College Basketball
2024 March Madness: One thing to know about every NCAA Tournament team
College Basketball

2024 March Madness: One thing to know about every NCAA Tournament team

Published Mar. 18, 2024 4:06 p.m. ET

The most wonderful time of the year in college basketball is finally here.

The brackets for the NCAA Tournament were released on Sunday, giving hope to 68 teams around the nation — as well as the millions of fans who root for them — that they can win their bracket this year.

[2024 Men's NCAA Tournament bracket]

Each team carries its own story. Lower-budgeted programs find themselves matched up with blue bloods, hoping to shock the world with some history in March Madness. 


Other teams are looking to avenge shortcomings in prior seasons, while players get the biggest stage of their college basketball career in the upcoming weeks.

As you fill out your brackets, here's one thing to know about each team in the tournament, from stats that show how they play, to who their star players are and how history is impacting certain teams entering the tournament.


1. UConn (31-3): The Huskies are looking to be the first team to win back-to-back national titles since Florida did it in 2006 and 2007. However, UConn has won all but one of its five titles ranked as a non-No. 1 seed.

Dan Hurley on UConn's road to the Big East Tournament championship

16. Stetson (22-12): Guard Jalen Blackmon is 10th in the nation in scoring (21.5 points per game), and fourth in scoring among all players in the tournament.

8. Florida Atlantic (25-8): Last year's surprise Final Four team, the Owls are 3-1 against tournament teams this season, including wins against Arizona and Texas A&M.

9. Northwestern (21-11): Appearing in back-to-back tournaments for the first time in program history, the Wildcats’ 39.4 3-point shooting percentage is fifth in the nation. 

5. San Diego State (24-10): In recent history, teams that lose in the national title game have struggled to find redemption in the following season. However, teams that finish second have made it to the Sweet 16 in all but one tournament since 2012. Can the Aztecs continue that trend?

12. UAB (23-11): The Blazers are one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the tournament, ranking 21st in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage (33.6%).

4. Auburn (27-7): You might want to think twice before getting a shot up against the Tigers. Auburn is third in opponent shooting percentage (38.4%) and first in shot block percentage (10.6%).

13. Yale (22-9): The Bulldogs make very few mistakes when passing the ball. Yale ranks 20th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6), which is the best mark from a team that’s a 13th seed or lower. 

6. BYU (23-10): The Cougars live and die by the 3. BYU shoots the second most 3-pointers per game this season (32.2), going 18-1 when it shoots at least its season average from deep (34.8%). It’s 5-9 in the 14 games it shoots below that number.

11. Duquesne (24-11): The Dukes’ run to a title in the A-10 Tournament was a surprise. Duquesne doesn’t rank in the top 30 in any of the major stats, and it hadn’t made it to the tournament since 1997. But its eight-game winning streak is tied for the fifth-longest entering the tournament.

3. Illinois (26-8): The Fighting Illini have one of the best scoring offenses in the nation, ranking eighth in points per game (84.4) as Terrence Shannon’s 23 points per game is the second-best among all players in the tournament. 

14. Morehead State (26-8): The 14th-seeded Eagles statistically have one of the best defenses in the tournament, ranking fifth in the nation in opposing shooting percentage (.389) and eighth in points allowed per game (62.8).

7. Washington State (24-9): The Cougars play the game inside the 3-point line. Washington State ranks 300th in 3-point attempts per game (18.8), but it also allows the 20th-fewest 3-point attempts per game (17.8).

10. Drake (28-6): The 10th-seeded Bulldogs are a threat to pull off an upset, going 4-1 in Quad 1 games this season.

2. Iowa State (27-7): The Cyclones’ 16 wins in Quad 1 and 2 games are the most for any non-No. 1 seed, going a combined 16-7 against such opponents this season.

15. South Dakota State (22-12): The Jackrabbits are 22nd in the nation in shooting percentage (48.3%), holding the second-best mark among teams with one of the four lowest seeds.


1. Houston (30-4): Kelvin Sampson’s squad’s bread and butter was its defense, ranking first in both points allowed per game (57) and points allowed per 100 possessions (76.5).

16. Longwood (21-13): Get ready for some old-school basketball with the Lancers. Longwood’s 17 3-pointers per game rank 342nd in the nation and is the lowest among all teams in the tournament. 

8. Nebraska (23-10): The Cornhuskers are just 1-6 in Quad 1 games away from home this season.

9. Texas A&M (20-14): The Aggies have the most Quad 1 wins among any non-top-four seed, going 7-7 in such games. 

5. Wisconsin (22-13): The Badgers might be battle-tested, but they haven’t done well against top-tier opponents this season. Wisconsin was second in strength of schedule rating (11.69) but went just 5-9 in Quad 1 games this season. 

12. James Madison (31-3): The Dukes make passing difficult for their opponents, having the third-best opposing assist-to-turnover ratio (.718) among all teams in the tournament.

