Alabama All-American forward Brandon Miller will enter the NBA draft.

The decision, which was reported on Thursday, comes as no surprise for the 20-year-old Miller, who excelled on the basketball court but was also associated with a major off-the-court situation as he was involved in a fatal shooting in January.

A projected top-5 pick in the draft, the 6-foot-9 Miller averaged 18.8 points and 8.2 rebounds while connecting on 38 per cent of his shots from 3-point range in leading Alabama to the SEC regular-season and conference title.

He helped the Crimson Tide to their first No.1 ranking in The AP poll in 20 years and first No.1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

A groin injury late in the season slowed his production in the NCAA Tournament, and Alabama were ousted by San Diego State in the Sweet 16.

Miller played in all 37 games for Alabama this past season despite his involvement with a fatal shooting on January 15.

According to police testimony, Miller brought the gun belonging to former Alabama player Darius Miles to Miles, and Miles and another man were charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Jamea Harris.

Miller’s attorney said Miller never handled the gun and did not know Miles' intension.

Miller was never charged with a crime and was not punished by the team.

The decision by Crimson Tide coach Nate Oates to allow Miller to continue to play as the school was in the midst of an historic season was criticised by countless pundits.

San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher hailed his "fearless" team as they defeated Alabama to book his first trip to the Elite Eight at the NCAA Tournament.

Dutcher is one of six coaches set for an Elite Eight debut this year, the most in a single season since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

None of the other five reached this stage in as spectacular fashion as Dutcher, however, as SDSU upset the number one overall seed 71-64 on Friday.

And Dutcher had a sporting great on his mind as he inspired his players in their unlikely win.

"I just tell the guys: nothing is going to be easy, so just keep playing our brand of basketball, keep doing your best, stay competitive," the coach said.

"And I'm using Muhammad Ali quotes because we're Louisville.

"We talked about confidence, and the key to confidence is being fearless, and I thought we were fearless tonight."

Dutcher does not want this to be the end of SDSU's run, though, adding: "When we recruit, we say our goal is to win a national championship, so we can't act surprised when we have an opportunity to advance to the Final Four.

"It's not just words we use to get them to come here. It's words we believe in."

Despite the disappointment of defeat, Alabama coach Nate Oats attempted to focus on the positives of the past year.

"I'll say it's one of the most memorable seasons ever," he said. "It's not easy to win the regular season, the SEC tournament in the same year and make a Sweet 16 run.

"It's a great group that really loves each other.They're going to be close for life, most of them.

"I love the group, they love each other, and it's just really disappointing that it's ending early.

"But I think it's one of the most memorable seasons in Alabama history, and they can walk out of here with their heads up."

Top overall seed Alabama were ousted from the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 after an upset 71-64 loss to San Diego State on Friday.

The Crimson Tide were well below their best in a sloppy performance with 14 turnovers, shooting three-of-27 from beyond the arc.

SDSU's Darrion Trammell scored 21 points as San Diego progressed to the Elite Eight for the first time.

Trammell led the way offensively for the Aztecs, while Nathan Mensah had eight rebounds and five blocks, while Lamont Butler had three steals, four rebounds and four assists.

For Alabama, top-five NBA Draft prospect  Brandon Miller scored nine points with 11 rebounds but committed six turnovers and shot three-of-19 from the field, including one-of-10 from three-point range.

Crimson Tide guard Mark Sears scored 16 points with 10 rebounds but shot none-of-five from beyond the arc.

"Everybody is really disappointed in the loss," Alabama coach Nate Oats said. "It ended too soon."

Midwest regional top seed Houston were also eliminated in the Sweet 16 on Friday after losing 89-75 to Miami.

Hurricanes guard Nijel Pack led the way with 26 points including seven-of-10 three-pointers as Miami made 11 of their first 22 attempts from beyond the arc.

Miami will take on Midwest second seed Texas in the Elite Eight after the Longhorns won ___ over the Xavier Musketeers, with Tyrese Hunter scoring a team-high __ points with __-of-__ three-pointers.

South regional six seed Creighton defeated Princeton 86-75 to set up a Elite Eight meeting with SDSU, after Ryan Kalkbrenner and Baylor Scheierman scored 22 and 21 points respectively.

