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2013 NCAA Tournament: East bracket

Best round of 64 matchup

No. 6 Butler vs. No. 14 Bucknell. Butler has the reputation now, but Bucknell had an outstanding season.

Best potential round of 32 matchup

No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 6 Butler. They become fellow conference members next season in the new Big East.

Best Cinderella hope

No. 13 Montana. The Grizzlies steamrolled their competition in the Big Sky conference, going 19-1.

Player to watch

Miami sophomore Shane Larkin. Many thought the son of baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin should have been player of the year in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He scored a career-high 28 in the ACC title game for Miami over North Carolina. Originally committed to DePaul.

Impact coach

Illinois’ first-year coach, John Groce, was the talk of the tournament last year, taking No. 13 Ohio to the Sweet 16. The Illini would love a repeat.

Prediction

No. 2 Miami. Top seed Indiana has balance and an experienced coach in Tom Crean, who took Marquette to the Final Four in 2003. But Miami has surprised all season as a top-five team and by winning the ACC tournament title.

- CAPSULES BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

1. Indiana

Record: 27-6.

Bid: At large.

Coach: Tom Crean.

The preseason No. 1 Hoosiers had two separate stretches atop the coaches’ poll but dropped to as low as No. 8 during the season. Victor Oladipo joined Cody Zeller as a Player of the Year candidate and first-team All-Big Ten selection.

2. Miami

Record: 27-6.

Bid: ACC champ.

Coach: Jim Larranaga.

No one expected Miami to be the best team in the ACC entering this season — except maybe Larranaga. But this veteran roster proved old dogs can learn new tricks. In Larranaga’s second season, players have bought into his emphasis on defense.

3. Marquette

Record: 23-8.

Bid: At large.

Coach: Buzz Williams.

Marquette won’t beat you behind the three-point line, where it shoots just 29.9 percent. But it’s one of the nation’s best shooting inside the line. Junior forward Davante Gardner (11.5) is the second-leading scorer and comes off the bench.

4. Syracuse

Record: 26-9.

Bid: At large.

Coach: Jim Boeheim.

The Orange entered the Big East tourney having lost four of five. It blew a 16-point second-half lead in the title game and lost to Louisville. Will one of the nation’s leaders in field-goal-percentage defense, steals and blocked shots show up?

5. UNLV

Record: 25-9.

Bid: At large.

Coach: Dave Rice.

The Rebels return for their fourth consecutive appearance but are seeking their first NCAA victory since 2008. While the team is full of tournament experience, its top player, freshman standout Anthony Bennett, will be getting his first taste of the postseason.

6. Butler

Record: 26-8.

Bid: At large.

Coach: Brad Stevens.

All five starters average 9.8 ppg or better. The Bulldogs have proved themselves against talent such as UNC, Indiana and Gonzaga. The program has two national title-game appearances and has shown it knows how to play in March.

7. Illinois

Record: 22-12.

Bid: At large.

Coach: John Groce.

Illinois’ 12-0 start died down after the Illini’s rocky 2-7 beginning to Big Ten play. The quick-triggered Illini had the third-most three-point attempts of any team in the country but finished 244th in three-point percentage.

8. North Carolina State

Record: 24-10. Bid: At large.

Coach: Mark Gottfried.

Wolfpack entered the season as the ACC favorite but struggled against marquee teams. The talent is there, but the play has been inconsistent. Still, any team with Lorenzo Brown, C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell could be a dangerous one.

9. Temple

Record: 23-9

Bid: At large.

Coach: Fran Dunphy.

The Owls, led by A-10 player of the year Khalif Wyatt, won their final seven regular-season games, including an 84-76 victory over VCU. They will need to step up on defense, having allowed opponents 67.7 ppg while shooting only 43 percent.

10. Colorado

Record: 21-11.

Bid: At large.

Coach: Tad Boyle.

The Buffaloes are in the tournament for the second year in a row, which they hadn’t done since 1963. Andre Roberson, Pac-12 defensive player of the year, missed the final two games of the regular season with a viral illness but returned in the conference tournament.

11. Bucknell

Record: 28-5.

Bid: Patriot League champ.

Coach: Dave Paulsen.

The Bison set school and league records for wins. Senior Mike Muscala is their career scoring leader and the league’s player of the year, defensive player of the year and scholar-athlete of the year.

12. California

Record: 20-11. Bid: At large.

Coach: Mike Montgomery.

The Golden Bears are in the tournament for the fourth time in Montgomery’s five seasons. Allen Crabbe finished with the Pac-12’s top scoring average. Seven-game win streak was snapped by rival Stanford to end the regular season.

13. Montana

Record: 25-6.

Bid: Big Sky champ.

Coach: Wayne Tinkle.

Even missing senior leader Will Cherry (foot) for extended periods and top scorer Mathias Ward (foot surgery) for the last month didn’t slow the Griz. Kareem Jamar, the Big Sky MVP, helped keep things on course.

14. Davidson

Record: 26-7.

Bid: Southern champ. Coach: Bob McKillop.

The Wildcats enter on a 17-game winning streak. Very balanced with six different players leading the team in scoring in a game, paced by two-time conference player-of-the-year Jake Cohen. Nik Cochran is the nation’s top free-throw shooter.

15. Pacific

Record: 22-12.

Bid: Big West champ. Coach: Bob Thomason.

Thomason is retiring after 25 seasons at his alma mater, and his team has given him a great send-off, riding a seven-game winning streak to the Big West title. Lorenzo McCloud is among eight regulars with at least 20 three-pointers.

16. LIU Brooklyn

Record: 20-13.

Bid: NEC champ.

Coach: Jack Perri.

Claimed its third consecutive conference title.

16. James Madison

Record: 20-14.

Bid: CAA champ.

Coach: Matt Brady.

Dukes dropped six games by four points or fewer in the regular season.



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