Biggest Winners and Losers of the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament

Kerry Miller@@kerrancejamesCollege Basketball National AnalystApril 5, 2016

Biggest Winners and Losers of the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament

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    Phil Booth
    Phil BoothAssociated Press

    The Villanova Wildcats are college basketball's 2016 national champions after a thrilling 77-74 win over the North Carolina Tar Heels on Monday night in Houston, but these two teams are far from the only winners and losers of this year's NCAA tournament.

    Some coaches came out smelling like roses, while others will attempt to clean the egg off their faces for the next 12 months. One conference was the clear winner, and several others had horrendous showings in the Big Dance. A few players improved their draft stocks, but one Pirate may have gone down with his ship.

    Heck, one team even ended up being a biggest winner and a biggest loser.

    The tournament had a little bit of everything. Let's take a stroll down memory lane to recall the high and low points of the past few weeks.

Winner: Opening Weekend

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    Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

    The first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament never disappoint. With 48 games taking place in the span of 84 hours and each and every one of them meaning everything to the teams involved, drama is both inevitable and incredible.

    But this year's opening weekend felt extra special, didn't it?

    There wasn't an individual moment quite as unforgettable as Ron Hunter falling off his stool when his son, R.J. Hunter, led Georgia State to an upset over Baylor on the first afternoon of the 2015 tournament. Nor was there an all-time classic quite like Kentucky vs. Wichita State in the round of 32 in 2014.

    What we did have, though, was nonstop action, from Duke struggling with UNC-Wilmington in the first game of the first round to the crazy trio of games (Texas A&M vs. Northern Iowa, Wisconsin vs. Xavier and Oregon vs. Saint Joseph's) at the end of the second round.

    Even the designed breaks never came. The final game of the Thursday afternoon block turned into a double-overtime affair between Arkansas-Little Rock and Purdue. Twenty-four hours after that, Maryland was struggling with South Dakota State while we all struggled to comprehend how Michigan State had lost to Middle Tennessee.

    There were buzzer-beaters, big comebacks, bigger upsets and even a 36-point game by Buddy Hield. Our brackets didn't survive the first weekend, but it did give us everything else we hoped to see.

Loser: Pac-12

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    Leon Bennett/Getty Images

    Only 16 teams can survive the first weekend of the tournament. As a result, there's always at least one conference that looks like a major disappointment just one week removed from Selection Sunday.

    Last year, the Big East sent six teams dancing, with five receiving a No. 6 seed or better. Only one (Xavier) made it to the Sweet 16. It was a similar story for the ACC in 2014, with six teams in the tournament and three seeded No. 3 or better. No. 1 seed Virginia was the only one to advance to the second weekend. And let's not forget the Atlantic 10 and Mountain West had a combined 10 teams in the 2013 NCAA tournament. First Four participant La Salle was the only one to reach the Sweet 16.

    This year, it was the Pac-12's turn. The West Coast's premier conference sent seven teams to the tournament, all as No. 8 seeds or better. Five of those squads lost in the first round, and No. 3 seed Utah was busted by No. 11 seed Gonzaga in the second.

    Oregon was the only Pac-12 team to win a game against a No. 13 seed or better, and even the Ducks failed to live up to their No. 1 seed by losing to No. 2 seed Oklahoma in the Elite Eight.

    The Pac-12's Final Four drought now stands at eight years, with 2008 UCLA its last national semifinalist—and those poor Bruins lost by 15 to Memphis, a team that didn't officially win a game that season.

    Also, the "Conference of Champions" hasn't produced a men's college basketball national champion since Arizona in 1997.

Winner: Tom Crean

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Five months ago, Indiana reaching the Sweet 16 was a perfectly reasonable assumption. The Hoosiers opened the season ranked No. 15 in the Associated Press Top 25. ESPN's Joe Lunardi had them projected for a No. 4 seed. Indiana was the bottom No. 3 seed in my preseason projection. Big things were expected from the Hoosiers with Yogi Ferrell back in the saddle and Thomas Bryant joining the fray.

    But four months ago, Indiana reaching the Sweet 16 was crazy talk. After losses to Wake Forest and UNLV as well as a blowout loss to Duke in its first eight games of the season, Tom Crean's days in Bloomington were as numbered as ever.

