ROAD TO TITLE GAME: No. 8 Butler beat No. 9 Old Dominion 60-58; No. 1 Pittsburgh 71-70; No. 4 Wisconsin 61-54; No. 2 Florida 74-71, OT; No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth 70-62.
STAR: Shelvin Mack had 24 points and was 5 of 6 from 3-point range in the win over VCU. Matt Howard had 17 points and eight rebounds against VCU.
COACH: Brad Stevens, despite being just 34, is being lauded as one of the best in the coaching profession. His ability to motivate his team while keeping a cool demeanor has made him the talk of the NCAA tournament for a second straight year. His decision to remain at Butler after last year's run to the championship game has added to his persona as the ideal college coach.
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KEY POINT: The Bulldogs have been here before, and most of that team is back. Butler plays solid defense and doesn't make mistakes on offense, but it's the way the Bulldogs play so hard and don't let the disparity in talent affect them that has made them a favorite team.
ROAD TO THE CHAMPIONSIP GAME: No. 3 Connecticut beat No. 14 Bucknell 81-52; No. 6 Cincinnati 69-58; No. 2 San Diego State 74-67; No. 5 Arizona 65-63; No. 4 Kentucky 56-55.
STAR: Kemba Walker is having one of the best seasons in recent memory. He had 18 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the win over Kentucky. Despite being guarded by a much bigger player in DeAndre Liggins, Walker, who played all 40 minutes, was able to find his teammates to score and still made big shots himself.
COACH: At 68, Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun would become the oldest coach to win a national championship. It would be his third title and would put him in a group with John Wooden, Adolph Rupp, Mike Krzyzewski and Bob Knight to win at least that many.
KEY POINT: Seven of the past 10 opponents were ranked in the Top 25.