Who? The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. No longer the Lady Knights, which is good, because that didn't even make sense (a woman who's been knighted is a dame).
What? For some reason, they thought being Chanticleers wasn't properly intimidating, which would come as a surprise to Coastal Carolina. They were originally supposed to wear orange, in honor of the Duke of Orange, but the brightest color the town could come up with was scarlet. Then they found out that the noble in question used scarlet in his coat of arms. I've sometimes wondered if the Knight is any relation to Sparty- perhaps a descendant.
Where? New Brunswick, New Jersey. Or possibly Piscataway. In either case, it's about where the New York sphere of influence in New Jersey starts to run into the Philadelphia sphere of influence. This might explain a lot about RU.
When? Sunday the 20th, versus Louisiana Tech in Shreveport.
Why? Ask a Rutgers fan, and it'll be because the committee has issues with Rutgers and/or Stringer. Ask anyone else, and it'll be the ridiculous road/home split.
How? Rutgers isn't afraid to play anyone. That gives them a good RPI and gets them a better seed than their record would suggest. Of course, they then get to play Louisiana Tech in Louisiana, so you can debate how hard the RU screw was in place.
Surprise? From the way they started the season, yes. From the way they finished it, no.
Who's driving this thing, anyway? C. Vivian Stringer, since 1995. In case you were wondering, and I know so many of you were, the C. is short for Charlaine (though she jokes in her memoir that it's short for Coach).
Record: 19-12 (11-5 Big East)
Best win: Georgetown (H)
Worst loss: California (A)
Notable results: Stanford (L, A, 63-50), Texas A&M (L, N, 79-50), Notre Dame (L, A, 71-49)
Sophomore post Monique Oliver has started to emerge as a force in the middle for the Scarlet Knights, with 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and just over two blocks per game. If she can establish herself, Rutgers will have a chance to be respectable in the second round. (If they make it past LA Tech, of course.) Junior point guard Khadijah Rushdan is a steadying hand, the most experienced player on the team. Junior guard April Sykes is the team's leading scorer at 13.6 per game, but she's a ridiculously streaky player and a volume shooter; I'm not so sure Rutgers's chances depend on her having a good game as much as they do her not having a horrible game.