    Crean, though, righted the ship and navigated this team through injuries to James Blackmon, Robert Johnson and Juwan Morgan. The Hoosiers won 20 of their final 23 regular-season games and claimed the Big Ten regular-season title outright.

    The head coach saved his best for the tournament, as Indiana blew out Chattanooga in the first round before a somewhat surprising win over Kentucky in the round of 32.

    At that point, it didn't even matter that the Hoosiers gave up 101 points in a loss to North Carolina in the Sweet 16. Despite the roadblocks thrown his way, Crean led them where they were supposed to go, successfully transitioning from the hot seat to someone who Kentucky's John Calipari said should have been the national coach of the year.

Loser: Tony Bennett

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Tony Bennett is an outstanding coach. He has won at least 29 games in three consecutive seasons at Virginia, racking up a winning percentage of 82.4 during that stretch. Prior to that, the last time the Cavaliers won so much as 74 percent of their games in a single season was 1982-83and let's just say these past few Virginia squads didn't have a player anywhere near as dominant as the Wahoos had in Ralph Sampson from 1979-83.

    Not impressed? Try this on for size: Duke's recruiting classes from 2013-15 ranked ninth, first and second in the nation, according to 247Sports. Yet Bennett won six more ACC games over the past three seasons than Mike Krzyzewski and finished ahead of him in the ACC standings in each of those years while fielding recruiting classes ranked 57th, 41st and 57th in the country. What the Cavaliers have accomplished these past three regular seasons is nothing short of phenomenal.

    Yet that regular-season success has failed to pay dividends in the NCAA tournament—and this time, it was in brutal fashion.

    When Syracuse played Virginia in the Elite Eight, it took 10 minutes for the Orange to score their first 10 points, but they scored 20 points in the span of 3½ second-half minutes as part of a 25-4 run against one of the nation's best and most unflappable defenses. Like the rest of us, Bennett could only watch in disbelief as the game slipped away.

    We will now be subjected to another 12 months of questions about whether the Cavaliers can win when it matters. At least one other "V" school put an end to that narrative this March.

Winner: Dome Shooting

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    Marcus Paige's acrobatic shot
    Marcus Paige's acrobatic shotScott Halleran/Getty Images

    Between when the Elite Eight ended and the Final Four began, all we heard about was how difficult it is to shoot in a dome, especially this one. The previous six tournament games played at NRG Stadium produced absolutely dreadful three-point shooting percentages.

    Apparently, the wrong teams played in those games, because Villanova made it look like it was hitting water in the ocean, and North Carolina was even better in the title game.

    In beating Oklahoma and the Tar Heels, the Wildcats shot 19-of-32 (59.4 percent) from beyond the arc. Kris Jenkins was 6-of-11. Ryan Arcidiacono was 5-of-7. Phil Booth made all four of his attempts. For a team that entered the tournament shooting 34.4 percent from three-point range, that fire was unexpectedly contagious.

    North Carolina entered the championship game shooting 31.9 percent from downtown—only to shoot 11-of-17 (64.7 percent) against Villanova.

    No amount of analysis could have projected that kind of long-range accuracy, but at least we'll never hear about the NRG Stadium effect again.

Loser: Major Conference Tournament Champions

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    Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    North Carolina carried the torch nicely after sweeping the ACC regular-season and tournament titles, but otherwise, it was not a banner year for teams that won major conference tournaments.

    Kansas (Big 12) and Oregon (Pac-12) won three games each, but as No. 1 seeds eliminated before the Final Four, each failed to live up to its seed. The Jayhawks were a particularly disappointing early exit as the No. 1 overall seed and favorite to win it all.

    But that's nothing compared to some of these letdowns.

    Kentucky won just one tournament game after winning the SEC tournament. Seton Hall's momentum from winning the Big East tournament was precisely nil, as the Pirates were barely even competitive in their first-round loss to Gonzaga. And the biggest blunder of all was Michigan State losing to Middle Tennessee after winning the Big Ten tournament.

    To be fair, there's little to no evidence to suggest conference tournament champions fare better than their at-large counterparts in the NCAA tournament. In 2014, Florida and Michigan State were the only Elite Eight teams to win their conference tournaments. Last year, five did it. There were three such squads this year.

