You know the saying in East Lansing, Michigan: "January, February, Izzo".
(8) Seton Hall vs. (9) N.C. State - This I think is a tremendous matchup between two teams that are much better than where they are seeded.
The Griz come off arguably their best half of basketball all season Sunday night, using it to overcome an 11 point defect at half to beat Eastern Washington 82-to-65. Indeed, since 1998 only one team seeded lower than a No. 3 - No. 7 CT in 2014 - has won the title. Only the Pacific-12 Conference has a longer major conference drought back to Arizona in 1997.
The variable that makes it (even) tougher to predict performance is that none of the teams has played since MI beat Purdue in the Big Ten tourney championship game March 4. Prior to that, the Wolverines won six straight. They gathered at an impromptu war room at WSU's Koch Arena and found out their assigned teams the same time as the rest of America, by watching TBS' selection show Sunday evening. Ohio State's Chris Holtmann is arguably the coach of the year in college basketball. There's a reason the Michigan State Spartans were ranked #1 in the nation in January. They'll play the 16th-seeded Pennsylvania Quakers in a first-round game Thursday.
Key player: Cassius Winston.
Savannah Scott dribbles upcourt in a game earlier this season at Bank of Colorado Arena.
Tournament History: 64-30, 9 Final Fours and 2 National Championships in 31 appearances.
Maybe it's because of this new procedure where the committee judges teams by how many teams they've beaten in various "quadrants" of Division I. Maybe it's because there are so many teams that all look alike this year. They form a high-scoring backcourt. Northwestern and Minnesota were even more disappointing.
Nebraska and Penn State suffered because quality wins in the Big Ten were hard to find. Tenth-seeded Oklahoma (18-13), which has lost eight of its last 10 and still hasn't won a road game in 2018, is in.
Upsets dominate the first weekend but things return to normal after that: It may not seem like it, but most years only two or three double-digit seeds reach the Sweet 16. The ACC has nine teams in the field, matching the record it set a year ago.
They need Cassius Winston, who got bottled up by MI in the Big Ten semifinals at Madison Square Garden, to do damage from long range. If the Wolverines are annoyed about that, this should balance it out: The No. 1 seed in their region is Xavier, the weakest of the four.