4. Duke (24-8): The Blue Devils, who hold one of the nation’s better offenses as they’re 43rd in scoring, have a balanced scoring attack. All five of Duke’s starters average at least 10 points per game, a rarity in the college game.

13. Vermont (28-6): Out of the non-power conference schools in the tournament, no team turns the ball over less than the Catamounts. Vermont has the ninth-fewest turnovers per game this season (9.1). 

6. Texas Tech (23-10):  In a loaded Big 12, the Red Raiders haven’t played well against top opponents away from home. Texas Tech is 3-8 in Quad 1 games at neutral sites or on the road, with one of those wins coming against a non-tournament team.

11. NC State (22-14): The Wolfpack are only in the tournament after winning the ACC Tournament, going on a miracle run to win five games. NC State is just the second team to win five games in five days to win its conference tournament, joining 2011 UConn, who won the national title. 

3. Kentucky (23-9): The Wildcats rode their offense to success this season, finishing second in scoring (89.4 points per game) and leading the nation in 3-point shooting percentage (41.2%).

14. Oakland (23-11): Looking for a long-shot upset? The Golden Grizzlies are one of the two 13-seed-or-lower teams with a Quad 1 win this season (1-5). 

7. Florida (24-11): The Gators might upset opposing fans the most this tournament. They're sixth in the nation in free-throw attempts per game (25.2), the best mark among all tournament teams. But it’s actually just 218th in the nation in free-throw percentage (71.2%).

10. Boise State: Good luck getting second-chance points against the Broncos. The 7.4 offensive rebounds that Boise State allows per game is the best among all teams in the tournament. 

10. Colorado: Not many teams are as good at shooting as the Buffaloes, who are one of only two schools from a power conference that rank in the top 10 in field goal percentage (seventh) and 3-point percentage (tied for fifth).

2. Marquette (25-9): Star point guard Tyler Kolek leads the nation in assists (7.6), but he’s missed the Golden Eagles’ last five games due to an oblique injury. He’s expected to make his return for the opening round of the tournament, which is welcome news as they’re 22-6 with Kolek in the lineup this season. 

15. Western Kentucky (22-11): The Hilltoppers were able to have one of the best offenses in the nation despite not relying on the 3-point shot. Western Kentucky ranked 31st in points per game (80.6), but was 263rd in 3-point attempts per game (20.1) as it ranked seventh in points in the paint per game (40.5). 


1. Purdue (29-4): Zach Edey’s domination around the rim made him the only player in the nation to be in the top 10 in points (24.4) and rebounds (11.7) per game. As a result, Purdue is 12th in the nation in points (83.4) and rebounds (40.4).

Wisconsin Badgers vs. No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers Highlights

16. Montana State (16-16): The Bobcats are in the tournament for the third straight season, making it to the Big Dance after winning the Big Sky with a losing record entering the conference tournament. 

16. Grambling State (20-14): The Tigers are the only team in the tournament with a negative point differential, getting outscored by their opponents by 1.4 points per game. 

8. Utah State (27-6): The Aggies do as good a job as any team in the tournament at making sure their opponent doesn’t make their 3-pointers, having the best opponent 3-point percentage in the tournament (28.6%). 

9. TCU (21-12): The Horned Frogs are 3-8 against teams in the tournament this season, losing their last six such games. But TCU has also won in the first round of the tournament in each of the last two seasons. 

5. Gonzaga (25-7): The Bulldogs might not be a top seed this year, but they’re either first in the nation or among all teams in the tournament in field goal percentage (51.6%), points in the paint (42.9) and field goal percentage differential (+11.1).

12. McNeese (30-3): The Cowboys have had a strong first season under first-year coach Will Wade, going 30-3. Defensively, McNeese ranks second in opponent's field goal percentage (38.5%) and fourth in points allowed per 100 possessions (81.3) among all tournament teams.

4. Kansas (22-10): No team in the tournament relies more on inside scoring than the Jayhawks. Kansas was seventh in the nation in percentage of points coming from 2-point shots (59%).

13. Samford (29-5): The Bulldogs, who are making their first appearance ever in the tournament, are third among all teams in the tournament in turnovers forced per game (16). 

6. South Carolina (26-7): The Gamecocks are the luckiest team in the tournament. South Carolina’s KenPom luck rating (+.152) is the second-best mark in the nation. 

11. Oregon (23-11): You can count on the Ducks to win a game in the tournament with Dana Altman as their head coach. Oregon has won at least one game in all seven tournaments that it’s had Altman as its head coach. 

3. Creighton (23-9): The Bluejays’ opponents don’t make it to the free-throw line much as they rank first in the nation for fewest free-throw attempts allowed per game (10.7). However, Creighton’s opponents’ free-throw percentage is also the best in the nation (78.7). 