    Still, it wasn't a good look for championship week winners.

Winner: Northern Iowa's First 79 Minutes, 25 Seconds

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    Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    As we'll get to shortly, there weren't any long-term Cinderella stories in this year's tournament. Northern Iowa came close, though. So close, in fact, that it's almost mathematically impossible to explain how it didn't make the second weekend.

    Nearly two weeks after winning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament on a Wes Washpun buzzer-beater, the Panthers hit an even more dramatic one in their NCAA tournament opener against Texas. They had led by as many as 16 points in the first half, but the Longhorns' Isaiah Taylor tied the game on a floater with 2.7 seconds remaining.

    That's when Paul Jesperson banked in a half-court shot that instantly became one of the most memorable moments in NCAA tournament history. At any rate, it bumped Ali Farokhmanesh's pull-up three-pointer against No. 1 seed Kansas in 2010 to second-best in Northern Iowa history.

    Two days later, Jeremy Morgan had the game of his life. With 44 seconds remaining against Texas A&M, he sank a pair of free throws for a career-high 25 points and to put the Panthers ahead by 12. Because of Northern Iowa's incredible defense, Aggies leading scorer Danuel House was 0-of-9 from the field. Texas A&M had scored just 57 points—this after dropping 92 on Green Bay in the first round.

    It seemed it was only a matter of time before the Panthers advanced to the Sweet 16 for just the second time in program history...

Loser: Northern Iowa's Next 35 Seconds

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    Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    And then it all went horribly awry.

    By all accounts, it was the most improbable comeback/collapse in college basketball history. Northern Iowa led 69-57 with 35 seconds to go before four turnovers and an ill-advised foul allowed Texas A&M to close regulation with a 14-2 run—while making just one three-pointer, no less.

    The Panthers' collapse had actually begun a minute earlier, when senior guard Matt Bohannon left the game with a knee injury. Bohannon led the team in minutes played, was the primary inbounds man and, most importantly, ranked 12th in the nation in turnover rate.

    In Bohannon's 138-game career, he had never committed more than three turnovers in a game. In fact, he didn't commit a single turnover in 83 of those games and had coughed up the ball just once against the Aggies before leaving the contest. If he's in the game for those final 35 seconds, Northern Iowa doesn't commit the terrible turnovers it did, which were compiled in a series of Vines by SB Nation's Rodger Sherman.

    The Panthers, though, still led late in the first overtime before Alex Caruso's game-tying shot with 5.9 seconds remaining. Paul Jesperson tried to make another half-court miracle, but he shot the ball with four-plus seconds remaining on the clock, forgoing what, with a few more dribbles, could have been a higher-percentage attempt.

    Texas A&M won in double overtime, scoring nearly as many points in the final 14 minutes (42) as it did in the first 36 (50 points)—and ending Northern Iowa's magical season by sending it on a trip to Heartbreak City.

Winner: ACC

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Though the ACC fell short in the national championship game, it was clearly the best conference in the 2016 NCAA tournament.

    Six ACC teams reached the Sweet 16, and the league was guaranteed a spot in the title tilt by the time the Elite Eight began, as it was responsible for each of the four remaining teams on the right side of the bracket.

    Even if we count Michigan's win over Tulsa in the First Four, the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 were a combined 21-21 in the tournament, while the ACC went 19-7. And that was with one of the better teams in the conference (Louisville) ineligible for postseason play, so it could have been even more of an ACC party.

    That record is a bit misleading because the ACC played three games against itself. If we remove the results of Syracuse vs. Virginia, North Carolina vs. Notre Dame and North Carolina vs. Syracuse, the ACC went 16-4 against the rest of the country.

    Don't hold your breath on the ACC going away anytime soon, either, because Duke will likely open next year ranked No. 1 in the nation, while the Cardinals, Cavaliers, Orange and Tar Heels could all be ranked in the Top 15.

Loser: Coach K's Reputation

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Despite Brandon Ingram's best efforts, Duke was unable to advance beyond the Sweet 16 in its defense of the 2015 national championship. Oregon played a fantastic game with major contributions from six of the seven players in its primary rotation to beat the Blue Devils 82-68.

