OK, they have long since swept up the confetti at the Mercedes Benz Superdome following Kentucky’s NCAA championship win over Kansas three weeks ago.
Indiana's Cody Zeller, Kentucky's Kyle Wiltjer and Louisville's Peyton Siva will all have the Final Four on their mind in 2012-13
In the weeks that have followed, a number of top college basketball players have opted to leave early for the NBA. At the same time, several of the key high school prospects have also finalized their college choices.
We thought this would be an ideal time to look ahead to the 2012-13 season to see which teams will be in contention for the next NCAA championship.
It is easy to simply slip this year’s Final Four into the top spots for next year. At the same time, you will always see the same four or five names – North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and a few others – always lingering around the preseason top 10.
But hopefully we have been able to analyze the returning rosters and give you an accurate portrayal of where we think things are headed. Every year brings some surprises, so don’t be surprised if a team we have pegged as, say, a six seed comes together and makes a Final Four run.
Here are some trends we have noticed:
* The SEC will be more difficult and competitive with Missouri (and Texas A&M) moving there this upcoming year. Does the mass exodus at Kentucky open the door for Florida or Mizzou to win that league?
* The Pac-12, left for dead last season, could be headed for a quick renaissance as UCLA and Arizona each landed top-five recruiting classes.
* The Big Ten and Big East will each be tough as nails once again. They each had four teams in the Sweet 16 and one in the Final Four. Each league should again be represented in the Final Four, which will be held in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome next April.
* One Big East school that won’t be in that mix, though, is 2011 national champion Connecticut. Jim Calhoun’s program is ineligible for the 2013 tournament due to Academic Progress Rate restrictions. It will be a rough year for the Huskies, who saw key players leave for the NBA while others transferred out.
* And the so called mid-majors will make plenty of noise. The Mountain West, Missouri Valley, Colonial Athletic, West Coast, the Atlantic 10, the Horizon and Mid-American conferences all have teams capable of advancing to the Sweet 16 and maybe even the Elite Eight.
Below, we share our survey of the nation’s top 32 teams heading into the off-season. We list them as seed lines one through eight. Then we have more teams that have caught our eye plus more things to think about heading into the summer. (Note: 247Sports.com recruiting rankings will be listed in parentheses behind the names of some key incoming freshmen.)
OUR NCAA PROJECTIONS
* 1. Indiana (27-9 in 2011-12), top seed in Midwest – Tom Crean endured three losing seasons as the IU coach, but this past year’s Sweet 16 breakthrough made it all worth it. Getting Cody Zeller (15.5 ppg) and Christian Watford (12.0 ppg) to stay in school one more year was huge as the Hoosiers will have their entire starting lineup back.
Plus, Crean welcomes in a top-10 recruiting class featuring point guard Yogi Ferrell (ranked 25th nationally by 247Sports.com), wing Jeremy Hollowell (ranked 35th) and Hanner Mosquera-Perea (ranked 52nd). IU hasn’t won a national title since 1987 and hasn’t been to the Final Four since 2002. One or maybe both of those could change in 2013.
* 2. Louisville (30-10), top seed in South – The Cardinals finished seventh in the Big East, but they put it together late in the year to win the Big East tournament and advance to the Final Four. Rick Pitino loses guards Kyle Kuric and Chris Smith. But he has some nice pieces coming back in shooting guard Russ Smith (11.5 ppg), wing Chane Behanan (9.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg), point guard Peyton Siva (9.1 ppg) and 6-11 center Gorgui Dieng (9.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg).
Pitino will also be counting on sophomore wing Wayne Blackshear, sidelined most of this past season with eligibility issues, to emerge. Plus, Louisville adds George Mason transfer Luke Hancock, a forward who averaged 10.9 ppg in 2010-11. Louisville figures to be the class of the Big East. But can the Cardinals outclass defending champion Kentucky in their own state?
* 3. N.C. State (24-13), top seed in East – A year ago, Mark Gottfried came out of the ESPN studio to take over a Wolfpack program that was looking straight up at its ACC neighbors North Carolina and Duke. Don’t look now, but N.C. State may be the best team in the ACC. After a Sweet 16 run, the Wolfpack could be looking for bigger and better things.
N.C. State loses guard C.J. Williams, but has four other starters returning who averaged double figures. The big key is forward C.J. Leslie (14.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg), who passed up a chance to leave early for the NBA. Plus, Gottfried has three national top-50 prospects coming in with shooting guard Rodney Purvis (ranked 17th nationally), wing T.J. Warren (ranked 24th) and point guard Tyler Lewis (ranked 45th).
