Get to know No. 1
Pittsburgh (27-5), the Big East regular-season champion, enters with three losses in six games. All were to ranked teams and by three points or fewer, but the Panthers need to return to their fundamentals of low turnovers and rebounding. Junior guard Ashton Gibbs (16.4 ppg) leads an experienced group.
St. John's. The sixth-seeded Red Storm can claim eight wins against top-50 teams. Charismatic coach Steve Lavin faces a potential Sweet 16 meeting with UCLA, his former team.
Best first-round matchup
No. 5 Kansas State vs. No. 12 Utah State. The balanced Aggies have won 30 games and have four senior starters. They haven't won in the tournament since 2001. There might not be a hungrier player in the tournament than K-State guard Jacob Pullen.
Jimmer Fredette of third-seeded BYU has the nation's best scoring average with 27.9 ppg, but many wonder how he'll perform against stiffer competition. … St. John's must contend without injured guard D.J. Kennedy, who has a torn ACL. … No. 10 Michigan State turns the ball over 13.2 times per game. … After losing four of five in late January, No. 8 Butler takes a nine-game winning streak into the tournament. .. No. 9 Old Dominion ranks seventh nationally with 40.2 rebounds per game.