Rothstein: 68 Reasons To Be Excited For The NCAA Tournament

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(credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

(credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

By Jon Rothstein

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1. Louisville’s pressure

2. The continued growth of Montrezl Harrell

3. Colorado State’s ability to rebound

4. Missouri’s unpredictability

5. A minimum of one more time to watch to Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart

6. Arsalan Kazemi’s toughness

7. The continuation of Saint Louis’ magical season

8. New Mexico State’s Sim Bhullar — a mountain masquerading as a man

9. D.J. Stephens’ hops

10. Middle Tennessee State’s Ray Cintron — the best shooter you’ve never heard of

MORE: Rothstein’s NCAA Tournament primer

11. Tom Izzo in March

12. Valpo’s return

13. Doug McDermott

14. Cincinnati’s physical defense

15. Coach K’s drive for five

16. Ryan Kelly’s textbook stroke

17. Gonzaga’s shot at proving they’re legitimate

18. The spotlight that Kelly Olynyk will finally get and deserve

19. Pitt’s depth

20. Malcolm Armstead’s leadership

21. Bo Ryan’s swing offense

22. Marshall Henderson’s exuberance

23. Kansas State’s poise

24. La Salle’s return to the bracket

25. Solomon Hill’s leadership

26. Another four days of everyone telling us why Belmont will beat their first opponent

27. New Mexico’s attempt to finally get some well-deserved respect

28. At least one more time to watch Siyani Chambers push the ball in the open court for Harvard

29. Notre Dame’s back court of Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant — the most underrated perimeter duo in college basketball

30. Iowa State’s NBA-style offense

31. Aaron Craft

32. Iona’s David Laury — a match up nightmare

33. Ben McLemore’s upside

34. Bill Self’s brilliance

35. North Carolina’s small-ball approach

36. A showdown between two really good freshman point guards — Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova) vs. Marcus Paige (North Carolina)

37. HAVOC

38. Briante Weber’s on-ball defense

39. Shaka Smart against his old boss, Akron’s Keith Dambrot

40. Trey Burke

41. Nate Wolters’ craftiness

42. Another chance for Ben Howland to prove why UCLA will miss him while he’s gone

43. Rodney Williams’ ability to offensive rebound

44. Billy Donovan in March

45. Northwestern State’s frenetic pace

46. Jamal Franklin’s dry-fit long sleeved shirt that he wears under his jersey

47. Lon Kruger — the best coach in the bracket that not enough people talk about

48. Otto Porter

49. Victor Oladipo’s ongoing evolution as a player

50. Indiana’s transition offense

51. Jamal Olasewere’s face up game for LIU

52. T.J. Warren’s effortless ability to score

53. Khalif Wyatt’s unorthodox, yet incredible offensive arsenal

54. Anthony Bennett’s upside

55. Cal’s tandem of Allen Crabbe + Justin Cobbs

56. Jim Boeheim’s postgame press conferences

57. James Southerland’s range

58. Montana’s two hidden gems — Will Cherry and Kareem Jamar

59. Brad Stevens in March

60. Bucknell trying to live up to everyone’s hype

61. Buzz Williams’ storytelling

62. Davante Gardner’s low post game

63. Davidson’s poise

64. Illinois’ perimeter

65. Colorado’s Spencer Dinwiddie — the best guard that no one knows about

66. Jim Larranaga’s chance at a return to the Final Four with Miami

67. Shane Larkin

68. One Shining Moment

What’s your favorite part of the Madness? Be heard in the comments!

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