One more thought: 2013 will mark the 30-year anniversary of N.C. State’s miraculous NCAA title game win over Houston under coach Jim Valvano. You can bet that will be brought up more than once.
* 4. Kentucky (38-2), top seed in West – Instead of lather, rinse, repeat, John Calipari operates on his own scientific method – win big, watch his players leave for the NBA, reload. That’s the position Calipari is back in as his top six scorers have left after winning the NCAA title. That includes national player of the year Anthony Davis – one of three one-and-done stars leaving UK for greener pastures.
Calipari will rework his team with one key holdover (forward Kyle Wiltjer, 5.0 ppg), an N.C. State transfer (point guard Ryan Harrow) and another top-five recruiting class. That haul includes 6-11 center Nerlens Noel (ranked No. 1 nationally), wing Alex Poythress (ranked eighth), shooting guard Archie Goodwin (ranked 12th) and 6-11 center Willie Cauley (ranked 37th).
Reaching the Final Four for a third straight year may be a lofty goal, but this is a UK team that should get better as the season wears on.
* 5. UCLA (19-14) – Two months ago, Ben Howland’s days as the UCLA coach seemed numbered as Sports Illustrated wrote a scathing expose of his program. But Howland and the Bruins could be looking for much better times. For starters, he has 6-10 twins Travis Wear and David Wear and 6-10 Joshua Smith all returning. They each averaged between 9.9 and 11.5 points per game.
Plus, he has North Carolina transfer Larry Drew coming in to boost the backcourt and will also welcome the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, including wing Shabazz Muhammad (ranked second nationally), wing Kyle Anderson (ranked fourth) and center Tony Parker (ranked 23rd).
* 6. Ohio State (31-8) – Thad Matta lost William Buford to graduation and All-American Jared Sullinger early to the NBA. But he got a nice surprise when forward Deshaun Thomas (15.9 ppg) announced he would be back. Thomas averaged just under 20 points per game in OSU’s Final Four run and could be poised for a big year. Guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. also return.
* 7. Michigan State (29-8) – Tom Izzo lost do-it-all All-American Draymond Green to graduation. He needs wing Branden Dawson (8.4 ppg) to rebound from a knee injury and join point guard Keith Appling (11.4 ppg), power forward Derrick Nix (8.1 ppg) and center Adreian Payne (7.0 ppg) in the lineup.
Izzo has added Big Ten-ready shooting guard Gary Harris (ranked 18th nationally) and other key pieces with his 2012 recruiting class.
* 8. Kansas (32-7) – It was a big year for the Jayhawks, who reached the Final Four and the national title game. But Bill Self bids adieu to point guard Tyshawn Taylor and All-American power forward Thomas Robinson, who left early for the NBA.
Self will lean on three returning seniors in 7-0 center Jeff Withey (9.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and guards Elijah Johnson (10.2 ppg) and Travis Releford (8.5 ppg). Plus, he welcomes in power forward Perry Ellis (ranked 31st nationally). Kansas’ Big 12 championship string is at eight years and counting.
* 9. Michigan (24-10) – Coach John Beilein got a nice boost when point guard Trey Burke (14.8 ppg) decided to come back for his sophomore year. He and Tim Hardaway Jr. (14.6 ppg) form an outstanding backcourt, while power forward Jordan Morgan (7.3 ppg) also returns.
The key will be integrating top-50 prep prospects like wing Glenn Robinson Jr. (ranked 19th) and center Mitch McGary (ranked 28th). UM just ended its Big Ten title drought at 26 years. The Wolverines’ last Final Four was in 1993.
* 10. Baylor (30-8) – Baylor reached the Elite Eight for the second time in three years. But, again, the Final Four proved elusive with an 82-70 regional final loss to Kentucky. Coach Scott Drew says goodbye to senior Quincy Acy as well as a pair of early NBA draft entrants in Quincy Miller and Perry Jones. But the backcourt of Pierre Jackson (13.8 ppg) and Brady Heslip (10.2 ppg) should remain intact.
* 11. North Carolina (32-6) – This may be a transition year at UNC, but Roy Williams’ teams never stay down for too long. The Tar Heels lost center Tyler Zeller to graduation and also saw Kendall Marshall, Harrison Barnes and John Henson leave early for the NBA. Those four accounted for 68 percent of UNC’s scoring this past season.
