In what might be the toughest region, the Southwest is set and features Kansas, Notre Dame, Purdue and Louisville as the top four seeds.
Vanderbilt, Georgetown, Richmond and USC (should they make the main draw), who are as erratic as their coach, will provide for some interesting matchups as well.
Within this region there are some outstanding talents, some of whom are less than household names in college basketball. But each is as important to his team as the next.
Here is a list of players to watch.
On a team that relies more on defense and limiting the number of possessions in a game, Middleton stands out as the Aggies' key offensive threat.
Averaging a team-leading 14.3 points per game, Middleton is also second in rebounding (5.2), assists (2.8) and steals. He is not a great three-point shooter but is excellent from the free-throw line, hitting 80 percent.
A&M squares off against Florida State in the first round in a game that matches two very similar styles. The Aggies will need Middleton's scoring against a very stingy defense.
Willis does a little bit of everything for the Runnin' Rebels, including leading the team in scoring at 13.5 points per game.
He also contributes close to four assists per game and is an excellent defender, averaging 1.6 steals per game, third in the Mountain West.
UNLV is a balanced team that needs his scoring, but relies on his defense even more.
Taylor has been a steady scorer and rebounder for the Commodores for most of the season.
After an up-and-down February, Taylor has finished well, averaging over 18 points per game in his last six.
Overall, Taylor has averaged 15 point and five rebounds per game on a team that ranks 28th nationally in points per game with 76.
Statistically, McCamey has had a good season.
He averaged 15 points and six assists while knocking down 46 percent of his attempts from three-point range.
At times, his desire and consistency have been questioned. The Illini were hoping for more leadership from McCamey and other seniors. They need to see it against UNLV or Illinois will be sent packing.
Freeman has had an outstanding season, averaging 18 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
He is an excellent free-throw shooter (86.5 percent) and an average defender. After starting the season hot from beyond the arc, Freeman has struggled down the stretch. Part of this can be attributed to the absence of point guard Chris Wright but his swoon started prior to Wright's injury.
In the last nine games, Freeman is an abysmal 10-of-55 from three. This has to change for the Hoyas if they have any hope of a March run.
Overshadowed at times by brother Marcus, Markieff brings toughness to the Kansas interior, leading the Jayhawks in rebounding with 8.2 per game and blocks (1.2).
He is also second on the team in scoring at just less than 14 points per game and shoots 60 percent from the field.
Morris does need to keep his emotions in check. He seems to let them get the better of him and Kansas can't afford to have him on the bench or playing out of control.
In a season of ups and downs for USC, on the court and off, Vucevic has been the one constant for the Trojans.
He posts consistently high scoring and rebounding totals, averaging over 17 points and 10 rebounds per game. Vucevic has posted double-doubles in nine of his last 10 games and has 21 overall for the season.
In the post, he is also a legitimate shot-blocker and can defend out to the perimeter. He is USC's best and most complete player.
Last year's A-10 Player of the Year and an All-Conference performer this year, Anderson led the Spiders to a school-record 27 wins this season.
A 43 percent shooter from three-point range, Anderson averages 16.5 points per game, second on the team to Justin Harper. More importantly, he controls the tempo of the game for coach Chris Mooney, a former Princeton player who employs a very deliberate offensive scheme.
Anderson will be the player to watch for the Spiders in the first-round matchup with Vanderbilt.
Jenkins possesses the ultimate shooter's mentality. It doesn't matter how many he misses, he's still going to shoot.
More often than not, he'll start to make them too. Thirteen times, Jenkins hit four or more threes in a game. He also shoots a scorching 89 percent from the foul line, so pick your poison.
The 6'4" sophomore will have his work cut out for him against Richmond's zone but may have the height to go over some of the Spiders' perimeter defenders.
Morehead State is back to the NCAA tournament after a one-year absence to play Louisville in the opening round again.
This time the Eagles are a No. 13 seed as opposed to the No. 16 seed they garnered two seasons ago.
One thing is the same. They will be led once again by Kenneth Faried, the top rebounder in the modern era of college basketball.
Though Faried is not a polished offensive player, he averages 17.6 points per game by getting offensive rebounds and getting in good position low to use his athleticism.
In addition to his nation-best 14.3 rebounds per game, Faried also averages two blocks and two steal per game.
The game is worth watching just to see him.
I'm not sure the Irish envisioned this kind of player when Hansbrough transferred from Mississippi State.
He is unquestionably the leader of a team that many thought would snag a No. 1 seed in this year's tourney.
Hansbrough leads the team in a number of categories including scoring, assists, steals and three-point shooting percentage. He is the floor general and clearly doesn't lack the confidence to take the big shot.
Notre Dame's run could hinge on whether or not Hansbrough can match up with other teams' guards defensively and stay out of foul trouble.
Putting Knowles here is not saying he is better than Hansbrough. But he is just as valuable to Louisville as Ben is to Notre Dame.
The lone senior on the squad, Knowles has led the Cardinals from the start to an improbable third-place finish in the Big East.
A good three-point shooter, Knowles averages 14.5 points per game in a balanced Louisville attack. What he also does is disrupt. He and Peyton Siva are two of the quickest defenders you will see and lead a relentless Cardinal press. Between the two they average four steals per game.
Knowles flies a little under the radar but he shouldn't. He is an outstanding player at both ends of the floor.
Marcus Morris is a matchup nightmare for almost any team.
His 17 points and seven rebounds per game are first and second respectively on the team (his brother flip-flops these stats with him) but it is his overall game that sets him apart from most others at his position.
He can post up inside or shoot from midrange and out, a new dimension added to his game this year. He shoots a high percentage (58) and doesn't often force his shots.
Like his brother, he can be a little volatile. He needs to be on the court for Kansas to be successful.
JaJuan Johnson is a genuine stats-stuffer.
With averages of 20.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game, he is capable of huge games, which he routinely has. Johnson was first in points and blocks, and fourth in rebounds in the Big Ten.
He logs over 35 minutes per game and is an excellent foul shooter, hitting 81 percent of his attempts.
Second in scoring (18.2 points per game), rebounds and assists, Moore also led the team in steals and is an exceptional on-ball defender.
Moore and Johnson are the heart and soul of this team, and their play will be instrumental in determining the length of Purdue's March run.
Johnson may be the more gifted athlete, but both are vital to any Purdue success in the postseason. They are together here for that reason.