When the Sweet 16 gets under way on Saturday afternoon, some of the biggest stars on the court will be the smallest players on the court, the point guards.
The Oklahoma Sooners' resilience during this year's NCAA tournament is well documented. But the journey might have all started on a wintry night in New York at Marist.
This might be portrayed as the Final Four of foregone conclusions. But for as much as Connecticut arrives in St. Louis as the heavy favorite, the three challengers are as complete as it gets.
Yes, OU still looks shaky. But the Sooners are learning to win with what strengths they have -- even if it means winning ugly.
Make no mistake, UNC deserves the label of tournament favorite. But there are a host of challengers capable of making life at the top unpleasant.