There is some hope in Chapel Hill, though. Guards Reggie Bullock (8.8 ppg) and Dexter Strickland (limited to 19 games due to injury) and promising forwards James Michael McAdoo and P.J. Hairston also return. Williams also signed a pair of top-50 prospects in point guard Marcus Paige (ranked 30th nationally) and power forward Brice Johnson (ranked 40th).
* 12. Florida (26-11) – The Gators were a seven seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight before falling to Louisville in a 72-68 heartbreaker. Coach Billy Donavan loses do-it-all guard Bradley Beal early to the NBA. But guard Kenny Boynton (15.9 ppg) and big men Erik Murphy (12.1 ppg) and Patric Young (10.2 ppg) will be back.
Point guard Braxton Ogbueze (ranked 52nd nationally) joins the mix.
* 13. Syracuse (34-3) – It was a turbulent year in Syracuse, where the Orange stayed at or near the top of the polls most of the year despite the off-the-court saga involving allegations against a former Jim Boeheim assistant. Syracuse reached the Elite Eight before falling to Ohio State 77-70. Seniors Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine are gone as are early NBA departees Fab Melo and Dion Waiters.
Guard Brandon Triche (9.4 ppg) and power forward C.J. Fair (8.5 ppg) top the returnees. Promising sophs-to-be Rakeem Christmas and Michael Carter-Williams figure to step up. SU added an impact big man in 6-10 DaJuan Coleman (ranked 20th nationally) from right there in Syracuse.
* 14. Duke (27-7) – The Blue Devils were swept aside by 15th-seeded Lehigh 75-70 in their NCAA Tournament opener. That was certainly an early exit for a Duke program just two years removed from its latest national title under Mike Krzyzewski. Austin Rivers is leaving Durham after one year for the NBA. But 6-10 Mason Plumlee (11.1 ppg, 9.2 rpg) will be back for his senior year.
Also returning are guard Seth Curry (13.2 ppg), forward Ryan Kelly (11.8 ppg) and guards Andre Dawkins (8.4 ppg), Quinn Cook and Tyler Thornton. Duke also adds shooting guard Rasheed Sulaimon (ranked 11th nationally).
* 15. Memphis (26-9) – The Tigers figure to leave Conference USA with one more championship before heading to greener pastures in the Big East. Memphis lost wing Will Barton early to the NBA, but coach Josh Pastner has most everybody else back. That includes guard Joe Jackson (11.0 ppg), forward Tarik Black (10.7 ppg) and guard Chris Crawford (9.1 ppg).
Pastner is also hoping for a breakout season for soph-to-be Adonis Thomas (8.8 ppg), who was limited to 19 games due to ankle issues. The Tigers also add 6-9 power forward Shaq Goodwin (ranked 32nd nationally).
* 16. Arizona (23-12) – The Wildcats dropped their NIT opener to Bucknell and it was at home, no less. But don’t look for coach Sean Miller’s team to be down for very long. He has some returning pieces in forward Solomon Hill (13.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and guard Nick Johnson (9.0 ppg).
Miller also reeled in one of the nation’s top classes with 7-0 center Kaleb Tarczewski (ranked sixth nationally), 6-9 power forward Grant Jerrett (ranked ninth), 6-9 power forward Brandon Ashley (ranked 16th) and shooting guard Gabe York (ranked 51st).
* 17. San Diego State (26-8) – Steve Fisher has quietly assembled a program at SDSU. They lost four starters off their 2011 Sweet 16 team, but came back and tied for the Mountain West title, reached the conference tournament title game and earned a six seed in the NCAA. Four starters will be back, including guards Jamaal Franklin (17.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg), Chase Tapley (15.8 ppg) and Xavier Thames (10.1 ppg). SDSU also adds transfers J.J. O'Brien (Utah), James Johnson (Virginia) and Dwayne Polee (St. John's).
* 18. Creighton (29-6) – All-American wing Doug McDermott (22.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg), son of head coach Greg McDermott, returns for his junior year. The Bluejays lose point guard Antoine Young, but 6-9 center Gregory Echenique (9.7 ppg) will be back. With Wichita State hit with heavy graduation losses, Creighton figures to be the class of the Missouri Valley.
* 19. Wisconsin (26-10) – The Badgers lose dynamic point guard Jordan Taylor, although coach Bo Ryan has his four other starters returning. That group includes wing Ryan Evans (11.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and power forward Jared Berggren (10.5 ppg). Plus, UW adds instate wing Sam Dekker (ranked 14th nationally). Wisconsin has reached 14 straight NCAA tournaments and that string should continue in 2012-13.
