The Jayhawks are not only the No. 1 seed in San Antonio, they are the last remaining single-digit seed still standing in the Southwest Region. Seeds 2-9 (Notre Dame, Purdue, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, Texas A&M, UNLV and Illinois, respectively) were all bounced from the bracket, leaving Kansas to face No. 12 seed Richmond in the Sweet 16 before, Rock Chalk prevailing, the winner of No. 10 Florida State and No. 11 VCU in the Elite Eight, with a trip to the Final Four in Houston on the line for Bill Self's squad.
Back to the FSU-ture
The Seminoles are headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1993, when Heisman Trophy and national title-winning quarterback Charlie Ward teamed with Sam Cassel and Bob Sura to give FSU a three-headed backcourt of future NBA guards. Fittingly, Florida State upset Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough and Southwest Region No. 2 seed Notre Dame, 71–57, to punch its ticket to San Antonio. The classic gridiron rivalry — the Fighting Irish were the only team to defeat the Seminoles during their title run in ’93 — took a turn on the hardwood, with Leonard Hamilton’s crew winning what many Nole b-ball fans may just call the new “Game of the Century.”
Shaka Smart’s Rams have wreaked “havoc” throughout this year's NCAA Tournament — just as the 33-year-old coach promised when he took over for Anthony Grant at Virginia Commonwealth in 2009. As a debatable at-large team, VCU fought its way past USC, 59–46, as one of the original “First Four” teams in the new-look field of 68. Then, the Rams battered No. 6 seed Georgetown, 74–56, before running laps around No. 3 seed Purdue, 94–76, to advance to the first Sweet 16 in school history. Led by fiery point guard Joey Rodriguez — who was a high school teammate of Florida forward and SEC Player of the Year Chandler Parsons — VCU will take on FSU in the first-ever matchup between No. 10 and 11 seeds.
“We just switch our men, and we have a bunch of players who can defend the perimeter. It makes it look like a man-to-man, and that’s why it’s so hard for teams to figure it out. When we see something on the court that the other team is doing, we know how to adjust. We like to make the other team think, ‘Is it a man? Or is it a zone?’” — Richmond guard Kevin Anderson, discussing the Spiders’ flexible matchup zone defense, which held Morehead State to 37.5 percent shooting (18-of-48) from the field and 14.3 percent (2-of-14) from 3-point range during a 65–48 win.