No. 1 TEXAS (22-6)
NCAA HISTORY: 21st appearance, fifth straight. Final Four in 1947. Lost to Oregon last in year in regional semis.
STARTERS: F Brad Buckman, C James Thomas, G T.J. Ford, G Royal Ivey, G Brandon Mouton.
OUTLOOK: Still another Big 12 team with Final Four potential. If PG Ford had a better jumper, he'd be illegal. Thomas leads the conference in rebounding. The Longhorns, who struggled outside of conference, start nary a senior and are loaded with depth, size and 3-point shooters, the best of whom is 6-foot-10 reserve F Brian Boddicker.
No. 2 FLORIDA (24-7)
NCAA HISTORY: 10th appearance, fifth straight. Two Final Fours, runner-up in 2000. Lost to Creighton last year in first round.
COACH: Billy Donovan (8-4 in NCAA).
STARTERS: F Matt Bonner, F Matt Walsh, F David Lee, G Justin Hamilton, G Anthony Roberson.
OUTLOOK: If sixth man Brett Nelson ever regains his 3-point shooting touch from last season, the Gators could win it all. They beat Kansas and Maryland outside the SEC, make nearly 40 percent of their 3-point shots and have an effective mix of seniors (Bonner and Hamilton) and freshmen (Roberson, Walsh and Christian Drejer).
No. 3 XAVIER (25-5)
NCAA HISTORY: 15th appearance, third straight. Never advanced past regional semis. Lost to Oklahoma last year in second round.
COACH: Thad Matta (2-2 in NCAA).
STARTERS: F David West, F Anthony Myles, G Romain Sato, G Lionel Chalmers, G Dedrick Finn.
OUTLOOK: Chalmers' return from an early-season broken foot makes the Musketeers legit Final Four darkhorses, as victories against Purdue, Creighton and Cincinnati and a one-point loss at Stanford attest. All-American West's 47 points and 18 rebounds against Dayton was the season's premier individual performance.
No. 4 STANFORD (23-8)
NCAA HISTORY: 12th appearance, ninth straight. Two Final Fours, champ in 1942, semifinalist in '98. Lost to Kansas in second round last year.
COACH: Mike Montgomery (14-10 in NCAA).
STARTERS: F Justin Davis, F Josh Childress, C Rob Little, G Matt Lottich, G Julius Barnes.
NCAA South Region capsules
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.