Must-watch player: Jalen Brunson
Villanova’s 6-3 junior point guard is generally stoic, but that doesn’t mean his fire isn’t burning within. Averaging 19.4 points and 4.7 assists per game, he is the engine and steady hand onVillanova’s offense.
Must-watch matchup: Wichita State vs. Marshall
Wichita State is a senior-laden team that has made tournament appearances the past seven seasons. It should be a cinch. But put this on upset watch. Marshall is here for the first time in 31 years and has won four consecutive games, including the Conference USA tournament. It’d be a mistake to dismiss the Herd.
Calling it now: Purdue over Cal-State Fullerton
The Boilermakers represent a Big Ten that sent only four teams to the tournament, but Purdue, which had a 19-game midseason winning streak, is led by four seniors and could be the last Big Ten team standing.
Rana L. Cash