Daily Word: Surprised to see Vandy, Wichita State in First Four?

Each day, our college hoops experts discuss the biggest issues, trends and themes in college basketball.

1. Both Vanderbilt and Wichita State had higher hopes when this season started. Which are you more surprised to see starting their NCAA tournament on a Tuesday in Dayton?

Andy Katz: Can I say both? I had Vandy as a Sweet 16 team and Wichita State as winning at least one game. One of those could still happen. But I never thought either would end up in Dayton.

Dana O'Neil: Wichita State. Not only because Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet were on their last college basketball tour but also because the Missouri Valley didn't seem capable of offering up a legit foe for the Shockers. Wichita State, too, is a more proven commodity than Vanderbilt, and it never even seemed in the realm of possibility that it would have to play itself into the bracket.

Myron Medcalf: I'll say Vanderbilt. The VanVleet hamstring injury arrived at an unfortunate juncture for the Shockers, and it hampered their résumé. But Vandy is more surprising to me because it had more opportunities in the SEC to win top-150 games and avoid the Selection Sunday suspense. Most think Vandy's season thus far has been a disappointment.

2. Arizona gets the winner. Which team would the Wildcats prefer?

Katz: The Wildcats will be fine either way since they have faced different styles of teams in the Pac-12. I have Arizona beating either since it can match Vandy's size and deal with the Shockers' speed.

O'Neil: Wichita State. Back to VanVleet and Baker, and that last run thing. These guys have seen in all in March, a very dangerous skill to possess, and don't want to go out like lambs.

Medcalf: Arizona probably wants Wichita State, a team that needs Baker and VanVleet to put up big numbers to win but lacks a strong frontcourt. Damian Jones, Luke Kornet and Wade Baldwin IV are a talented, high-low trio that's more difficult to neutralize.

3. What is the one reason to watch Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Florida Gulf Coast?

Katz: To see if Dunk City still exists.

O'Neil: Because it's the NCAA tournament. What else matters in March?

Medcalf: You should watch to see FGCU coach Joe Dooley build his program. He left a great post as an assistant at Kansas in 2013. Now, he's positioned Florida Gulf Coast to blossom into more than Dunk City. When I went down there a few years ago, Dooley was confident that he could turn the resort-like campus into a basketball hub. This is the next step in that process.