West Regional No.1 seed Kansas were eliminated from the NCAA tournament after a nail-biting 72-71 round-of-32 loss to Arkansas on Saturday.

The Jayhawks join Purdue as the second No.1 seed to be bundled out of the March Madness tournament in consecutive days, after the Boilermakers lost to No.16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday.

Multiple No.1 seeds missing the Sweet 16 had only occurred three times since the NCAA expanded in 1985 prior to this week.

Kansas led 35-27 at half-time but the Razorbacks produced a strong second-half rally, with guard Davonte Davis scoring 25 points with eight rebounds.

Razorbacks guard Ricky Council IV added 21 points with six rebounds and four assists, while Jalen Wilson top scored for Kansas with 20 points and four rebounds.

Arkansas' win is their third consecutive victory in the round of 32, setting up a Sweet 16 clash with either Saint Mary's or UConn. The Razorbacks toppled No.1 seed Gonzaga last year.

"I've been coaching a long time and that's as great of a win as I've ever been a part of because of the history of Kansas," Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. "A lot of people didn't think we were going to win our first-round game."

Elsewhere, Midwest Regional No.1 seed Houston avoided Kansas' fate with an 81-64 win over Auburn led by Tramon Mark with 26 points and nine rebounds.

South Regional No.1 seed Alabama also eased into the Sweet 16 with a 73-51 triumph over Maryland with Jahvon Quinerly top scoring with 22 points for the Crimson Tide.

UCLA won 68-63 over Northwestern, Tennessee edge Duke 65-52, San Diego State beat Furman 75-52, Texas toppled Penn State 71-66 and No.15 seed Princeton beat Missouri 78-63.

Brandon Miller was held scoreless by Texas A&M Corpus Christi in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but Alabama's beaten opponents do not expect that to happen again.

Miller is projected to go in the top three of the NBA Draft, making him the top prospect playing in March Madness, with Victor Wembanyama in France and Scoot Henderson in the NBA G League.

But the Crimson Tide freshman failed to score a point in Alabama's 96-75 win on Thursday, having averaged 19.6 points per game this season up to that point, failing to reach double figures just once.

Miller is dealing with a groin injury and played only 19 minutes, although he still took and missed five field goals.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi coach Steve Lutz, who had previously suggested Miller would need to fall ill to be stopped, does not expect that performance to be repeated as the tournament continues.

"Maybe he had an off night. I really don't know," Lutz said. "I know that I watched him on tape and he's really, really good.

"So for us to have collectively done the job that we did on him defensively is a feather our cap, but I wouldn't expect that to happen again, to be honest with you."

Alabama coach Nate Oats added: "It was nice to be able to put up 96 without Brandon scoring a point.

"We were trying to play him limited minutes. We were able to keep him under 20. Hopefully, he can get a lot of rehab today and tomorrow and look a lot more like himself on Saturday."

Miller, for his part, was keen not to blame his injury.

"If that's what you want to call it, we can go with that," he replied when asked if it was the reason for his limited minutes.

Amid the excitement around his involvement in the tournament, Miller has also been the subject of significant attention for off-court matters.

Former team-mate Darius Miles was charged with capital murder following the shooting death of a 23-year-old woman near the Alabama campus, and police are said to believe Miller supplied the firearm.

Miller has not been charged, nor is he considered a suspect, and according to the university, he has been cooperating with the police as a witness.

The forward has attended the tournament with security detail, with Oats revealing he had been the target of threats before the team's first game.

"If you guys saw some of what I've seen sent his way, I think you would understand why that's the case," the coach said of Miller's security.

Miller added: "It doesn't bother me. I send it [the threats] to the right people, and then they handle it."

The first massive upset of the NCAA Tournament arrived on Thursday as the 15-seed Princeton Tigers knocked out the two-seed Arizona Wildcats 59-55.

Incredibly, the undersized Tigers won despite shooting only four-of-25 (16 per cent) from three-point range, getting it done on the defensive end as they held Arizona to 24 points in the second half.