No. 1 UConn Huskies vs. No. 15 Creighton Bluejays Highlights

14. Akron (24-10): The Zips have one of the best perimeter defenses in the country. Akron ranks 11th in opponent 3-point shooting (29.7%). 

7. Texas (20-12):  Leading score Max Abmas became a household name with Oral Roberts three years ago, leading the 15th-seeded Golden Eagles to the Sweet 16 as he scored 26.7 points per game in the tournament that year. 

10. Virginia (23-10): The Cavaliers’ careful offense squeaked their way into the tournament. While Virginia’s 63.6 points per game is 354th in the nation, it also has the best offensive turnover percentage in the tournament (12.9).

10. Colorado State (24-10): The Rams’ 1.792 assist-to-turnover ratio is the fifth-best in the nation and ranks as the best for a non-power conference school. 

2. Tennessee (24-8): Rick Barnes has his team back in the tournament, holding the second seed in the Midwest region. But the Volunteers have only made it past the first weekend twice with Barnes as their head coach and haven’t made it to the Elite Eight. Their 8-7 record in Quad 1 games is also the worst for any of the eight top two seeds.

15. Saint Peter's (19-13): The Peacocks are back in the tournament as a 15 seed after making a surprise Elite Eight run two years ago with the same seed. The defense is the reason why, as Saint Peter’s allows just 63.4 points per game, the 12th-best mark in the nation.


1. North Carolina (27-7): The Tar Heels are one of the best second-half teams in the nation. The Tar Heels’ +6.7 second-half point differential is the third-best in the nation, trailing just UConn and McNeese State.

16. Howard (18-16): The Bison are one of the most turnover-prone teams in the country, ranking ninth in turnovers per game (15.7).

16. Wagner (16-15): The Seahawks play their best defense at arguably the two most efficient spots. Wagner ranks ninth in opponent 3-point percentage (29.5%) and is tied for 24th for fewest points allowed in the paint (26.5).

8. Mississippi State (21-13): The Bulldogs have struggled against top-tier opponents this season, going 4-9 in Quad 1 games. But there is some good news for Mississippi State.

9. Michigan State (19-14): The Spartans have struggled against top-tier opponents, holding a 3-9 record in Quad 1 games this season. Something's got to give, right?

Michigan State Spartans vs. Purdue Boilermakers 2024 Big Ten Tournament Highlights

5. Saint Mary's (26-7): Randy Bennet has the Gaels back in the dance for a third straight season. Unsurprisingly, Saint Mary’s rode its defense to success. It finished second in points allowed per game (58.7) and third in points allowed per 100 possessions (81.2).

12. Grand Canyon (29-4): The Antelopes are one of the few teams to rank in the top 50 in scoring and points allowed this season. Grand Canyon is 44th in points per game (79.8) and 45th in points allowed per game (66.9).

4. Alabama (21-11): The Crimson Tide led the nation in scoring, averaging 90.8 points per game. However, it also allowed the most points per game among all tournament teams (81.1). 

13. Charleston (27-7): The Cougars are one of the most 3-point-reliant teams in the country, shooting the third-most 3-pointers per game in the nation (30.6). Charleston is 13th in the nation in percentage of points coming from 3-pointers (39.5%).

6. Clemson (21-11): Guard Joseph Girard is money from the free-throw line, ranking second in the nation and first among all players in the tournament in free-throw percentage (95.6%).

11. New Mexico (26-9): The Lobos get up shots at a furious pace, ranking second in the nation in field goal attempts per game (65.3). New Mexico shoots the ball well though, ranking 92nd in field goal percentage (46%). 

3. Baylor (23-10): The Bears’ 10 Quad 1 wins are tied for the most among all teams that didn’t get a No. 1 seed, but it’s also 10-9 against such opponents this season. 

14. Colgate (25-9): The Raiders have one of the best defenses in the tournament, ranking 11th in points allowed per game (63.2).

7. Dayton (24-7): Flyers guard Koby Brea leads the nation in 3-point shooting, knocking down 49.2% of his attempts from deep as he averages six 3-pointers per game. He also leads the nation in true shooting percentage (71.5%). 

10. Nevada (26-7): The Wolfpack are efficient on both ends of the floor, being one of the few teams that is ranked in the top 60 in field goal percentage (47.5%) and opponent field goal percentage (41.7%).

2. Arizona (25-8): The Wildcats’ offense is paint-driven, ranking second in the nation in points scored in the paint per game (42.6) as they also rank in the top 10 in 2-pointers made (23.7) and 2-pointers attempted (43.5) per game. It's also led by Caleb Love, who's scoring 18.1 points per game this season and could face his old school, UNC, in the Elite Eight.

15. Long Beach State (21-14): The Beach are in an unprecedented spot. Ahead of the Big West Tournament, Dan Monson and the school announced they would be parting ways after 17 seasons. But Monson helped Long State Beach win the conference tournament, extending his stay, at least for now.

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