NCAA tourney: Your ticket to the gun show

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Davidson’s Kalinoski is a high-volume, high-percentage three-point shooter. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Throughout the regular season, nothing is glorified like the dunk. At tourney time, though, the three-point shot creates the most excitement. That’s a big reason Villanova — the lowest-profile No. 1 seed — arguably will be the most fun to watch of all the No. 1s. The Wildcats have made far more threes (308, or nine per game) than any other championship contender.

Only five teams in the tournament average more made threes per game than Villanova, and all five have real opportunities — some very real — to win multiple games if they get hot. You will want to be watching when it happens.

1. Davidson (10.9): The Wildcats need Brian Sullivan, who has made 81 threes, to shoot better than 35.4 percent from beyond the arc. Teammates Tyler Kalinoski (91 threes) and Jack Gibbs are among the leading percentage shooters in the nation. Big trouble out of the gate for Iowa. Remember, this is Steph Curry’s school.

2. Belmont (10.0): The three is key against Virginia’s awesome pack-line defense. The 15th-seeded Bruins have prolific gunners in Taylor Burnette and Craig Bradshaw. Don’t think this can’t happen.

3. Eastern Washington (9.9): Two words, kids — Tyler Harvey. He leads the nation with 122 threes. What else? Well, there’s this: Harvey also leads the nation in scoring. Don’t be even a little bit surprised if the Eagles knock off South No. 4 seed Georgetown and get on a nice little run.

4. Indiana (9.3): Tom Crean may or may not have a chance to save his job, but his team — despite its spectacular late-season collapse — is capable of shooting its way into the Sweet 16 and beyond. This is Yogi Ferrell’s moment. James Blackmon Jr.’s time to shine. This is where Nick Zeisloft lights the world on fire. Or not. Bottom line is the Hoosiers, win or lose, are a blast to watch.

5. North Florida (9.1): OK, so we got a little carried away earlier. The Ospreys, as a No. 16 seed, most definitely do not have a chance to win multiple games. But they’re in a 16-vs.-16 game against James Madison on Wednesday, and Beau Beech and Dallas Moore are two of the reasons you want to be tuned in. Plus, how cool are those names?


Twitter: @slgreenberg

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