- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 23, 2011

For the second straight year, the NCAA tournament had a wild first weekend filled with upsets, buzzer beaters and virtuoso performances by star players.

And, for the second straight year, people across the country had to rip up their brackets, left with no chance of winning because they didn’t see Morehead State bumping off Louisville, Butler making another run to the round of 16 or any of the other how’d-that-happen games.

Next up are the regionals and there are still plenty of great teams, great players and exciting story lines.

Duke, the defending national champion, is still in the bracket, as are Kansas and Ohio State, two of the other three No. 1 seeds.

Upset specialists Butler, Marquette and Virginia Commonwealth have made it through, setting up another potential mid-major breakthrough. And there’s still plenty of stars, from The Jimmer to King Kemba and D-Will of the desert.

It should be a fun week. Here’s a few things to keep an eye on while you’re planted in that worn down recliner.

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DYNAMIC DUOS

Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin. Leuer is a big banger, but also has a deft touch from the perimeter. Taylor is difficult to keep out of the lane, can also shoot outside and has a knack for making big plays. Nice combination.

Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, Duke. Smith became the first player to lead the ACC in scoring and assists, while Singler is as multidimensional as they come. They won a title together.

Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack, Butler. Howard is the kind of guy who could get his teeth knocked out and not even slow down. Mack has quietly become one of the best guards in the country. They’re both winners, too, as evidenced by the past two NCAA tournaments.

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MARQUEE MATCHUPS

They’re all marquee at this point, right? Well, some have a little more pizzaz than others. Here’s the ones you need to make sure to at least get the DVR rollin’ for:

Ohio State vs. Kentucky, East Regional, Friday in Newark, N.J. There’s going to be so many athletes on the floor it’s going to look like an All-Star game. Soaring dunks and 3-pointers will be flying in from everywhere. Strap in and enjoy.

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