LOCATION: Lawrence. ENROLLMENT: 29,624
RECORD: 30-4. RPI: 11th.
RECORD VS. FIELD: 5-3.
NCAA HISTORY: This is 36th appearance, and 18th in a row. The Jayhawks won it all in 1952 and 1988; they also advanced to the Final Four 10 other times, including 2002 and '03.
KEY PLAYERS: G Sherron Collins (5-11/Fr., 9.4 ppg, 41.0 3-pt FG%); G Brandon Rush (6-6/Soph., 13.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 40.5 3-pt FG%); F Julian Wright (6-8/Soph., 11.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 55.1 FG%).
THE BUZZ: The Jayhawks have no seniors, but it hasn't mattered. Coach Bill Self has an athletic group that likes a fast pace, and despite their youth, these guys can play good defense. There's nice inside-outside balance (KU shoots 49.4 percent from the field, including 38.2 percent from 3-point range), and they crush foes on the boards (plus-7.7 rebound margin). At times, though, they can be sloppy with the ball, and other than Rush, their guards are short.
BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW: William Inge, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright ("Picnic") and Oscar Award-winner (for writing "Splendor in the Grass"), is a Kansas alum.
LOCATION: Los Angeles. ENROLLMENT: 36,890
HOW THEY GOT HERE: At-large, from Pac-10.
RECORD: 26-5. RPI: 3rd.
RECORD VS. FIELD: 13-2.
NCAA HISTORY: This is 41st appearance, and third in a row. The Bruins have won a record 11 NCAA titles, with the last coming in 1995. That was their first title since 1975.
KEY PLAYERS: G Arron Afflalo (6-5/Jr., 16.7 ppg, 37.9 3-pt FG%); G Darren Collison (6-0/Soph., 12.4 ppg, 5.9 apg, 2.3 spg, 45.0 3-pt FG%); F Josh Shipp (6-5/Soph., 13.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg).
THE BUZZ: The backcourt of Afflalo and Collison may be the nation's best; Collison is an absolute jet with the ball and Afflalo does everything well. Shipp completes a top-notch perimeter trio. The Bruins aren't going to get much frontcourt scoring, but Luc Richard Mbah Moute (Montverde Academy) and Lorenzo Mata are solid defensively and on the boards. Depth is iffy.
BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW: UCLA switched its nickname to Bruins when it joined the Pacific Coast Conference in 1926 because league member Montana already was nicknamed the Grizzlies.