Cloud hangs over this year's March Madness with Federal Bureau of Investigation probe

The Cavaliers have a program-record win total and are a unanimous No. 1 in the AP Top 25; before this year, the last time they were No. 1 was December 1982 (the poll had just 20 teams then) during Ralph Sampson's senior season.

Tournament play will begin on Tuesday and Wednesday with play-in games in Dayton.

The Final Four is March 31 and April 2 in San Antonio.

The FBI corruption investigation into the sport led to an assistant coach being criminally charged and ultimately fired, and raised questions about coach Sean Miller's job security. In this era of overgrown leagues, the Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference and Big Ten tournaments have all mushroomed into five-day affairs, which means a low-seeded team that makes an unexpected run to the title game would have to play five games within 120 hours. Their resume is highlighted with victories against top tier teams such as Kentucky and Arizona, but they lost three of their final five games to conclude the season.

1 overall seed in the tournament and will headline the South Region. And they're changing the format, revealing all 68 teams in the field in alphabetical order before revealing the bracket region by region. That doesn't even look like an NIT team.

John Calipari summed it up best.

Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. Will Return For SEC Tournament
A few minutes before, when three Missouri players took the podium, it did not sound like they knew Porter was planning to play. Then Wednesday, point guard Jordan Geist missed shootaround with what a team spokesperson described as "flu-like symptoms".

"Talk is cheap. I say that all the time", Johnson said. We have full respect for the Kansas Jayhawks as the No. 1 seed, but Michigan State will get its revenge over Bill Self's team after getting knocked out of the tournament a year ago.

The Bearcats do have some quality offensive players but no one who is capable of carrying the team against high-level competition. According to Sports Illustrated, the rights deal allows the network that broadcasts the Final Four and championship game the option of also airing the Selection Show.

-Snubbed: St. Mary's missed despite a 28-5 record. The game also has sped up, with about four more possessions per team, since the shot clock was cut to 30 seconds from 35 for the 2015-16 season.

"There's no team in this tournament that is more prepared than Auburn as far as everything we've gone through", Pearl said. For now, we get to see potential lottery picks like Arizona's Deandre Ayton, Duke's Marvin Bagley III, Missouri's Michael Porter Jr., Oklahoma's Trae Young and Alabama's Collin Sexton possibly lead their teams deep into March.

-Place to be: Try Boise.

Lunardi had Texas as one of his last four teams in the field before the win, underscoring how important it was for Shaka Smart's squad. Barely 2,000 fans turned out in the 20,000-seat Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland for the Mid-American quarterfinals - which was still roughly double the size of the crowd (or, more accurately, gathering) for the Big Sky tourney in Reno that same night.

  • Regina Holmes