    But few remember the outcome of the game itself, as the subsequent media storm centered around a five-second conversation Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski had with the Ducks' star player, Dillon Brooks.

    "You're too good of a player to do that," CBS' cameras caught Krzyzewski telling Brooks after he celebrated making a 30-foot three-pointer with eight seconds remaining. "You're too good of a player," he reiterated.

    The minor faux pas of giving instruction to another coach's player would have blown over in no time were it not for Krzyzewski denying the interaction in the postgame press conference before issuing an apology two days later, saying he "reacted incorrectly" to a questiona phrase that will go down in sports history alongside Roger Clemens saying Andy Pettitte "misremembers" talking to him about human growth hormone.

    People are always looking for reasons to despise the Blue Devils—how many hours did we spend discussing Grayson Allen tripping opponents this season?and Krzyzewski made that quest a lot easier in Anaheim, California. We'll eventually forget most of the things that happened in this tournament, but there's a good chance we'll hear about that handshake line for years to come.

Winner: Buddy Hield's Final Ride

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    Alonzo Adams/Associated Press

    After all of the incredible Buddy Hield moments and stories this season, it was starting to feel like he was destined to ride off into the sunset on the heels of a game-winning, buzzer-beating shot in the national championship.

    Instead, he missed his last seven three-point attempts and spent the final few minutes of his college career on the bench, watching Villanova put the finishing touches on a 44-point blowout in the national semifinals.

    But at least his final tournament went better than those of many college basketball legends.

    Denzel Valentine's Michigan State Spartans didn't even make it to the second round, and though Doug McDermott's Creighton Bluejays won one game in 2014, they were annihilated by 30 points in their next contest. And who can forget the 2006 Sweet 16, when Duke's J.J. Redick shot 3-of-18 in a loss to LSU on the same day Gonzaga's Adam Morrison set the bar for sob stories.

    Hield, on the other hand, scored 36 points against Virginia Commonwealth to get the Oklahoma Sooners to the second weekend and then scored 37 against Oregon to get them to the Final Four. The ending wasn't great, but at least we got an extra two weeks to appreciate just how much Hield brought to the game over the past four years.

Loser: Isaiah Whitehead's Draft Stock

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    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Every year, there are a few instances of players skyrocketing up projected NBA draft boards as a result of successful runs in the NCAA tournament.

    That's rarely a two-way street, though. It's one thing to impress fans and scouts by playing well for a couple of weeks, but it's exponentially more difficult to play so poorly that you effectively undo an entire season's worth of evaluations with one performance. We gobble up the annual "Biggest Risers and Sliders" articles after the tournament ends, but there's a reason there are always more "Stock Up" players than "Stock Down" ones.

    Yet Isaiah Whitehead feels like the exception to the rule.

    Seton Hall's sophomore stud entered the tournament as one of the hottest players in the country. Over his previous 10 games, he had averaged 23.5 points, 5.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.5 steals while shooting 46.8 percent (36-of-77) from three-point range.

    After more than 1½ seasons of inefficient, turnover-prone play, Whitehead was finally looking like the 5-star prospect he was in the 2014 class. With a solid showing in the tournament, he might have jumped into the back half of the first round in projected drafts.

    Instead, he had a nightmare of a game, scoring 10 points on 24 shots and recording his worst offensive rating of the season.

    Whitehead tweeted last week that he would declare for the NBA draft without hiring an agent, but that one dud against Gonzaga (and the feedback stemming from it) could lead him to return for another year and try to help the Pirates to their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2000.

Winner: Syracuse's Defense

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    Michael Gbinije (0) and Trevor Cooney (20) contest a shot by Darius Thompson.
    Michael Gbinije (0) and Trevor Cooney (20) contest a shot by Darius Thompson.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    An 83-66 loss to North Carolina in the Final Four put a bit of a damper on this slide, but then again, holding the Tar Heels to 83 points in this tournament was quite the defensive achievement.

    Prior to that national semifinal, though, Syracuse limited its four opponents to just 55.8 points per game and 89.2 points per 100 possessions.

    Even including the UNC loss, the Orange averaged 8.1 steals and 4.4 blocks while allowing just 10.7 free-throw attempts per game. They were aggressively disciplined even though they probably should have been hopelessly exhausted after ranking 350th in the nation in percentage of minutes played by the bench.

