A viewer's guide to the madness of March
The 2014 NCAA Tournament was one for the ages, filled with bracket-busting upsets, buzzer-beating finishes and star players rising up.
This year's bracket could be even better.
It's got Kentucky trying to make history, two players running neck-and-neck for national player of the year honors and a group of mid-majors poised to capture the nation's attention with a magical run.
Here's a few things to look for when the main bracket fires up on Thursday:
Kentucky. Hampton coach Edward Joyner Jr. said he would need to have Jesus on speed dial for a chance to beat the Wildcats. The rest of the bracket may be asking for the number if the Pirates don't pull off the upset.
Arizona. The Wildcats came within a last-second shot of reaching last year's Final Four. They may be even more talented this season as a No. 2 seed.
Okafor, Duke. Big, agile, good out-of-the-post passer, match-up nightmare - there's a reason he's the front-running candidate for player of the year.
Kaminsky, Wisconsin. Frank the Tank decided ''he's gonna do more'' and has made the most of it. Shooting skills make the 7-footer an even worse matchup problem than Okafor.
Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky. Best player on the best team swoops in from high up for dunks and blocked shots.
Stanley Johnson, Arizona. Makes the game look easy sometimes, especially for a freshman.
Kentucky vs. anybody. When history is being made, you want to watch. John Calipari's ''next five in'' platoon system is almost unheard of.
Wichita State vs. Indiana, Friday. Hoosier Nation watching to see if Tom Crean's crew can oust a Shockers team that feels slighted by its No. 7 seed - and could be looking ahead to a potential matchup with Kansas in the next round.
UNDERDOGS TO WATCH
Over the years, we've watched Steph Curry, Dunk City, the Butler Bulldogs and mighty Mercer catch the nation's attention with mid-major runs through the bracket. Here's a few more underdogs to keep an eye on in this year's bracket:
Davidson. No Steph Curry, but still light it up from 3.
11-10-Odds of Kentucky winning the national title, according to Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
24-Years since Northeastern last made the NCAA Tournament.
39-Years since a Division I team finished a season undefeated. Kentucky is 34-0 entering this year's bracket.
80.8-Points per game by Eastern Washington, third nationally and highest among NCAA Tournament teams.
1-in-17,000 -Odds of picking a perfect first round, according to DePaul math professor Jeff Bergen. About the same as a satellite falling out of the sky and hitting someone.
1-in-9.2 quintillion-Chances of picking a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket. Bergen had to write the number with 18 zeroes down just to figure out what to call it. So you're saying I've got a chance ...
Tyler Harvey, Eastern Washington. Led the nation in scoring with 22.9 points per game, might score a point or two in the tournament.