AN A-TO-Z look at the NCAA basketball tournament:
Alexander, as in Cy Alexander, now the coach at North Carolina A&T after once leading S.C. State to five NCAA tournament appearances.
Belmont, the small Nashville, Tenn., college that is one of four programs to earn automatic NCAA tournament bids in six of the past eight seasons. (The others are Kansas, Memphis and Gonzaga).
Carr, as in Austin Carr. He holds the tournament record with 61 points for Notre Dame in 1970 against Ohio.
Duke or Dislike, take your pick. Is there a more universally disliked group of players in the field every season than the boys from Durham, N.C.? There apparently is a price to pay for sustained success in this event.
Eustachy, as in Larry Eustachy, who in his first season led Colorado State to 20-plus wins and an NCAA tournament at-large bid out of the Mountain West.
Florida Gulf Coast. Extra bonus points if you know that the Eagles play in the Atlantic Sun, have uniform colors of cobalt blue and emerald green and are located in Fort Myers.
Gonzaga. Finally, a team is rewarded for being one of the nations best teams regardless of its conference affiliation.
Hair, more specifically the shoulder-length locks of Gonzagas fabulous 7-foot Canadian center Kelly Olynyk.
Iona, winners of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and subject of one of the great lines by the late Jim Valvano when he coached there and introduced himself to recruits as Jim Valvano, I own a college.
Jackrabbits. The best nickname in the field goes to South Dakota State, making its second consecutive tournament appearance by virtue of winning the Summit League.
Krzyzewski: Can it stand for anything else when it comes to the tournament?
Louisville, as likely a choice as any to be playing on Monday in Atlanta for the national crown.
Montana, a team that is overlooked every season, yet is making its sixth NCAA tournament appearance this century as the Big Sky champs.
Northern Iowa, the forgotten program in the All-America story of Doug McDermott. The junior forward had signed to play at Northern Iowa out of high school when his father, Greg, left Iowa State to become coach at Creighton. Northern Iowa granted young McDermott a release to play for his father, never imagining that he would become one of the nations top players.
One Shining Moment, the sign-off song following the national title game has become the anthem for the tournament.
Play-in games. The NCAA prefers to call them first-round games, but the fact is Liberty, N.C. A&T, Middle Tennessee, St. Marys, Long Island, James Madison, Boise State and La Salle are participating in play-in games.
Marquette. It is the only team in the field with the letter Q in its name.
Ross-Miller, as in K.C. Ross-Miller, the sophomore point guard who has appeared on the rosters of Kentucky, LSU, Florida International and New Orleans before landing at New Mexico State.
Sim, as in Sim Bhullar, the 7-foot-5, 360-pound center for New Mexico State. He is a native of Canada and likely one of the NCAAs first prominent players of Indian origin. His parents hail from Punjab.
Twenty, as in the number of losses for Liberty, which won its way into the tournament by capturing the Big South Conference crown as the fifth-seeded team from the leagues six-team North Division.
UCLA, the North Carolina of the West. This Bruins team is led by three UNC transfers in senior point guard Larry Drew, and junior twin power forwards David and Travis Wear.
Jim Valvano. Hard to believe it has been 30 years since Valvano went on his mad dash around The Pit court in Albuquerque after his N.C. State team defeated Houston for the national championship.
Wichita State makes its second consecutive tournament appearance under Gregg Marshall, the South Carolina native who led Winthrop to the NCAA tournament seven times in nine seasons.
Xs and Os. Hey, what else is there for X?
Make sure you check YouTube every round because there are bound to be a few buzzer-beaters.
Zeller, as in Cody Zeller, the 7-foot center who will be clipping the nets after his Indiana Hoosiers win the national championship.