Xavier has had an historic season, winning the Big East regular-season title and getting a No. 1 seed. Not sure how much history the Musketeers can make in the NCAA Tournament. A second-round matchup with Florida State, which should beat Missouri in the first round, will be contentious. The Seminoles are a tough defensive unit that could slow Xavier down. Awaiting X in the Sweet 16 should be Gonzaga, which has had an under-the-radar season but a successful one. The Zags are better than people think. North Carolina will have a tricky second-round matchup with Providence, which is coming off an overtime loss to Villanova in the Big East final. Houston, a defensive-minded team, could upset Michigan in the second round to become the Tar Heels’ Sweet 16 opponent. In the end, it all sets up as a rematch of last year’s NCAA championship game, North Carolina vs. Gonzaga for the West championship.
Upset specials: South Dakota State over Ohio State, Providence over Texas A&M.
Sweet 16: Xavier, Gonzaga, Houston, North Carolina.
Regional champion: North CarolinaJoe Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeSullivan