There might not be any other player who is more at risk of being overexposed than Creighton forward Doug McDermott.
He is the only player to win the Player of the Year award for two conferences (Missouri Valley, Big East) and posed for a Sports Illustrated cover photo that recreated a shot of the legendary Larry Bird from 1977.
“I could have done a set of push-ups,” McDermott joked. “To make my arms look bigger.”
The magazine shoot only adds to McDermott's lore. He gets hypnotized before every game to help him relax and always wears a T-shirt under his jersey along with an armband on his elbow. He ate rotiserrie chicken before every game during a 52-game winning streak for his Iowa high school team.
But none of that would matter if McDermott couldn't play. He has shot a sizzling 46 percent on 3-pointers during his four-year career at Crieghton and is an 83 percent free-throw shooter. He is only the eighth Division I player to score more than 3,000 points.
McDermott and Creighton's three other seniors (Grant Gibbs, Jahenns Manigat and Ethan Wragge) do not want to end their careers after being the first class in school history to win NCAA tournament games in back-to-back seasons (2012-13).
“I plan on winning the rest of our games,” McDermott said.
The Wildcats were ranked No. 1 for eight weeks and get an extremely favorable travel schedule. Their first two games are in San Diego and the West Region semifinal and final games are in Anaheim. One of the teams capable of beating Arizona, San Diego State, has already lost to the Wildcats, 69-60. One concern will be freshman forward Aaron Gordon's 44 percent free-throw shooting.Sleeper: Baylor
The Bears played in the nation's toughest conference and finished the regular season winning seven of their final eight games. As a No. 6 seed, Baylor also avoided playing in the always-tough No. 8 vs. No. 9 opening game. Baylor has four players averaging in double figures in scoring, so it doesn't need a star to carry it through March Madness.Upset alert
Oregon over Wisconsin. The Ducks won eight of their final nine regular-season games and feature the kind of marquee players that can carry teams in the tournament. Guard Joseph Young, a transfer from Houston, averages 18.6 points, while forward Mike Moser, who previously played at UCLA and UNLV, is second at 13.6 points. Wisconsin is picked by some to win the West, which makes the Badgers a perfect target.Bracket breakdown
Is this the region of underachievers? Arizona has not been to the Final Four since 2001, while Wisconsin's last trip was in 2000. It's also about time for No. 4 seed San Diego State to do more than its lone Sweet 16 appearance in 2011. Creighton could face in-state rival Nebraska in a rematch of a regular-season contest, while No. 8 Gonzaga plays No. 9 Oklahoma State in what might be the best opening matchup in any region. The winner could easily upset Arizona.