Michigan's Trey Burke made a tough decision to return for his sophomore year, and a chance at a title has made it worth it.
ATLANTA - A year ago at this time, when Trey Burke decided to come back to Michigan for his sophomore season, the star point guard immediately started talking about a national championship.
Trey Burke (3), Michigan's leader and the AP Player of the Year, has not faced a defense like Syracuse's.
Brandon Triche, above, and backcourt mate Michael Carter-Williams are the stars of Syracuse's zone.
Unheralded Wichita State has unheralded stars, such as Carl Hall, who used to work in a light bulb factory.
Louisville's Russ Smith - nicknamed "Russdiculous" - was chosen the Midwest's most outstanding player.
ATLANTA - Syracuse is brimming with confidence, largely because of its suffocating style when the other team has the ball.
Kevin Ware started only one game this season, but his absence leaves a void on offense and defense for the No. 1-seeded Cardinals.
ATLANTA - His full-leg cast and crutches aside, Kevin Ware is no different than the rest of his Louisville teammates this week.
Carl Hall and his Wichita State teammates didn't get much attention coming out of high school, or even later in some cases. They've consoled themselves by cutting down nets in their march to the Final Four.
ATLANTA - More than 30 years ago, Cliff Levingston was part of a powerhouse team at Wichita State that was stocked with future NBA talent, and to this day he believes it underachieved.
Wichita State players, including Cleanthony Early (11), celebrate their upset of Ohio State. "This really happened," Early said after scoring 12 in the win.
LOS ANGELES - Cleanthony Early kept stealing glances down at the hat in his hands while he waited for his turn to climb the stepladder, scissors in hand. The Wichita State forward seemed stunned at the words embroidered on his new ballcap: "Final Four Atlanta."
Coach Sean Miller hugs Kevin Parrom after Parrom's return from being shot last season. Parrom, a New Yorker, is one of four scholarship players from the East Coast on this year's roster. Miller frequently flies to both coasts during recruiting periods.
Sean Miller and his wife, Amy, pledged $250,000 toward a new basketball-specific weight training facility.
Derrick Williams' success at UA "was one of the reasons that these freshmen are here," Sean Miller says.
Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Chiney Ogwumike (13), celebrating a 117-33 exhibition victory over Corban University on Nov. 1 with Amber Orrange (33) and Jasmine Camp (23), is back to lead a Stanford team that lost only two games last season.
Arizona State forward/center Joy Burke, right, returns for the Sun Devils after missing the final 24 games of last season with a concussion.
Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Jazmine Davis, racing up court in an exhibition game last month, is one of two Washington players returning from last season's 20-14 team.
Long considered a near-lock to choose Kansas as the signing period approached, New Hampshire center Kaleb Tarczewski took a final recruiting visit to Arizona for last season's Red-Blue Game.