    There were plenty of teams that played great defense in the tournament, but what really made Syracuse pop was its implementation of full-court pressure.

    Everyone has known for years that Syracuse is going to run a 2-3 zone until the cows come home, but even in his 40th season as a head coach there, Jim Boeheim is still tinkering with things he can do on defense. That full-court pressure was what completely changed the flow in the second half against both Gonzaga and Virginia, flustering two of the best coaches and teams in the country.

    One of the hot media topics in the week leading up to the Final Four was how many years the 71-year-old Boeheim has left in the tank, but we at least learned in the 2016 tournament he has some tricks up his sleeve.

Loser: Big Ten

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    Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    The Big Ten had a couple of memorable moments in the 2016 NCAA tournamentmost notably Indiana's win over Kentucky and Wisconsin's Bronson Koenig hitting a buzzer-beating game-winner against Xavierbut it was a forgettable March for the conference still seeking just its second national championship since 1989.

    Though the Big Ten hasn't won it all in a while, it usually does come close. It has produced the national runner-up six times since Michigan State ascended to the throne in 2000 and had been represented in the Final Four in 10 of the past 15 tournaments.

    This year, however, the Big Ten sent seven teams to the tournament, and they were all gone before the Elite Eight. Not only did those seven teams fail to make deep runs, but two of them (Michigan State and Purdue) were on the receiving end of perhaps the two most surprising first-round upsets.

    Granted, it wasn't quite as bad as 2006, when all six teams that received a bid from the then-11-team Big Ten failed to make it out of the first weekend of the tournament. Still, this was a poor showing for what is, at this point, barely even a third wheel to the ACC and Big 12 in the debate for the best conference in the country.

Winner: V.J. Beachem

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    V.J. Beachem (3) and Matt Ryan
    V.J. Beachem (3) and Matt RyanBob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

    Stars are born in the NCAA tournament every year, but never quite like Notre Dame's V.J. Beachem.

    Usually, it's a guy like Michigan's Mitch McGary or Wichita State's Ron Bakera freshman who finally begins to flourish in March. Other times, it's a player with star potential putting it all together for a prolonged run with the whole world watchinga la Connecticut's Kemba Walker or Davidson's Stephen Curry.

    But a junior suddenly blossoming from role player to star? That's a relatively new one.

    In the first 92 games of the 6'8" wing's career, he had never been named the KenPom MVP of a game. Yet he did so twice in the tournament, averaging 17.5 points per game, shooting 54.5 percent from three-point range and throwing down one of the most memorable dunks of the tournament.

    With Zach Auguste graduating and Demetrius Jackson declaring for the draft, Beachem may well lead the ACC in scoring in 2016-17. He scarcely saw the court as a freshman and had a hit-or-miss sophomore campaign as Notre Dame's sixth man, but he became a reliable scorer and lethal shooter this season, averaging 11.3 points per game before the tournament began.

    If what we saw in the tournament is just a sample of what's to come next year, though, watch out for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish don't figure to have much in the frontcourt, but Beachem might be the main cog in the nation's best three-point shooting machine.

Loser: Cinderella

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    Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

    Though there were quite a few upsets in the first round of the 2016 NCAA tournament, there weren't any Cinderella stories heading into the second weekend—unless you count Syracuse as a Cinderella, in which case, you need to re-evaluate your definition of that word.

    No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee pulled off arguably the biggest upset in NCAA tournament history with its 90-81 win over No. 2 seed Michigan State. The Blue Raiders shot 57.9 percent from three-point range and never let up, surviving every run the Spartans went on. But then they showed why they were a No. 15 seed by losing to Syracuse by 25.

    Similarly, No. 13 seed Hawaii and No. 12 seed Arkansas-Little Rock broke brackets with their first-round surprises before barely putting up a fight in the second round.

    But there were three other minor-conference teams that nearly made it into the Sweet 16. In addition to Northern Iowa's brief tournament run, No. 12 seed Yale knocked off Baylor before giving Duke a run for its money, and No. 14 seed Stephen F. Austin came a Rex Pflueger tip-in away from crashing the regional semifinals.

