OUTLOOK: Huggins remains maniacal despite an offseason heart attack, but his Bearcats aren't nearly as good as last season's No. 1 seed. This marks the first time in eight years Cincy did not earn at least a share of Conference USA regular-season title. Bearcats defeated Oregon in December but lost five of six late in season.

No. 9 GONZAGA (23-8)

NCAA HISTORY: Sixth appearance, fifth straight. Regional runner-up in 1999. Lost to Wyoming last year in first round.
COACH: Mark Few (4-3 in NCAA).
STARTERS: F Kyle Bankhead, F Ronny Turiaf, C Cory Violette, G Blake Stepp, G Winston Brooks.
OUTLOOK: After three consecutive years of bracket busting, Zags entered the 2002 tournament with great fanfare, only to exit in the first round. Less attention this year might be the perfect tonic. Gonzaga, nine deep, beat Utah and N.C. State in non-conference, but lost to San Diego on the Toreros home court in West Coast tournament final.

No. 10 ARIZONA STATE (19-11)

NCAA HISTORY: 12th appearance, first since 1995. No Final Fours, regional runner-up three times.
COACH: Rob Evans (0-2 in NCAA).
STARTERS: F Donnell Knight, F Tommy Smith, F Ike Diogu, G Curtis Millage, G James Braxton.
OUTLOOK: Freshman PF Diogu, one of the most touted recruits in program history, leads the Sun Devils in scoring and rebounding. ASU feasted on the bottom half of the watered-down Pac-10 but had impressive non-conference victories against Utah and Purdue. Anything past the first round would prompt celebration.

No. 11 CENTRAL MICHIGAN (24-6)

NCAA HISTORY: Fourth appearance, first since 1987. Advanced one round in 1975.
COACH: Jay Smith (1st NCAA).
STARTERS: F Mike Manciel, C Chris Kaman, G J.R. Wallace, G T.J. Meerman, G Tony Bowne.
OUTLOOK: The Chippewas, 9-19 last year, won the regular season and tournament in the Mid-American, the conference that produced last season's surprise regional finalist, Kent State. First NCAA since the days of Dan Majerle. Kaman, a 7-foot junior and the MAC Player of the Year, averages 22.7 points and 12.3 rebounds.

No. 12 UW-MILWAUKEE (24-7)

NCAA HISTORY: First appearance.
COACH: Bruce Pearl (1st NCAA).
STARTERS: F Dylan Page, F Clay Tucker, C Nate Mielki, G Ronnie Jones, G Jason Frederick.