Despite the loss, it was still a strong showing from the game's top NBA prospect as Arizona's six-foot-11 Lithuanian junior Azuolas Tubelis posted 22 points (nine-of-20 shooting), five rebounds, four steals and a block.

In a full-circle moment, Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson was drenched during post-game celebrations. The victory came 27 years after he played in the Tigers' last great March Madness upset, knocking off four-seed UCLA in the 1996 tournament.

But Arizona were not the only big favourite to fall, as the four-seed Virginia Cavaliers were stunned late in a 68-67 defeat at the hands of the 13-seed Furman Paladins.

Virginia led by four with just 12 seconds remaining, but after two Furman free throws, fifth-year senior Kihei Clark inexplicably tried to launch a full-court pass while being trapped in the backcourt. The pass was intercepted, allowing Garrett Hein to set up J.P. Pegues for the game-winning three with two seconds on the clock.

Things were less dramatic for the one seeds in action, as freshman star and likely NBA lottery pick Gradey Dick led the Kansas Jayhawks to a 96-68 drubbing of the Howard Bison.

Dick, 19, had 19 points (seven-of-13 shooting) with 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals as Kansas kept their foot on the pedal right to the end, using the blowout as an opportunity for some live practice against competitive opposition.

It was a different strategy for the Alabama Crimson Tide, with none of their starters playing more than 21 minutes, including top-three NBA draft hopeful Brandon Miller as he finished scoreless on five shots.

The Houston Cougars completed the one seed clean sweep as they were made to work for a 63-52 win against the Northern Kentucky Norse, with top prospect Jarace Walker putting together 16 points (six-of-eight shooting), six rebounds and two blocks.

There aren't many months on the US sporting calendar that capture the imagination quite like March.

Fans around the country and around the world are furiously filling in brackets as they undertake the futile task of trying to correctly predict every game of the NCAA Tournament.

Spoiler alert. None will succeed. All brackets will eventually be 'busted' as March Madness delivers the chaotic upsets that have come to define it.

There will be top seeds who fail to justify that status and suffer defeats to supposed inferior teams, although the cream consistently rises to the top.

Twelve of the past 15 National Champions have been one seeds, including each of the last five.

Ahead of the first four tipping off in Dayton on Tuesday, Stats Perform looks at three storylines surrounding one seeds looking to keep that streak alive.

Houston eyeing home victory

The Houston Cougars have never tasted glory in the NCAA Tournament, finishing as runners-up in 1983 and 1984, but they are many people's favourites to end that drought in a year that will see the Final Four held in Houston.

Despite losing the AAC Tournament title game to Memphis, the Cougars still earned a one seed as they seek a maiden National Championship.

Top of Stats Perform's TRACR (Team Rating Adjusted for Conference and Roster) rankings, which give Houston the highest chance (13.4 per cent) of winning the title, the big question surrounding the Cougars is the health of power forward Marcus Sasser.

Sasser missed the defeat to Memphis with a groin injury, and Houston will likely need him at full health if the Cougars are to go all the way. He has averaged 17.1 points per game this season and shot 38.3 per cent from the three-point line.

He suggested he likely will be ready for the tournament, saying he "played it safe" by not featuring against Memphis.

Houston shouldn't need Sasser to get past Northern Kentucky in their first-round matchup, but the Cougars can't afford for him to be on the shelf much longer if they are to realise their potential and finally end their wait for a title.

Controversy clouds top-ranked Alabama

The top overall seed belongs to the Alabama Crimson Tide, who will face either Texas A&M-Corpus Christi or Southeast Missouri State in the first round.

But much of the talk around Alabama does not concern their play on the court.

Alabama removed Darius Miles from the team in January after he was charged with capital murder following the shooting death of a 23-year-old woman near the campus.

Police are said to believe that Brandon Miller, the SEC Player of the Year and SEC Freshman of the Year, supplied the firearm to his former team-mate.

Miller has not been charged, nor is he considered a suspect, and according to the university, he has been cooperating with the police as a witness.

Alabama coach Nate Oats has been insistent Miller has done nothing wrong, and he remains on the court as the standout for a team looking to reach the Final Four for the first time.

