* Tidbit: The team's nickname is the Hurricanes, of course, but did you know the school mascot is a bird called the ibis?
* NCAA bio: Only the school's fourth appearance. Was the No. 2-seeded team in the East regional last year but lost in the second round to Purdue.
7. TULSA (29-4)
* First-round opponent: Nevada Las Vegas.
* Season in brief: Raced to a school-record 19-1 start, tied with Iowa State for most wins in nation, had five starters average 10 or more points, had a huge win over Tennessee in Puerto Rico Classic, and got swept by Fresno State in the Western Athletic Conference.
* Player to watch: David Shelton. The 6-6 junior forward was a key pickup from Independence (Kan.) Community College. As the team's sixth man, he led the Golden Hurricanes with a 13-point scoring average.
* Tidbit: Tulsa has become a steppingstone program for young coaches, launching the careers of Nolan Richardson (Arkansas), Tubby Smith (Kentucky) and Steve Robinson (Florida State). Bill Self, who has won more than 60 games in his three season, will likely become the next Tulsa coach to be plucked by a major program.
* NCAA bio: Lost in the second round last year to Duke. School's 12 appearance. Despite the lineage of great coaches, has never advanced beyond the Sweet 16.
8. NORTH CAROLINA (18-13)
* First-round opponent: Missouri.
* Season in brief: Lost four consecutive games from Jan. 12 to Jan. 22-- Wake Forest, UCLA, Virginia and Florida State--fell out of the national polls for the first time in 172 weeks, rallied to post a .500 or better mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 36th consecutive season.
* Player to watch: Joseph Forte. The 6-4 guard became the first North Carolina freshman to lead the team in scoring. (16.3 points a game). Prefers not to be called "Joe."
* Tidbit: Former Coach Dean Smith won 20 or more games in his last 27 seasons.
* NCAA bio: Three national championships--1957, '82, and '92. School's 34th appearance. Duke fans won't let North Carolina forget the Tar Heels were knocked out in the first round last year by No. 14 Weber State.
9. MISSOURI (18-12)
* First-round opponent: North Carolina.
* Season in brief: A leap year for program under rookie coach Quin Snyder, rebounded from successive losses to Kentucky, Winthrop and Iowa State to win seven consecutive Big 12 games.
* Player to watch: Kareem Rush. The younger brother of UCLA's JaRon Rush was a key factor in the Tigers' NCAA charge after returning from a nine-game NCAA suspension. He scored 31 points in February against Texas Tech.
* Tidbit: Snyder, the Tigers' 33-year-old coach, is only the fifth basketball coach at Missouri since 1926.
* NCAA bio: School's 18th appearance. A first-round loser last year to New Mexico. Advanced to regional final under Norm Stewart in 1976 and '94.
10. NEVADA LAS VEGAS (23-7)
* First-round opponent: Tulsa.
* Season in brief: Started 5-0, won consecutive conference road games at Air Force, New Mexico and Colorado State, one of the highest scoring teams in the nation, got clobbered by 44 points at Utah.
* Player to watch: Kaspars Kambala. The 6-9 junior center bounced back from injury-plagued season to emerge as a dominant low-post threat, averaging 18 points and nine rebounds.
* Tidbit: Because some people resent the word "Rebels," the school considered changing its nickname to Minutemen in the late 1970s.
* NCAA bio: Team's second appearance under Coach Bill Bayno. Jerry Tarkanian led the team to Final Four appearances in 1977, '87, 90 and '91, winning the title in 1990.
11. ARKANSAS (19-14)
* First-round opponent: Miami.
* Season in brief: After a ho-hum regular season, defeated Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana State and Auburn to win its first-ever Southeastern Conference tournament title, and becoming the second SEC school to win four games in four days (Auburn did it in 1985).
* Player to watch: Joe Johnson. The 6-8 forward is a fast-rising freshman who had 21 points in the Razorbacks' SEC semifinal win over Louisiana State.
* Tidbit: Nolan Richardson is the only coach to lead his team to an NCAA title (Arkansas in 1994), an National Invitation Tournament title (with Tulsa in 1981) and a national junior college title (Western Texas in 1980).
* NCAA bio: Along with the 1994 title, finished second to UCLA in '95, reached the Final Four in '90, the Elite Eight in '91 and the Sweet 16 in '93 and '96.
12. UTAH STATE (28-5)
* First-round opponent: Connecticut.
* Season in brief: Has nation's longest active win streak at 19 games, won 20 games faster than any Utah State team in history, defeated USC in nonconference game, lost to Florida by two points. Lowlights include a 35-point defeat at Utah.
* Player to watch: Shawn Daniels: The 6-6 forward was a key pickup from Bakersfield Community College, averaging 12 points and eight rebounds and led the conference in blocked shots.
* Tidbit: Utah State was picked to finish fifth in its division and the respected "Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook" tabbed the program as "on the way down."