The Cavaliers were shaky in their opening-round matchup against Coastal Carolina. They were down by five points at halftime, as the prophets of the Twitterverse hovered near their TVs anticipating the first 16 vs. 1 upset in NCAA tournament history. It didn't happen. Virginia came back to defeat Coastal Carolina by double digits. Then it eliminated Memphis (holding the Tigers to 3-for-13 shooting from the 3-point line) on Sunday in a 78-60 victory. The Cavs committed just 17 total turnovers in those victories. They have a collection of scorers now. They're a great defensive team, too. The Cavs can win it all.
How do you like the Cardinal now? A few weeks ago, there was a lot of speculation about Johnny Dawkins' job status. Would Stanford's administration bring him back for another season if he missed the Big Dance? Well, the Cardinal reached the Big Dance. Then things just got silly when they knocked out New Mexico, a Final Four sleeper in many brackets, and Kansas. Now Stanford is a Sweet 16 team that's led by a pair of upperclassmen, Chasson Randle and Dwight Powell, who have no interest in going home anytime soon.
Scott Drew continues to show that he can prepare his team for postseason success. The Bears needed a late rally in the regular season to secure a spot in the NCAA tournament. But they have been one of America's best teams since February. They stomped Nebraska (74-60) and whipped Creighton (85-55) to advance to the Sweet 16 for the third time since 2010. Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin comprise a strong pair that's locking down the paint for Baylor. Creighton had one of the most impressive offensive units in recent college basketball history this season, but Doug McDermott & Co. registered less than a point per possession (0.92) against a Baylor team that's corralling teams with its defense in ways it couldn't during the regular season.
Shabazz Napier. That's all. Well, that's not all. But the senior guard is carrying the Huskies right now. He has reminded us that one dynamic player -- see Kemba Walker -- can lead an underdog to the Final Four. In 42 minutes of action, he finished with 24 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in his team's 89-81 overtime win over Saint Joseph's in the opening round. He had 25 points in UConn's 12-point win over 2-seed Villanova in the round of 32. But he's not doing it alone. The Huskies held Villanova to a 35 percent mark from the field and forced 16 turnovers.
Last season, Michigan surprised the field with a run to the Final Four, when former Wooden Award winner Trey Burke guided it through a series of postseason battles. The Wolverines are a different team without him, but this version still toyed with their first two opponents, Wofford and Texas. They shot 21-for-45 from the 3-point line in those games. They defended well, too. Wofford scored 0.71 points per possession in the round-of-64 matchup, per Ken Pomeroy, and the Wolverines held Texas to a 37 percent clip from the field. This is a dangerous team.