* 20. UNLV (26-9) – Dave Rice took over after Lon Kruger’s departure for Oklahoma and did a fine job with the Runnin’ Rebels. They figure to be in the hunt again next season behind 6-8 forward Mike Moser (14.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg). UNLV also adds top-50 shooting guard Katin Reinhardt (ranked 39th nationally) and a pair of key transfers in 6-9 forward Khem Birch (Pittsburgh) and 6-5 shooting guard Bryce Jones (USC).
* 21. Gonzaga (26-7) – The Bulldogs reached the NCAA for the 14th straight year and figure to be in the mix next year. Coach Mark Few loses 7-0 big man Robert Sacre, but has 6-9 Sam Dower ready to replace him. He also has point guard Kevin Pangos (13.6 ppg) and power forward Elias Harris (13.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg) coming back.
* 22. Notre Dame (22-12) – Coach Mike Brey has power forward Jack Cooley (12.5 ppg, 8.9 rpg) and guards Jerian Grant (12.3 ppg), Eric Atkins (12.1 ppg) and Pat Connaughton all returning. He is waiting and hoping that forward Tim Abromaitis (14.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and guard Scott Martin (9.5 ppg) will be approved for a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. Brey will also welcome transfer Garrick Sherman from Michigan State.
* 23. Texas (20-14) – Rick Barnes has reached the NCAA Tournament in all 14 of his seasons in Austin. He bids farewell, though, to early NBA draft entrant J’Covan Brown. But he will have a pair of stellar sophomore guards back in Sheldon McClellan (11.3 ppg) and Myck Kabongo (9.6 ppg). Barnes also has a nice incoming class with a pair of 6-10 centers in Cameron Ridley (ranked 14th nationally) and Prince Ibeh (ranked 58th).
* 24. Missouri (30-5) – It would be easy to discount Missouri, which moves to the SEC next year. Mizzou lost its NCAA opener as a two seed to No. 15 seed Norfolk State 86-84. Coach Frank Haith loses his top three scorers, but he will have some options. Power forward Laurence Bowers returns after missing the season due to a knee injury, while guards Michael Dixon (13.5 ppg) and Phil Pressey (10.3 ppg) will return. Plus, Haith welcomes in several key transfers in Keion Bell (Pepperdine), Jabari Brown (Oregon), Alex Oriakhi (Connecticut), and Earnest Ross (Auburn).
* 25. Kansas State (22-11) – Frank Martin bolted from here to become the new coach at South Carolina. Meanwhile, Bruce Weber gets fired by Illinois and lands on his feet at K-State. The Wildcats bring back four starters, including guard Rodney McGruder (15.5 ppg).
* 26. VCU (29-7) – A year after reaching the Final Four, VCU stunned fifth-seeded Wichita State in its NCAA opener and nearly upended Indiana in the third round. Coach Shaka Smart then passed up a chance to leave for the Illinois job. He’ll have four starters back at VCU, led by forward Juvonte Reddic (10.3 ppg) and guard Troy Daniels (10 ppg).
* 27. Marquette (27-8) – Coach Buzz Williams loses a pair of star seniors in Darius Johnson-Odom and second-team All-American Jae Crowder. He hopes forward Davante Gardner (9.5 ppg) can come back from a knee injury. Guards Vander Blue and Junior Cadougan also return.
* 28. St. Louis (26-8) – Coach Rick Majerus’ Billikens always play stellar defense and could be the favorite in the competitive Atlantic 10 next year. Top scorer Brian Conklin is gone, but guard Kwamain Mitchell (12.4 ppg) and forward Cody Ellis (10.1 ppg) return.
* 29. Cincinnati (26-11) – Following the ugly brawl with Xavier in December, UC responded with a strong Big East showing and by advancing to the Sweet 16. Coach Mick Cronin will build around guards Sean Kilpatrick (14.3 ppg) and Cashmere Wright (10.9 ppg).
* 30. Minnesota (23-15) – Tubby Smith’s Gophers were sent to the NIT, where they won four games before being bounced by Stanford in the title game. Smith got good news when power forward Trevor Mbakwe (14.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg in seven games before suffering a knee injury) was approved for another year of eligibility.
