EAST REGIONAL at New York
Favorite: Michigan State. Yep, a four-seed favorite. But really. Are you going to take Virginia, Villanova or Iowa State over the suddenly-healthy Spartans?
Darkhorse: Connecticut. The Huskies usually aren’t in position to be labeled a darkhorse, but as a seven-seed, UConn could make some noise with an upset of former Big East foe Villanova.
Warhorse: Roy Williams. The North Carolina coach took Kansas to four Final Fours and has taken the Tar Heels to three. With softness in the top seeds, UNC could make a run.
Big 12 outlook: Iowa State is a three-seed, and if the Cyclones stay hot – like they were in the Big 12 Tournament – they could make the Final Four. Iowa State can be overpowered at times, but only Michigan State would appear capable of that.
MIDWEST REGIONAL at Indianapolis
Favorite: Louisville. Yep, another four-seed. This regional is loaded, with No. 1 Wichita State, No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 Duke.
Darkhorse: Kentucky. The young Wildcats are playing better. And they get Wichita State in St. Louis, which will be invaded by 10,000 UK fans.
Warhorse: Bob Hoffman. The Mercer coach was a Kelvin Sampson and a long-time winner in Oklahoma NAIA circles. Now he’s building a solid mid-major program.
Big 12 outlook: Kansas State’s brute strength will try to beat Kentucky’s young stallions, before a possible Sunflower State showdown with Wichita State. And Texas has Arizona State in a game more befitting of the Holiday Bowl.
Upset alert: Tennessee over Massachusetts. Tennessee has a play-in date with Iowa first, but if the Vols survive that, they could take out the Minutemen.