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Valpo coach Bryce Drew was worried about Michigan State's size and athleticism entering Thursday's game -- it was justifiable. Spartans senior big man Derrick Nix had his way with the Horizon Leaguers and Tom Izzo's team coasted into the round of 32.
OK, so we all know the tournament begins in earnest Thursday. And I'm as eager as anything to get the goings on with it. I'll be courtside in Salt Lake City but will have the March Madness on Demand screen up with multiple windows going as well. I have to say: It's gonna be a good day.
The NCAA tournament is filled with players you'll be watching in the NBA for years. UNLV's Anthony Bennett and Kansas' Ben McLemore are two obvious examples. But a lot of the students on display are guys you might never hear from or about again.
Are the four No. 1 seeds the favorites to win the title? Let's look at the entire field, 1-68.
Sweet 16 runs aren't guaranteed. But if we get any from the teams listed below, the players whom I'm detailing should be a major reason why. Who can be the next Stephen Curry or D.J. Cooper or Wally Szczerbiak? Here are the 12 most likely candidates from outside the six major conferences.
Bryce Drew hit a legendary shot when he was a player at Ole Miss; what does he have up his sleeve as a coach in the NCAA tournament?
Just like the regular season, expect the Horizon League tournament to come down to the same two teams: Valparaiso and Detroit.
There are several quality games in this year's BracketBusters event, although Creighton vs. Saint Mary's is the marquee matchup.
Several teams needed to make statements on Thursday, and a few succeeded. Meanwhile, Illinois continues its fall.

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