20. Saint Mary’s Gaels
The Gaels have all the makings of a true bracket buster, equipped with excellent three-point shooters and one of the nation’s stingiest defenses. Emmett Naar and Joe Rahon have been terrific in the backcourt, while junior center Jock Landale is having a breakout season manning the middle. Depth could be a question mark for them, but their starters are battle tested, experienced and talented enough to make a run in the tournament.
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19. Arizona Wildcats
Coach Sean Miller is one of the best at getting the most out of his group, and he’ll need all hands on deck if this Wildcat team wants to make noise in the tourney. Their calling card is their size, with two legitimate 7-footers in eventual NBA draftee Lauri Markkanen, and Dusan Ristic. Playing in a suddenly deep Pac-12 conference will only help their stock. They’re always tough defensively and Miller typically seems to save his best for March Madness, making Zona a tough team to beat down the stretch.
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