    Unfortunately for the little guys, almost doesn't count, and we were left with Gonzaga and 15 major-conference teams in the Sweet 16. That's now three straight Sweet 16s without a team seeded No. 12 or worse.

Winner: Wisconsin Badgers

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Did you know Wisconsin is the only team in the country with an active streak of at least three consecutive Sweet 16 appearances?

    Six teams made it to a regional semifinal in both 2014 and 2015, but UCLA and Louisville both missed this year's tournament, Arizona and Michigan State were both knocked out in the first round, and Kentucky was unable to get by Indiana, leaving the Badgers as the last team standing after a Bronson Koenig buzzer-beater to upset Xavier.

    If you had told me five months ago that only one of those six teams would make the Sweet 16, Wisconsin would have been my last guess. The Badgers lost five of their seven leading scorers from last year's team and were primed for a fall back to Earth after back-to-back Final Four appearances. And for the first 18 games of the season, they fell hard, going 9-9 and looking like a team with no chance of making the tournament.

    Credit to Greg Gard, though, for emerging from an impossible situation even better than Tom Cruise ever has, earning a long-term contract as the head coach of what ought to be a Top 10 program next season.

    Former walk-on Jordan Smith was the lone senior on this year's roster, Nigel Hayes had a painfully inefficient season and we've only just begun to tap into the potential of Ethan Happ. Not only should the Badgers make it to a fourth straight Sweet 16, they just might finally win the national championship that eluded them in 2014 and 2015.

Loser: Vanderbilt

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    Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    With the separation between teams on the bubble seemingly narrower than ever before, there were a lot of people up in arms about the inclusion/exclusion of a bunch of teams.

    For the most part, the "least deserving" teams played well. Of the five teams that less than 80 percent of the Bracket Matrix had in its projected field, Syracuse made the Final Four, Temple took Iowa to overtime, and Michigan and Tulsa were evenly matched in the First Four game before Michigan nearly beat Notre Dame in the round of 64.

    And then there's Vanderbilt.

    The Commodores opened the season ranked No. 18 in the AP Top 25 before spending the next 18 weeks disappointing us, culminating in a 70-50 loss to Wichita State in Dayton. It was a close game for the first 30 minutesVandy trailed by just one with a little over nine minutes remainingbut the Commodores played with nothing resembling poise the rest of the way, allowing the Shockers to finish the game on a 23-4 run.

    Making matters worse, their head coach took the vacancy at Pittsburgh less than two weeks later, and with Wade Baldwin IV and Damian Jones both projected as top 20 picks on DraftExpress, there's a reasonable expectation that both halves of their inside-outside duo will declare for the NBA draftthough neither has done so yet.

    If both guys stay, Vanderbilt will once again be projected as a top-three team in the SEC for 2016-17, considering all seven members of the primary rotation have at least one year of eligibility remaining. If the Commodores lose both Baldwin and Jones, though, that 20-point loss to Wichita State could be just the beginning of a downward spiral.

Winner: National Championship Game

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    This final slide was supposed to be reserved for the national champion, but we didn't know Villanova and North Carolina would give us the greatest national championship game in decades.

    The Wildcats and Tar Heels shot 61.3 percent from three-point range and left approximately 110 percent of everything they had on the court. Guys were diving all over the place for loose balls. Point guards were getting switched onto centers and fighting for position all the same.

    For all of the griping on social media about the officials, the game was an all-time classic with no one fouling out and the free-throw line having next to no impact on the result.

    After so many bumps, bruises and whistles, it all came down to a handful of vividly memorable shots in the final minutes.

    We often say close games between evenly matched, high-powered offenses will be decided by whichever team has the ball in its hands in the closing seconds, and that was certainly the case in Houston. North Carolina's Marcus Paige made a double-clutch circus shot to tie the game with 4.7 seconds left, but Kris Jenkins hit a buzzer-beater to give Villanova its first national championship since 1985.

    And then they brought out the dust for "One Shining Moment," just like every other year.

    Congratulations to the Wildcats, winners of arguably the craziest NCAA tournament of my lifetime.

    Unless otherwise noted, all statistics courtesy of Sports-Reference.com or KenPom.com.

    Kerry Miller covers college basketball for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @kerrancejames.

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