He will carry much of the burden for Alabama having averaged 19.6 points and 8.3 rebounds and shot 40.1 per cent from beyond the arc.

After easing to an 82-63 win over Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament finale, Alabama look in excellent shape to justify their position as the number one seed in the entire tournament. 

But the further they progress and the larger the spotlight gets, the more questions they will face around Miller's presence and the lack of discipline he has faced after a tragedy that may overshadow their campaign.

Self set to return for Jayhawks repeat bid

The Kansas Jayhawks go into the tournament looking to do what no team has done since Florida in 2007 and claim back-to-back National Championships.

Entering the tournament as the one seed in the West Regional, Kansas' performance in a season that has seen them go 27-7 would appear to indicate they have a strong chance of repeating.

Yet the TRACR rankings give them just a 3.2 per cent of doing so, and history is firmly against them.

Since Florida made it two in a row in 2007, no defending champion has advanced past the Sweet 16, with only two even reaching that stage.

This year, the Jayhawks face a potential Sweet 16 matchup with UConn, a fourth seed with the third-best odds (6.9 per cent) to win it all, according to TRACR.

So, not a great draw then, and Kansas' preparations for the tournament have not exactly been ideal.

They lost the Big 12 Championship Game 76-56 to Texas, having played that tournament without head coach Bill Self after he was admitted to hospital with chest tightness and balance concerns.

With Self expected to return for the tournament and Kansas possessing the Big 12's top scorer in Jalen Wilson (20.1 points per game), there is reason for optimism this powerhouse can replicate the achievements of Billy Donovan's Gators 16 years ago.

Regardless of whether they succeed, the Jayhawks have already fared better than the team they defeated last year, North Carolina, who failed to make the tournament. They became the first preseason number one to miss out on the tournament since 1985.

This season has already seen unwanted history for the Tar Heels. The Jayhawks will look to end it by writing another celebratory chapter in the record books. 

March Madness has arrived and the NCAA Tournament field is set, with some exciting NBA prospects and a seven-foot-four behemoth expected to make waves.

With the conference tournaments officially in the books, reigning champions the Kansas Jayhawks have been joined by the Purdue Boilermakers, the Houston Cougars and the Alabama Crimson Tide as the four one-seeds in the 68-team field.

Purdue are led by National Player of the Year favourite Zach Edey, who has emerged as one of this generation's most dominant bigs during his third season in Indiana, while the other top seeds have relied on stellar play from first-year freshmen.

Dozens of NBA scouts will be in attendance at the 'big dance', and while new faces always emerge under the bright lights, here are the headliners from this year's tournament favourites.

Gradey Dick, Kansas

NBA comparison: Kyle Kuzma

Jalen Wilson is the defending champions' best player but it is his wing partner Gradey Dick, over three years younger, who is the X-factor and Kansas' top NBA prospect.

Dick, 19, was a highly regarded high school recruit who instantly earned a starting role on one of college basketball's perennial powerhouses.

Having played in all 34 of Kansas' games this season, helping them go 27-7, the six-foot-eight, sweet-shooting wing looked right at home from the jump. He scored 23 points on his debut – one of his seven 20-point games for the season – while displaying a professional offensive game.

With ideal size for an NBA wing, Dick's money-maker will be his jump shot, boasting a 39.9 per cent clip from three-point range on an aggressive 5.8 attempts per game. 

His free throw percentage of 85.1 shows that his touch is real, and he has delivered in off-the-dribble situations as well movement threes off hard cuts, illustrating his upside as more than a stagnant corner spacer.

While he lacks some foot speed and explosive bounce, he has the size and competitiveness to compete against big wings at the next level, and his 1.4 steals per game show quick hands that will add to his value on that end.

Dick's three-point heavy game, combined with his versatility and playmaking flashes at his size point to an NBA role similar to Kyle Kuzma with the Washington Wizards, where he can excel as a complimentary piece while also shouldering some of the creation workload.

Kansas, ranked third in the country, have four wins over teams ranked in the top-10 at the time of their meetings, and will hope the addition of Dick to last year's National Championship team will be enough to go back-to-back.

