-54 victory over Texas in February 1986 and propelled the Frogs to the Southwest Conference title. Maybe the most famous shot in SWC history.
12. Victor Oladipo: The Indiana shooting guard is not your prototypical Hoosier — his athletic explosiveness and efficient shooting make for a unique talent befitting a first-team all-American.
13. Alec Baldwin: The actor has teamed with Charles Barkley for a series of Capital One commercials, rife with comedy. Advertising during March Madness is big business; the commercial payments surpassed $1 billion last season, and a 30-second spot during the NCAA title game goes for $1.5 million.
14. Angel Rodriguez: The point guard, a defensive pest who sets the tone for Kansas State, is following the path of another Puerto Rican Wildcat star, Denis Clemente, who also played high school basketball in Miami.
15. Buzz Williams: The Oklahoma City University graduate, considered the leading candidate for the OU job that eventually went to Lon Kruger, now is 5-for-5 with Marquette. Five years as head coach, five NCAA Tournaments, only this time, with a Big East co-championship.
16. Shabazz Muhammad: The freshman led UCLA to the Pac-12 title, and he's headed to the NBA — his coach, Ben Howland, even announced it, without checking with Muhammad. Will his head be in the tournament?
17. Rachel Nichols: The exodus of ESPN's female reporters continues, with Nichols joining Turner Sports and CNN. She will work the sidelines the first weekend with the broadcast crew of Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery. Talk about an all-star cast.
18. Mike Muscala: The 6-foot-11 Bucknell strong man might be the nation's most productive player — he's 27th nationally in scoring (19.0) and fourth in rebounding (11.2). He's considered an NBA prospect. Coming out of high school in Minnesota, Muscala was offered scholarships only by Bucknell, North Dakota State and South Dakota.
19. Russ Smith: The Louisville guard has stayed in Rick Pitino's doghouse through much of his three-year career, but Smith has blossomed this season. He still makes goofy plays that send Pitino into orbit, but now the great plays exceed the ridiculous plays.
20. Craig Thompson: Heady days for the Mountain West commissioner. Not only has he stabilized his league's future, football-wise, but his basketball is exquisite. Five Mountain West teams are in the field, same as last season, and the MWC is the No. 1-ranked conference in the nation by the RPI.
21. Doug McDermott: You know all about the 50-40-90 club Kevin Durant is trying to join. How about the 60-50-90 club? McDermott, a Creighton junior, is threatening. He's shooting 56.1 percent on two-point shots, 49.7 percent on 3-point shots and 86.0 percent on foul shots.
22. Aaron Craft: The Ohio State point guard has joined the Bobby Hurley Club; Craft is among the nation's most hated players by opposing fan bases. He's small, pesky, white, hard-nosed and beats you with things other than his shooting.
23. Ernie Johnson: The CBS/TNT partnership shone the spotlight on NBA experts Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith a year ago, but the real prize is Johnson, the best studio host in the business.
24. Allen Crabbe: The 6-foot-6 Cal-Berkeley wing is the Pac-12 Player of the Year. Crabbe played high school at Los Angeles' Frederick K.C. Price High School, which is named after Crabbe's grandfather, the pastor of an LA megachurch.
25. Roman Banks: The Southern U. coach knows a thing or two about being an underdog. As Northwestern Louisiana's point guard in December 1988, Banks helped engineer one of the biggest upsets in college hoops history. The Demons, picked last in the Southland Conference, beat Eddie Sutton's Kentucky team 85-82 at Rupp Arena.
26. Brandon Harris: The Northwest Classen graduate went to Alva and played at Northwestern State. Then he transferred to Otero (Colo.) Junior College and now is a junior at Western Kentucky, where he's averaging 8.3 points a game.
27. Kevin Parrom: The Arizona senior is averaging 8.3 points a game after his junior season was jeopardized by a gunshot wound. In September 2011, Parrom was shot in the left hand and right knee while in New York, visiting his ill mother. A man pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted murder.
28. Romero Osby: The OU star forward went to the NCAA Tournament with Mississippi State in 2009 but didn't play. Now he's Mr. Indispensible for the Sooners.
29. Bob Thomason: The Pacific coach is retiring after 25 years on the job at his alma mater. He has the most wins in Big West Conference history, surpassing Jerry Tarkanian earlier this season.
30. Lamont Jones: The guard played 26 minutes a game two years ago for Arizona but transferred to Iona, 25 minutes from his Harlem home, for family considerations. Now a senior, he's the No. 3 scorer in the nation, 23.0 points a game.
31. Fran Dunphy: Mr. Philadelphia Basketball. Dunphy has Temple in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year. He took over for the legendary John Chaney six years ago. Dunphy, who grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from LaSalle, also spent 16 years as head coach at Penn, taking the Quakers to nine NCAAs. Dunphy has spent 31 years coaching Philly hoops, as an assistant at LaSalle and Penn, and head coach at Malverin Prep, Penn and Temple.
