This is an article from the Nov. 12, 2012 issue
Contributors from Canada (Kevin Pangos), Germany (Elias Harris) and Poland (Przemek Karnowski) help earn 14th straight NCAA bid.
Seven players from last year's eight-man rotation return with plans to wreak Rams'"havoc"—a nation-leading 381 steals in '11--12—on new conference.
23 BAYLOR/Big 12/2
McDonald's All-American Isaiah Austin, a 7'1" center, takes cues from veteran guards Pierre Jackson and Brady Heslip for one year before going pro.
24 SAINT LOUIS/A-10/3
Rick Majerus's heart problems prevent him from coaching D-minded squad that will ride 5'10" senior Kwamain Mitchell back to the NCAAs.
25 FLORIDA STATE/ACC/1
Reigning ACC tournament champs rebuild around guard Michael Snaer (14.0 ppg), and bid to lead conference in FG-percentage defense for fifth straight year.
26 TEXAS/Big 12/2
Four sophomores—including stud playmaker Myck Kabongo—surround bruising freshman post Cameron Ridley and hook Horns' 15th straight berth.
27 GEORGETOWN/Big East/2
Smooth 6'8" sophomore Otto Porter (9.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg) belongs on every breakout player list and assumes central role for youthful Hoyas.
28 PITTSBURGH/Big East/3
Seven-foot freshman Steven Adams from New Zealand—the Kiwi Phenom—helps Panthers forget ugly 2011--12 in rousing Big East farewell.
29 MURRAY STATE/OVC/2
All-America guard Isaiah Canaan (3FG%: 45.6) gets lift from UAB transfer Dexter Fields and 6'7" forward Ed Daniel, whose Afro spawned a Twitter account.
30 WISCONSIN/Big Ten/3
All-senior frontcourt will need to carry Badgers after projected starting point guard Josh Gasser tore left ACL in preseason.
31 MINNESOTA/Big Ten/4
Sixth-year forward Trevor Mbakwe, with help from Rodney Williams Jr., and Andre Hollins, earn Tubby Smith his first NCAA win with Gophers.
If Jeronne Maymon's knee problems clear up, he and Jarnell Stokes give Vols a bruising frontcourt to complement emerging point guard Trae Golden.
33 MARQUETTE/Big East/3
Arizona State transfer guard Trent Lockett (13.0 ppg) will blend well with backcourt of Todd Mayo (O.J.'s brother) and Vander Blue.
34 KANSAS STATE/Big 12/4
As he did at Illinois, Bruce Weber inherits talented vets, this time guards Rodney McGruder (15.8 ppg) and Will Spradling (9.3 ppg).
Hurricanes could challenge for ACC title with 6'10", 292-pound bulldozer Reggie Johnson (10.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and three other senior starters.
Return of Tyler Haws (11.3 ppg as a freshman) from a two-year mission is key variable; 6'9" Brandon Davies and 6'2" Matt Carlino are known quantities.
NIT champs reward Johnny Dawkins with first NCAA bid, courtesy of guards Aaron Bright (11.7 ppg) and Chasson Randle (3FG%: 43.8%).
Behind 6'4" Khalif Wyatt (17.1 ppg), 6'6" Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson and BU transfer Jake O'Brien, Owls make final A-10 run before heading to Big East.
Versatile guard combo of Frantz Massenat and Damion Lee, plus VCU's defection to A-10, opens door for Dragons' first NCAA entry since 1996.
40 CINCINNATI/Big East/3
With trio of productive guards back, Bearcats hope Justin Jackson and freshman Shaquille Thomas help them survive treacherous Big East.
41 SAINT JOSEPH'S/A-10/5
A-10's best shooting team has four double-digit scorers back as well as do-it-all forward Halil Kanacevic (8.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 3.7 apg).
42 OKLAHOMA STATE/Big 12/4
Freshman Marcus Smart, a Billy Donovan favorite from U.S.'s U-18 FIBA gold medal team, could be best Cowboy from Day One.
All nine players who took UNC to OT in Sweet 16 return, including star guard D.J. Cooper, while MAC veteran Jim Christian replaces coach John Groce.
44 SAINT MARY'S/WCC/4
Conference POY Matthew Dellavedova started for Australia at Olympics; paced Boomers with 4.5 assists per game while averaging 7.3 points.