Zach Edey, Purdue

NBA comparison: Jonas Valanciunas with less shooting

The most dominant player in college basketball this season, the seven-foot-four Canadian took a monumental leap on both ends of the floor coming into his junior year.

Known as a per-minute monster through his first two seasons at Purdue, Edey went from an interesting bench piece playing 14.7 minutes per game as a freshman, to a role-playing starter with 19.0 minutes per game as a sophomore, before exploding as their star player this campaign, averaging 31.7 minutes.

Incredibly, he has been able to sustain almost all of his per-minute dominance in an expanded role. After averaging 30.3 points, 16.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per 40 minutes last season, he has proven he can continue to produce as a focal point with 27.9 points, 16.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per 40.

It has translated to averages of 22.1 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, all while leading all of college basketball – including all 352 division one teams – in a number of advanced stats. 

Edey leads the country in total rebounding percentage, grabbing down 24.5 per cent of all misses while he is on the floor, buoyed by his number one ranking in the offensive rebound category as well (21.8 per cent). 

Purdue became one of the best teams in the country last season when Edey was injected into the starting line-up, and have stayed near the top of the rankings this whole year, peaking at number one before settling at number five with a 29-5 record after winning their conference tournament.

Edey will almost certainly be who decides how far Purdue go in the big dance, and as a reward for his incredible year, he was named the Big Ten Player of the Year. The past 13 players to win the award have all been selected in the NBA Draft, and he is a favourite to take home National Player of the Year honours.

Brandon Miller, Alabama

NBA comparison: Lauri Markkanen with more defense

There is no archetype more in-demand in the NBA than tall, long-armed wings with the ability to both shoot and defend – and Alabama's Brandon Miller is the best of this year's class.

Standing at six-foot-nine with a plus wingspan, Miller has flashed a professional scoring game, averaging 19.5 points while shooting 45.9 per cent from the field, an impressive 40.7 per cent from long range on an eye-opening 7.4 three-point attempts per game, and a rock-solid 85.3 per cent from the free throw line.

Add into the equation that he is a willing defender who can realistically guard three positions at a high level, while also grabbing over eight rebounds per game, and you have a modern wing who ticks just about every box.

Profiling as the most 'sure thing' prospect in college basketball this season, Miller's main knocks come from a lack of physicality, which has resulted in a disappointing success rate on attempts near the basket as he struggles to deal with contact.

As a big, finesse wing, Miller projects to fill a similar role to Lauri Markkanen since his emergence with the Utah Jazz, as one of the league's only players at that size to average at least three makes from both the three-point line and free throw line per game.

Miller is not the first skinny 20-year-old to enter the draft, he will not be the last, and he has shown unequivocally that he can be the best player on a good team. 

He is the only player on the fourth-ranked, 29-5 Alabama team averaging more than 13 points and the only one averaging at least eight rebounds, while leading them in three-point makes (99), free throw makes (128) and being second in total steals (29).

Jarace Walker, Houston

NBA comparison: Jimmy Butler

An arguably unique prospect projected to be a lottery pick in this year's NBA Draft, Houston's Jarace Walker is a game-wrecker on the defensive end.

At six-foot-eight with a seven-foot-two wingspan, Walker will begin his career as a four who can play some small-ball center, but has shown enough playmaking, shooting and feel for the game to project well in a more on-ball role moving forward.

His primary value will come on the defensive end, with his quick feet defying his football-player's frame at 240lb, and that combination of size, length and quickness will have him on the short list of players who can defend the NBA's top big wings.

A versatile player on the offensive end, Walker has yet to truly figure out how he can take over games on a consistent basis, with nine performances of at least 15 points, and seven games with five points or fewer.

He evokes visions of a young Jimmy Butler, who came into the league as a position-less forward, but was able to refine his ball-handling to a level that allowed him to take advantage of his clear passing and playmaking ability.

Walker flashes some similar tantalising skills off the dribble, showing off some nifty passes in traffic, but the title-hungry Cougars have no time to waste trying out new looks with their freshman wing, with 22-year-old point guard Marcus Sasser running the show.

The top-ranked team in the country at 31-3, Houston will enter the tournament as arguably the favourite, with 19-year-old Walker the only teenager in the starting line-up.

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