Villanova Wildcats: 30-4, 14-4 in the Big East

Head coach: Jay Wright (17th year)

Players to Watch: Jalen Brunson (19.0 PPG, 4.8 APG, 3.0 RPG); Mikal Bridges (17.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG), Phil Booth (11.0 PPG, 3.1 RPG), Omari Spellman (10.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG) 

Season Recap: Villanova was, once again, one of the best teams in the country, further establishing their elite status in the college basketball world. The Wildcats went undefeated in nonconference play, notching wins against Gonzaga and Tennessee and remaining unbeaten until running into a red-hot Butler team in late December. They also snagged two blowout wins vs. Big East regular-season champion Xavier, winning by more than 15 points both times.

Villanova is powered by its high-flying offense, orchestrated by Wooden Award candidate Jalen Brunson. In his third season, he has emerged as arguably the best point guard in the country. The Wildcats have the No. 1 offense in the country per statistician Ken Pomeroy, a full three points per 100 possessions better than second-place Duke. The team shoots almost 40 percent from beyond the arc and averages 87.2 points per game—the best scoring offense in the country. 

For all their overpowering offensive firepower, Villanova’s defense leaves some questions to be answered. The Wildcats have struggled to contain teams at times and gotten into several shootouts such their 101-93 loss to Butler when the Bulldogs knocked down 15 three-pointers. Villanova also lost key guard Phil Booth to a broken hand for a month during the season and is still reintegrating him into the rotation as the postseason approaches. 

How they make a run: The freewheeling offensive attack overwhelms opponents and a shooting barrage carries the Wildcats to a second national championship in three years. 

How they falter: The reliance on three pointers backfires as Villanova goes cold from long distance, their defense breaks down, and opposing guards knock down threes, causing the Wildcats to fall victim to an early-round upset.