45 COLORADO STATE/MWC/4
Six of top seven scorers—led by guard Wes Eikmeier—return to help new coach Larry Eustachy direct fourth school to NCAAs.
Pac-12 regular-season champs lose two first-round talents, but backcourt stays strong with senior Abdul Gabby and sharp-shooting junior C.J. Wilcox.
After surviving two days of training with Navy SEALs in September, will 6'9" Shaquille Cleare, 6'8" James Padgett and rest of Terps fear ACC?
48 NEW MEXICO/MWC/3
Defense-minded Lobos have deep backcourt and feared home court: In five seasons under Steve Alford they're 77--10 in the Pit.
De'Mon Brooks (15.7 ppg), Jake Cohen (14.3 ppg) and overwhelming SoCon favorites tune up at New Mexico and against Duke.
Bulldogs' stay near bottom of nation in 3FG% (28.1) will be abbreviated by arrivals of Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke and freshman Kellen Dunham.
The 6'8" freshman Devonta Pollard holds key up front for Tide, which has loaded backcourt and will execute Anthony Grant's suffocating defense.
Tigers take advantage of Harvard scandal to win Ivy bid, riding front line of Ian Hummer (6'7"), Mack Darrow (6'9") and Brendan Connolly (6'11").
53 ILLINOIS STATE/MVC/4
First-year coach Dan Muller ends 15-year NCAA drought, thanks to stud senior forward Jackie Carmichael and sharpshooting backcourt.
54 MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE/Sun Belt/4
Unfinished business for four senior starters, who saw seemingly sure bid disappear in Sun Belt tournament upset last year.
Coach K said 6'3" C.J. McCollum was best player on court in Mountain Hawks' upset of Duke in NCAAs. He'll get another chance to impress.
After 15-win jump in '11--12, veteran Jaspers ready to take next step behind one of the nation's top returning scorers, 6'4" George Beamon (19.0 ppg).
To Horizon POY Ryan Broekhoff (14.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg), reigning league champs add 6'10" forward Bobby Capobianco, an Indiana transfer.
Pioneers blazing trail from Sun Belt to WAC; can earn first NCAA bid thanks to Princeton-style offense and productive 6'6" junior Chris Udofia.
59 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE/Summit/4
With no Oral Roberts to worry about, 6'4" Nate Wolters (21.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.9 apg) leads Jackrabbits to second straight NCAA bid.
60 ORAL ROBERTS/Southland/2
Golden Eagles have Warren Niles (12.1 ppg) and a strong core returning; now in a weaker conference, they end five-year tournament drought.
61 LIU BROOKLYN/NEC/4
Julian Boyd (17.4 ppg) and Jamal Olasewere (16.9 ppg), nation's top returning scoring duo, get coach Jack Perri into tournament in his first season.
62 LONG BEACH STATE/Big West/1
Influx of transfers—Keala King (Arizona State), Tony Freeland (DePaul) and Dan Jennings (West Virginia)—gives 49ers league title.
63 MERCER/Atlantic Sun/4
Defending CIT champs will make Big Dance for first time since 1985 thanks to point guard Langston Hall and defense-first frontcourt.
64 MONTANA/Big Sky/3
League's best two players—6'1" Will Cherry and 6'5" Kareem Jamar—share backcourt and get Wayne Tinkle his third NCAA bid in four seasons.
65 CHARLESTON SOUTHERN/Big South/4
Two sophomores, 5'8" Saah Nimley and 6'1" Arlon Harper, pace deep Bucs, who must improve defensive FG% ranking: 309th.
66 SAVANNAH STATE/MEAC/5
Team that went 0--28 the year before Horace Broadnax arrived in '05--06 gets first NCAA berth behind balanced squad that plays smothering D.
67 VERMONT/America East/4
Catamounts dance for third time in four years with 6'6" Brian Voelkel: a board first (8.6 rpg), pass second (5.1 apg), score third (4.6 ppg) forward.
68 JACKSON STATE/SWAC/4
Ole Miss transfer Dundrecous Nelson (11.6 ppg) joins Kelsey Howard and Christian Williams, giving Tigers best backcourt in SWAC.