Even after a national championship and 13 second-round appearances in the past 15 years, Louisiana Tech coach Leon Barmore still can be surprised.
Take the Techsters' 74-48 win Sunday over Auburn, the SEC Tournament champions.
"We played a pretty flawless game and that's what we had to do to beat such a good team," Barmore said. "I certainly don't think we as a staff ever worked harder in preparing for a game.
"I was very surprised at the point differential. I went into this game worried we were catching one of the hottest teams going into the playoffs."
Louisiana Tech (31-3) won its 34th straight at home.
Another SEC team awaits Barmore. Florida will face Louisiana Tech in West Lafayette, Ind., in Saturday's regional semifinal.
CLOSE ENOUGH: When Virginia plays in the Saturday's regional semifinal, it will be like going home for Lisa Hosac _ sort of.
The West Regional is in Missoula, Mont. Hosac is from Littleton, Colo.
"I've never been to Missoula," said Hosac, who led the Cavaliers against Utah in Sunday's second-round win with 13 points. "But I know it's cold."
ALL ABOARD: All but written off in December, Colorado is returning to familiar territory: the Sweet 16.
The trip was a little bumpier this season as the Buffs (23-8) went 2-4 in December before winning 17 of their past 21 games, including the past eight.
"Other teams we've had that went to the Sweet 16, people were on the bandwagon early," coach Ceal Barry said. "We were expected to do well, so there was pressure. This team kind of came out of nowhere and it's a different feeling. It's kind of fun to be the team everybody discounts."
_ TIMES WIRES