32. Jamaal Franklin: The San Diego State All-American is the kind of player that makes the NCAA Tournament great. Few have seen much of him. But when you do, it's wow. Franklin, a 6-foot-5 wing, leads the Aztecs in scoring (16.7), rebounding (9.5) and assists (3.2).
33. John Pelphrey: Sean Sutton's great friend and former Kentucky teammate now is in his second go-round as a Florida assistant coach. Pelphrey spent five seasons as head coach at South Alabama and four as head coach at Arkansas. He also was an Eddie Sutton assistant at OSU in 1993-94.
34. C.J. Leslie: John Wall's high school teammate has become one of college basketball's most consistent players for North Carolina State. Leslie, a 6-foot-9 junior, has averaged 11.0, 14.7 and 14.9 points, plus 7.2, 7.3 and 7.5 rebounds.
35. Anthony Bennett: The Nevada-Las Vegas freshman has had his moments. Even been mentioned as a possible overall No. 1 pick. But he's also been wildly inconsistent. Bennett has the package, though; 6-foot-7, 240 pounds, long, quick and fast.
36. Tom Izzo: In his 18th season as the Michigan State coach, Izzo is 37-13 in the NCAA Tournament, with six Final Four trips. That's not Mike Krzyzewski territory (76-24 in 33 seasons), but it will do.
37. Cleanthony Early: The best name in the tournament and the best scorer for Wichita State, a great old basketball school. Early, a 6-foot-8 forward, is averaging 13.6 points a game for the Shockers.
38. Marshall Henderson: The Ole Miss sharpshooter, averaging 20 points a game, is the SEC's most vilified player. But he's making the most of his first season in Oxford. Henderson averaged 11.8 points a game for Utah three years ago, then transferred to Texas Tech, stayed a year and moved on to a junior college before signing with the Rebels.
39. Joe Holladay: The 1969 OU graduate has spent 20 years with Roy Williams — 10 at Kansas and now 10 at North Carolina, where he's director of basketball operations. Holladay spent 23 years coaching high school in Oklahoma; Williams hired away Holladay from Jenks in 1994.
40. Jason Brickman: The point guard found his way to Long Island-Brooklyn from San Antonio — and has become the nation's best distributor. The Filipino-American leads the NCAA in assists, 8.5 per game.
41. Colton Iverson: The 6-foot-10 Colorado State center from Yankton, S.D., is one of those no-name players who could become a household name by next weekend. He's a 60-percent shooter who averages 14.7 points and 9.8 rebounds a game.
42. Jerry Jones: Cowboys Stadium will host the South Regional in two weeks, in advance of hosting the 2014 Final Four. Let's hope those events go better than the Super Bowl did two years ago, when some of JerryWorld's temporary bleachers were deemed unsafe.
43. Ian Clark: The Belmont marksman leads the nation in 3-point percentage, .463, and averages 18.1 points a game, part of the reason Belmont is 12th nationally with 8.5 treys a game.
44. Kareem Jamar: Yep, that's the Montana swingman's name. And he's a ballplayer. The 6-foot-5 junior might not have a sky hook like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but Jamar is averaging 14.3 points a game for a program making its third NCAA trip in four years.
45. Steve Alford: The star of Indiana's 1987 NCAA title team hasn't found such March Madness success as a coach. Since taking Missouri State to the Sweet 16 in 1999, Alford has five times fallen short of the regional semifinals, thrice with Iowa and twice with New Mexico. Now he's a 3-seed with the Lobos.
46. Tim Hardaway Jr.: The 6-foot-6 Michigan junior is averaging almost 15 points a game. The son of a five-time NBA all-star teams with Big Ten Player of the Year Trey Burke to form quite the backcourt for the Wolverines.
47. Judy MacLeod: The former Tulsa U. athletic director now is Conference USA's executive associate commissioner — and a member of the NCAA basketball committee, through 2015.
48. Sean Kilpatrick: A year ago, Cincinnati was known for that ugly brawl against crosstown rival Xavier. This year, it's strictly basketball for Cincinnati, and the Bearcats are led by Kilpatrick, a 6-foot-4 junior averaging 16.9 points a game.
49. Siyani Chambers: The Harvard point guard became a Bob Cousy Award contender as a freshman, and he reminds Harvard coach Tommy Amaker of himself. Jeremy Lin taught us to never underestimate Harvard point guards.
50. Dana Altman: Before Altman got this Oregon team back into the NCAA Tournament business, and before he built Creighton into a basketball somebody, Altman was Lon Kruger's chief recruiter at Kansas State and helped the Wildcats become a power in the late ‘80s. That's how Altman got the K-State job when Kruger left in 1990.