* 31. New Mexico (28-7) – Coach Steve Alford’s Lobos tied for the Mountain West title, won the conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA third round before falling to Louisville 59-56. Alford will have three starters back, led by guard Kendall Williams (12.1 ppg).
* 32. Tennessee (19-15) – Cuonzo Martin nearly led the Vols to the NCAA in his first season in charge in Knoxville. Tennessee will get back to The Big Dance next year behind big men Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon.
More Teams To Watch
Here are 18 more teams to keep an eye on in the year ahead, listed alphabetically:
* Alabama (21-12) – The Crimson Tide dropped their NCAA opener to Creighton 58-57. Guard Trevor Releford (12.0 ppg) is the top returnee.
* Butler (22-15) – After playing for the national title two years in a row, Butler failed to make the NCAA field in 2012. But the Bulldogs could get back into the mix behind sharp shooter Rotnei Clarke, an Arkansas transfer.
* Florida State (25-10) – It was a great year for the Seminoles, who defeated North Carolina and Duke twice each including on back-to-back days to win the ACC tournament. A loss to Cincinnati denied FSU a Sweet 16 bid. Coach Leonard Hamilton will reload around guards Michael Snaer (14.0 ppg) and Ian Miller (10.3 ppg).
* Georgetown (24-9) – The Hoyas earned a three seed in the Midwest, but were bounced by No. 11 seed N.C. State in the third round. Coach John Thompson III will build around 6-8 forward Otto Porter (9.7 ppg).
* Iowa State (23-11) – Coach Fred Hoiberg got his alma mater into the NCAA in his second season as the head coach. He loses top scorer Royce White early to the NBA. But a pair of key transfers come online in point guard Korie Lucious (two Final Four appearances at Michigan State) and forward Will Clyburn (averaged 17.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg at Utah in 2010-11).
* Maryland (17-15) – Coach Mark Turgeon’s first season at College Park was largely forgettable. Next year should be better. Top scorer Terrell Stoglin (21.6 ppg) is due back. Power forward Shaquille Cleare (ranked 36th nationally) is the top incoming freshman.
* Miami (Fla.) (20-13) – Coach Jim Larranaga brings back six of his top seven scorers, including Durand Scott (12.9 ppg), Kenny Kadji (11.7 ppg) and Reggie Johnson (10.0 ppg). The ‘Canes will try and make noise in the ACC.
* Murray State (31-2) – It was an amazing season for the Racers, who won their first 23 games before suffering their first defeat. Second-team All-American Isaiah Canaan (19.0 ppg) will return.
* Ohio U. (29-8) – TCU’s Jim Christian has replaced John Groce, who headed off to Illinois after leading OU to an NCAA Sweet 16 berth. With nearly everybody back – including standout guards D.J. Cooper (14.7 ppg) and Walter Offutt (12.4 ppg) -- the Bobcats should be favored to win the MAC.
* Oklahoma (15-16) – It was a tough first year in Norman for Lon Kruger. He will have guard Steven Pledger (16.2 ppg) and forward Romero Osby (12.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg) to build around. Wyoming transfer Amath M'Baye (12.0 ppg in 2010-11 with the Cowboys) will bolster the inside game.
* Oklahoma State (15-18) – Coach Travis Ford lost top scorer Keiton Page to graduation. Wing Le’Bryan Nash (13.3 ppg) considered leaving early to the NBA draft, but decided to stay in school. Plus, Ford was able to sign shooting guard Marcus Smart (ranked ninth nationally).
* Oregon (24-10) – Coach Dana Altman will try and slow the revolving door the Oregon program has been. He has signed point guard Dominic Artis (ranked 56th nationally).
* Pittsburgh (22-17) – After being one of the country’s winningest programs over the last 10 years, Pitt stumbled to a dismal 5-13 in Big East play. The Panthers redeemed themselves by winning the postseason CBI title. Jamie Dixon welcomes in a potential star in 6-11 center Steven Adams (ranked fifth nationally).
* South Florida (22-14) – USF got into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years and just the third time in school history. And the Bulls won a pair of games before falling to Ohio U. in the third round. Forward Victor Rudd considered an NBA jump, but opted to stay with the Bulls.
* Stanford (26-11) – Stanford won the NIT, but I haven’t seen much about coach Johnny Dawkins’ Cardinal team for next season. They have three underclassmen back in Chasson Randle (13.8 ppg), Aaron Bright (11.7 ppg) and Anthony Brown (8.1 ppg). Plus, Dawkins has a pair of top-100 signees in power forwards Rosco Allen (ranked 65th nationally) and Grant Verhoeven (ranked 93rd).
