No. 4 Virginia Tech
NCAA Tournament history: The Hokies were a No. 8 seed and lost 86-83 to No. 9 Alabama in the first round last year. Virginia Tech hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 2007 and last made the Sweet 16 in 1967.
Key to making a run: The Hokies have the 12th-ranked scoring defense (62.0 points allowed) and a dangerous inside-outside duo with guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker and forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. Plus, guard Justin Robinson is set to return after missing 12 games.
No. 6 Maryland
NCAA Tournament history: The Terps missed the Big Dance last season. In 2017, they were a No. 6 seed and were ousted in the first round by No. 11 Xavier. Maryland has made one Sweet 16 (2016) under coach Mark Turgeon.
Key to making a run: With 6-foot-10 sophomore Bruno Fernando, who had 20 double-doubles this season, and 6-foot-10 freshman Jalen Smith, few teams can compete with the Terps in the post. Maryland is sixth in the NCAA in rebounding margin (plus-8.8).
No. 8 VCU
NCAA Tournament history: Since making a Final Four run in 2011, the Rams haven’t made it past the first weekend. VCU missed the tournament last year and lost to No. 7 Saint Mary’s in its last appearance in 2017.
Key to making a run: If Marcus Evans can play through a bone bruise in his left knee, the Rams can make another deep run like they did in 2011. The junior transfer, who followed coach Mike Rhoades from Rice to Richmond, scored at least 20 points in three of his last six games.
No. 12 Liberty
NCAA Tournament history: This is the fourth NCAA appearance for the Flames and the best seed in program history. Liberty has never won a tourney game and lost to North Carolina A&T in a First Four game in its last appearance in 2013.
Key to making a run: The Atlantic Sun champs are deep and balanced, with six different players averaging more than seven points a game and no one playing more than 30 minutes a game. Junior Scottie James, who had nine double-doubles this season, will have to come up big.
No. 14 Old Dominion
NCAA tournament history: This is the Monarchs’ first appearance since 2011, when they lost to Butler in their first game. The last time ODU won a tournament game was 2010, and it has never made it to the Sweet 16.
Key to making a run: The Conference USA champs beat Syracuse and won 15 of their last 18 games. ODU has something everyone covets in March: veteran leadership. Senior guards B.J. Stith and Ahmad Caver each average more than 16 points a game