51. Phil Pressey: Missouri's point guard has taken his talents to the Southeastern Conference, where he's doing the same kind of damage he did in the Big 12 — 7.1 assists per game and 11.6 points on a team that features six double-digit scorers.
52. Mike Bruesewitz: Wisconsin often is good for a deep NCAA run, so get used to Bruesewitz's robust red Afro. Here's Bruesewitz's self-scouting report — “The guy's got flaming red hair, a goofy-looking kid. But he gets on the floor and gets rebounds … he's always looking to make the extra pass.”
53. Julie Boeheim: March Madness cameras love to show coaches' wives, and they love no wife more than Syracuse's Jim Boeheim. They met at the 1994 Kentucky Derby and were married in 1997. Julie is more than 20 years younger than Jim.
54. Andre Roberson: The Buffs have prospered in hoops since leaving the Big 12 almost two years ago. The Buffs won the Pac-12 last season and now are headed back to the NCAAs. Roberson, a 6-foot-7 forward and the Pac-12 defensive player of the year, is second in the nation in rebounding, 11.3 per game.
55. Tyler Self: The Kansas freshman walk-on has played 25 minutes and scored four points all season, but expect to see Self's face a lot on the Jayhawk bench. His dad is Kansas coach Bill Self. Tyler was born in Tulsa but, hard to believe, has lived in Lawrence since fourth grade.
56. William C. Merwin: Florida Gulf Coast's second president brought vision to a school that didn't conduct its first classes until 1997. His ideas took Florida Gulf Coast from a university that featured mostly online classes to a university that now has more than 12,000 students, with plans to reach 20,000. Florida Gulf Coast didn't reach NCAA Division I status until 2011.
57. Bubo Palo: The Iowa State point guard might have played on a high school team more talented than his college team. Palo was the point guard on an Ames High team that included Doug McDermott, now an all-American at Creighton, and Harrison Barnes, a rookie standout with the Golden State Warriors.
58. Jimmy Williams: The former OSU assistant coach under both Eddie and Sean Sutton was hired in December 2011 as an assistant coach for Memphis' Josh Pastner. Williams had left OSU in 2007 for a job at Minnesota on Tubby Smith's staff, but that job was pulled because of allegations Williams was involved in NCAA violations while coaching at Minnesota in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Williams won a lawsuit against Minnesota, but it cost him four years of his career.
59. Jack Cooley: The Notre Dame power forward is fourth nationally with 19 double doubles. But he's also prone to stretches where Mike Brey sits him on the bench to make a point. Doesn't sound like a good recipe for the NCAA Tournament.
60. Sharon Goldmacher: The public relations whiz is executive director of the Atlanta Local Organizing Committee for the Final Four. The newest wrinkle? The NCAA Division II and Division III title games will be played in Atlanta on Sunday, April 7, the off day in the Final Four.
61. Brandon Paul: The Illinois guard has flourished under new coach John Groce, averaging 16.6 points a game as a senior. Paul's brother, Darius, is a freshman star at Western Michigan.
62. Marv Albert: The longtime NBA announcer is part of the new CBS/TNT partnership. Seems a little strange, considering Albert's resume' and cross-dressing scandal appear at odds with college basketball's showcase.
63. Randy Bennett: The Saint Mary's coach has built a fine program, but these are dark days. Saint Mary's is headed for NCAA probation (scholarship and recruiting restrictions) for attempting to lure recruits with extra benefits. Bennett has been suspended for the first five West Coast Conference games of next season.
64. Kevin Grevey: The Kentucky star of the 1970s is one of three UK legends who will be an analyst on SiriusXM's radio broadcasts of March Madness, joining Jamal Mashburn and Kyle Macy. Kentucky guys do radio. Duke guys do television.
65. Mouphtaou Yarou: The Villanova senior center is a solid inside presence, averaging 9.7 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. He channels both Serge Ibaka (Yarou is from Benin, West Africa, and speaks five languages) and Kevin Durant (each graduated high school from Montrose Christian in Rockville, Md).
66. Austin Hollins: The son of Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins averages 10.6 points and 2.5 assists for the University of Minnesota. But don't get cnfused. Andre Hollins, who also is from Memphis and is the Gophers' leading scorer, is not related to Lionel and Austin Hollins.
67. Bryce Drew: Shooter of one of March Madness' most famous shots, the running 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave Valparaiso an upset over Ole Miss in 1998 in Oklahoma City, Drew now coaches his alma mater, succeeding his dad (Homer) and his brother (Scott).
68. Zeke Marshall: Most mid-majors get by on deadeye shooting and skilled ballhandling, but Akron has the luxury of this 7-footer, who averages 3.6 blocked shots per game.