Allen among Duke veterans with NCAA Tournament impact

Winter storm could wreak havoc on NCAA tournament travel for teams, fans

Without Boucher, the Ducks will have to lean even more on Pac-12 Player of the Year Dillon Brooks to shoulder the load for a team who some pundits consider the favorites to win the whole shebang.

Marial Shayok added a career-high 23 points off the bench on 8-for-14 shooting, while Darius Thompson ended with 10 for Virginia, which advanced to face the victor of the Florida v East Tennessee State battle. Guard Quinton Hooker is the top guy at 19 points per game. This team should beat over-seeded and inconsistent Minnesota - at least one No. 12 has beaten a No. 5 in all but four tournaments since 1985 - and then either No. 4 Butler or No. 13 Winthrop on Saturday.

Notre Dame's Bonzie Colson turned his ankle in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against Duke. But look out for the SMU Mustangs (at the No. 6 seed) to give Duke trouble if they were able to meet in the Round-of-32. I always root for the teams nearby, and the Patriot League Champions from nearby Lewisburg are no exception.

Jefferson and Jones each have played 10 NCAA games, and Jones has three starts from past year, when Duke fell, 82-68, to OR in the Sweet 16 in Anaheim, Calif. The Tigers in 1977. Should the Mustangs make the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1967, Semi will lead the conga line. I don't mind money being involved one bit.

First, where else in life could a bunch of kids from Yale be considered lovable underdogs than at the tournament? The former president is picking North Carolina to win the men's NCAA Tournament over Duke.

That doesn't make the tournament a bad thing. "I totally had that No. 10 seed in the Elite Eight!"

For the most part there hasn't been anyone that has fallen away from the pack yet. Sure, the story is nice and the historic implications of it all are not lost on me. Guard Hallice Cooke played for Iowa State just previous year before transferring to Nevada, bringing their scouts and coaches an inside view of Iowa State's operations.

What to watch: First NCAA appearance for North Dakota, the Big Sky champion.

Biff was a real wolverine brought to games before it spent it's time in the zoo, now we settle for the maize and blue mascot that has no resemblance to the creature. Nine double-digit seeds won Round 1 games past year; seven were eliminated in Round 2. Maybe a No. 4 seed you think matches up well with a No. 1, or a No. 6 which just might be better than the No. 2 and No. 3 in their eighth of the bracket? Arizona comes into the tournament ranked second in RPI, behind only Villanova (31-3), and played the 21st-toughest schedule in the nation this season, according to

The Arizona Wildcats are ranked as the second team in the West.

How those teams will get to the big stage in Phoenix - and who they'll have to beat to get there? "Actually, I'm going to be the shortest player on the court".

Every player dreams that they will be the one who will decide the game in the final seconds and lead their team to win in the Finals of the NCAA championship.