Best round-of-64 matchup: The 8-9 pairing is usually a solid choice, and the Virginia Tech-Alabama clash shouldn’t disappoint. Collin Sexton can be one of the most dynamic players in the country when healthy, and he has been down the stretch. The Hokies have figured some things out as the season has progressed, most notably how to play defense inside.

Potential upset: Stephen F. Austin is under new management but is still a known giant killer. Texas Tech struggled with injuries in February. Though the Red Raiders looked healthier in the Big 12 tournament, they might still be vulnerable. If the Lumberjacks are at all close, they’ll likely pick up support from the home-state crowd in Dallas.

The sleeper: West Virginia will have its hands full just getting out of its opening tilt with a strong Murray State squad. But if the Mountaineers advance far enough to earn a Sweet 16 date with Villanova, they might just be the kind of team that can pose problems for the Wildcats with their pressing defense.

The winner: With that in mind, however, the top-seeded Wildcats appear to have regained the form that had them atop the polls for much of the season. Look for Villanova to erase the memory of last year’s disappointing second-round exit and make it back to the Final Four. The Wildcats are going for their second national championship in three years.

Eddie Timanus, USA Today