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The draw: The Rams earned a No. 12 seed and get rewarded with a mid-major showdown against fifth-seeded Wichita State in Portland, Ore., on Thursday at 7:15 p.m There’s a path open to the second weekend, with fourth-seeded Indiana short-handed thanks to the loss of guard Verdell Jones III to a knee injury.

Number of note: 6

Coaches to open their careers with 80 wins in their first three seasons: Brad Stevens (89), Smart (83), Mark Fox (81), Mark Few (81), Everett Case (80) and Bill Guthridge (80).

Projection: Who wants to bet against the Rams after last year? Anyone? A win or two could easily be in the cards after a revamped roster did what last year’s bunch couldn’t: win the CAA tournament. Also on tap is even greater interest from bigger programs in the 34-year-old Smart after demonstrating he wasn’t a three-week wonder,