Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
TONIGHT on News 19 WLTX:
No. 2 Miami vs. No. 3 Marquette | 7:15 p.m., CBS
No. 9 Wichita State vs. No. 13 La Salle | 10:17 p.m., CBS
Welcome to another session of Bracket Briefing, our attempt to provide you with essential information on the Big Dance - highlighting the Florida Gulf Coasts and Harvards of the college basketball world, and forecasting the Ali Farokhmanesh and Steph Curry moments before they happen.
Teams in the field: 16
NCAA TOURNAMENT: Updated bracket
RELATED: FGCU has 'won over the nation'
Show me the money: If fans think winning their bracket pool is stressful, try coaching in a game knowing a win could be worth $60,000 in an incentive bonus outlined in your contract. USA TODAY Sports' Steve Berkowitz breaks down each Sweet 16 coach's salary in a must-read enterprise piece. See how much Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall earned with a Sweet 16-advancing win over Gonzaga and find out how much Arizona coach Sean Miller could pull in with a win against Ohio State to advance to the Elite Eight.
Almost famous: "Oprah hasn't called yet," joked Florida Gulf Coast president Wilson Bradshaw about his team's newfound celebrity status. (ViaThe News-Press)
8 on deck: An index to help guide you through the madness Thursday and Friday.
For clarity: Games are ranked based on the madness potential. Games are rated based on watchability. So, a three-star game means nothing else in your life matters, including the expense report your boss is demanding at work. Two stars means you should put your cellphone on vibrate and you can watch while folding your laundry. One star means your heart will go on if you miss this. (All times Eastern.)
*** No. 3 Florida vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast | Friday, 9:57 p.m., TBS
*** No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Duke | Friday, March 29, 9:45 p.m., CBS
*** No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Michigan | Friday, 7:37 p.m., TBS
*** No. 9 Wichita State vs. No. 13 La Salle | Thursday, 10:17 p.m., CBS
** No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 4 Syracuse | Friday, 9:45 p.m., CBS
** No. 2 Miami vs. No. 3 Marquette | Thursday, 7:15 p.m., CBS
* No. 6 Arizona vs. No. 2 Ohio State | Thursday, 7:47 p.m., TBS
* No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 12 Oregon | Friday, March 29, 7:15 p.m., CBS
BIG DANCE: Reseeding each team by awesomeness factor
Quote to note: "This year is so open. There's a lot of good teams. I think the favorites will be a Duke or IU as well. I'm happy that I'm able to root for two teams. Obviously I'm Marquette through and through in my heart but Coach Crean is a father figure to me and wherever he goes I go in heart as well. IU I became a part of that program in heart as well." - Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade on his NCAA tourney pick. (Via GameOn! USA TODAY Sports)
The Sunshine State: Yesterday, we discussed the dominance of the Big Ten with four teams in the Sweet 16. What about state power, though? We've mentioned Michigan having two schools, UM and MSU, in the last 16. With second-seeded Miami, third-seeded Florida and darling Florida Gulf Coast advancing in the NCAA tournament, basketball has taken center stage all across the peninsula. Throw in the Miami Heat's 27-game winning streak, six shy of tying the NBA record set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, and hoops is the hottest thing going in Florida.Sports on Earth had a fantastic piece on the college hoops renaissance in Florida.
"Certainly, when you have three teams from the state of Florida still playing in the NCAA tournament and in the Sweet 16, I think it's certainly going to draw a lot of attention to basketball," Florida coach Billy Donovan said.
Star Watch: Vander Blue, Marquette (14.8 points per game, 29 points in third-round win over Butler)
Golden Eagles' coach Buzz Williams on Blue: "I'm not a professor in how I coach, like I don't get into all of those things, and so I'm attracted to guys with an edge like Van and I think that probably goes both ways. But his fire burns really, really bright and that's been so healthy for our team, particularly as we've improved that we've continued to have that same competitiveness."
Seeding breakdown: A look at the field after the first three rounds.
- East Regional: No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seeds advanced.
- Midwest Regional: No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 12 seeds advanced.
- South Regional: No. 1, No. 3 No. 4 and No. 15 seeds advanced.
- West Regional: No. 2, No. 6, No. 9 and No. 13 seeds advanced.
NIT rollin': Maryland is going to the (NIT) Final Four! It was about a month too late, but the Terps finally got a nice road win, beating Alabama 58-57 in Tuscaloosa. Maryland has 25 wins in 2012-13, a mark that hasn't been topped since the 32 victories in the national championship season of 2001-02. Despite missing out on the Big Dance, the experience from a deep postseason run should pay dividends for Mark Turgeon's young team in the coming years. The Terps take on the winner of tonight's Virginia-Iowa game, on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
Kickin' it old school: The vintage clip of the day goes to...