* Vanderbilt (25-11) – The Commodores won the SEC tournament championship, handing Kentucky one of its two losses in the process. Vandy loses four senior starters as well as junior John Jenkins, who left early for the NBA. But coach Kevin Stallings usually finds a way to put together a competitive team.
* Villanova (13-19) – Three years ago, Jay Wright led the Wildcats to the Final Four. This past year, they stumbled to 5-13 in Big East play. Now he says good bye to a pair of juniors headed to the NBA early in Dominic Cheek and Maalik Wayns. Wright will have center Mouphtaou Yarou (11.3 ppg) and wing JayVaughn Pinkston (9.6 ppg) coming back. Plus, he has signed a pair of top-100 talents in 6-9 center Daniel Ochefu (ranked 48th nationally) and point guard Ryan Arcidiacono (ranked 55th).
* Washington (24-11) – The Huskies won the Pac-12 regular season title, but were denied an NCAA bid. U-Dub went on and won three NIT games before losing to Minnesota in the semifinals. Coach Lorenzo Romar saw underclassmen Tony Wroten and Terrance Ross leave early for the NBA, although guard C.J. Wilcox (14.2 ppg) will return.
MORE TO CONSIDER
Here are some players who could get early All-American consideration:
Indiana center Cody Zeller, Ohio State wing Deshaun Thomas, Michigan guard Trey Burke, Florida guard Kenny Boynton, Creighton guard Doug McDermott, Murray State guard Isaiah Canaan, North Carolina forward James Michael McAdoo, UCLA guard Shabazz Muhammad, Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, Colorado small forward Andre Roberson, Minnesota power forward Trevor Mbakwe, Louisville guard Peyton Siva and N.C. State forward C.J. Leslie.
Freshmen Still To Decide
There are still seven national top-100 high school senior prospects who must make their college decisions. That group includes:
* Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep 6-7 PF Anthony Bennett (ranked seventh), considering Kentucky, Florida, Oregon and UNLV.
* DeKalb (Miss.) Kemper County 6-8 SF Devonta Pollard (ranked 26th), considering Alabama, Georgetown, Missouri and Texas.
* Wynnewood (Pa.) Friends Central 6-7 PF Amile Jefferson (ranked 27th), considering Kentucky, N.C. State, Villanova and Duke.
* Creedmoor (N.C.) Christian Faith Center Academy 6-4 SG Torian Graham (ranked 59th), considering Kentucky, N.C. State and others.
* Centereach, N.Y., 6-9 C Chris Obekpa (ranked 69th), considering Cincinnati, Oregon, Florida, Connecticut and St. John’s.
* Bryn Mawr (Pa.) New Church Boys School 6-6 SF Savon Goodman (ranked 77th), considering Kansas, UCLA, USC, Kentucky and Villanova.
* Ardmore, Okla., 6-0 PG Nino Jackson (ranked 97th), considering Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas.
Here are some prominent coaching changes:
Illinois (was Bruce Weber, now John Groce), Florida International (was Isaiah Thomas, now Richard Pitino), Colorado State (was Tim Miles, now Larry Eustachy), Kansas State (was Frank Martin, now Bruce Weber), LSU (was Trent Johnson, now Johnny Jones), Mississippi State (was Rick Stansbury, now Rick Ray), Nebraska (was Doc Sadler, now Tim Miles), Ohio U. (was John Groce, now Jim Christian), South Carolina (was Darrin Horn, now Frank Martin), SMU (was Matt Doherty, now Larry Brown), TCU (was Jim Christian, now Trent Johnson), Tulsa (was Doug Wojcik, now Danny Manning) and Virginia Tech (was Seth Greenberg, still vacant).
NCAA Tournament Sites
Here is a look at the NCAA Tournament sites for the 2012-13 season:
* First Round (March 19-20) – University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio.
* Second- and Third-Round (March 21-23) – The Palace, Auburn Hills, Mich.; Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.; EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah; HP Pavilion, San Jose, Calif.
* Second- and Third-Round (March 22-24) – Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas; UD Arena, Dayton; Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo.; Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia.
* Regional Rounds (March 28-30) – West: Staples Center, Los Angeles; East: TBD. (Note: The NCAA was reportedly considering the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., or the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., for this site.)
* Regional Rounds (March 29-31) – Midwest: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis; Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas.
* Final Four (April 6-8) – Georgia Dome, Atlanta.