MID-MAJORS TO WATCH
After Butler made it to consecutive championship games and VCU joined the Bulldogs last year, it's hard to rule anyone out. Here's a few of the mid-majors to keep an eye on this year.
Detroit — The Titans are as talented as anyone and have scoring machine Ray McCallum.
Memphis — The Tigers are long, athletic and can stay with anyone when they're on top of their game.
VCU — Coach Shaka Smart. He did it once before, can do it again.
Wichita State — The Shockers must get by VCU in their opener but have the look of a team that could make a run.
Montana — The Grizzlies aren't exactly grizzled when it comes to the NCAA tournament, but they enter with a 14-game winning streak and like to play defense.
Long Beach State — The Gauchos had three victories in as many nights to win the Big West Conference tournament but aren't sure if Larry Anderson will be able to play against New Mexico on Thursday.
Although North Carolina got a break in the bracket by playing in nearby Greensboro, fellow Tar Heel State school Davidson could be a little travel-weary.
The Tar Heels have the shortest distance for their opening game, a short bus ride of about 47 miles, with Duke needing only a couple more miles to face Lehigh in the same arena.
Davidson has the second-longest longest trip of about 2,800 miles to play Louisville in Portland, Ore., a few miles shorter than VCU's trip to the Northwest to face Wichita State.
That's a long plane ride or roughly 46 hours on a bus. We're guessing they'll fly.
Kentucky also has a quick trip of about 77 miles to play Western Kentucky in Louisville, while Harvard's players will have plenty of time to catch up on their reading with a 2,200-mile trip to Albuquerque, N.M.
There's so much more we didn't get to, but this will get you started. Hopefully, you've got some sick days and can park it on the couch to watch it all unfold. We know we feel a cough coming on.
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