Anxious about teams like Alabama, Providence and Davidson that had long, emotional conference tournament runs.
The Atlantic Coast Conference led all conferences by tying its own record with nine teams in the tournament, and the ACC needed Syracuse squeezing in as the last team to match that mark.
The selection committee didn't do the Cavaliers any favors on their side of the bracket. Arizona, a No. 4 seed in the South, has been roiled by a report that wiretaps caught coach Sean Miller discussing a $100,000 payment to freshman Deandre Ayton.
Forgive us for looking ahead to a delicious second-round contest in Boise between Wildcats: fourth-seeded Arizona and fifth-seeded Kentucky.
The pressure will be higher than ever for the Cavaliers (31-2) to do it now.
"They always wanted me to coach at Marshall", said D'Antoni, now 70.
"I don't know that he can be 100 percent", Self said after learning the Jayhawks' seed, "but there are a lot of guys who sprain an ankle and they're not 100 percent, and you still play because there's not a risk of hurting it more".
1 overall seed in the tournament and will headline the South Region. "There are a litany of schools that probably deserve to be in (the tournament) that are better than some of the schools that are in".
But a gauntlet of a quality teams could be waiting for them.
NMSU punched their ticket to the dance with a 72-58 win over Grand Canyon in the WAC Tournament championship game. They led Miami by 12 late in the first half before falling, 69-68, on Ja'Quan Newton's running 30-footer at the buzzer in Coral Gables, Fla., and were in front of visiting Louisville by 10 also late in the first half of a 75-68 loss.
Vermont reached the 2017 tournament out of the America East Conference, but the Catamounts lost in their conference tournament.
Calipari also cautioned against taking the SEC lightly a year after SC was one of the biggest surprises of the tournament.
The most challenging region appeared to be the Midwest.
The fabled last four in were Arizona State, St. Bonaventure, Syracuse (a team that was not thought even to be on the bubble) and U.C.L.A. The game can be watched on TNT and the K-State Sports Network.
St. Bonaventure, which is 25-7 on the season, will be making the seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in the program's history and second under Schmidt.
Wichita State vs. Marshall Friday, approx. The Hokies are a No. 8 seed, and they'll face No. 9 seed Alabama in Pittsburgh on Thursday night at approximately 9:20pm. Villanova was a No. 1 past year and has consistently been a high seed under coach Jay Wright.
New Mexico State coach Chris Jans didn't promise any wins in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.
Villanova lost in the second round to Wisconsin last year and has advanced past the opening weekend twice in nine years.
I crossed that one out, too, but I'll go with the Wildcats here.
Villanova opens against the LIU Brooklyn-Radford victor on Thursday in Pittsburgh.
Another résumé-boosting win came against North Carolina, the reigning national champion.
The Hokies and Crimson Tide will tipoff from PPG Paints Arena is slated for 9:20 p.m. on Thursday. It's hard to believe that Wofford visited Chapel Hill and beat this team in December, but the Tar Heels collected themselves and have hit their stride, especially since the beginning of February.