— The ironic part of all the conversation surrounding the last few teams that get into the NCAA Tournament is that those teams are, for all intents and purposes, likely to be around for all of one game.
The teams that will be competing for the Final Four and the national title cemented their trip to the dance a long time ago.
For the sake of your bracket, here is a list of 10 teams capable of winning the national title, and five teams to steer clear of no matter how tempting they appear.
Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes are the country's best team, and at this point you probably know what they do offensively, surrounding Jared Sullinger with shooters. They are unselfish and the most efficient offensive team in the country. They get after it on the defensive end of the floor without fouling. They have a balance of interior and perimeter scoring as well as youth and experience.
If there is a knock on the East's No. 1 seed, it's that they are susceptible to foul trouble as they only go seven deep.
The Jayhawks are the most talented team. The combination of the Morris twins and Thomas Robinson gives Kansas a versatile and potent frontcourt. The Jayhawks' perimeter is deep, with multiple players that can run the point, play off the ball, and shoot the rock. The top seed in the Southwest runs an inside-out attack and move the ball very well, which creates open looks and driving lanes. There is a reason they led the nation in effective field-goal percentage.
The Southeast's top seed is a deliberate, efficient, and disciplined offensive team. In the halfcourt, the Panthers know exactly what coach Jamie Dixon wants out of them. They run their sets to perfection, and have a guy in Ashton Gibbs who can create open shots with his ability to run off of screens. Pitt's offense is buoyed by their ability to get to the offensive glass and score second chance points.
The Panthers don't pressure defensively, packing in their defense instead. They don't force turnovers, so they are susceptible to teams like Notre Dame that move the ball effectively.
Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils were the last of the four No. 1 seeds, sneaking into the top line out West after an ACC Tournament win. They've had their issues, but you cannot count out a team with Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler. Those two all-americans have been known to raise their play in big games.
If you remember, Singler struggled through much of the regular season last year before becoming the NCAA Tournament's most outstanding player. There are question marks inside, but if those two -- plus Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins, and Ryan Kelly, to say nothing of a potential Kyrie Irving return -- are shooting well, Duke is tough.
North Carolina Tar Heels
This is a different team with Kendall Marshall in the lineup. The East's 2 seed is an elite defensive team and have improved on the offense, too. Harrison Barnes is playing like the all-american everyone thought he would be this season.
Tyler Zeller is a low-post scoring threat while John Henson is an excellent defender at the rim. They are both ideal big men for Roy Williams' up-tempo attack. Marshall is the most important piece, however, as he makes every player on the roster better when he is on the floor.
A lot of this depends on how well Doron Lamb plays with a sore ankle, but the Wildcats are as talented as anyone. They have two certified stars in Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight. Their role players -- Josh Harrellson, Darius Miller, and Deandre Liggins -- are perhaps more important that Jones and Knight when it comes to Kentucky's success. The East's 4 seed can even avoid its biggest bugaboo by playing at neutral sites and at hostile arenas.
Purdue got a pretty good draw with Georgetown and Notre Dame as the No. 3 seed in the Southwest. The Boilermakers are an excellent defensive team, as always, while their offensive attack as survived without Robbie Hummel thanks to the play of guys like Lewis Jackson and Ryne Smith. Throw in their two all-americans -- E'Twaun Moore and Big Ten player of the year JaJuan Johnson -- and this team has the pieces to make some noise.
We all saw what UConn did in the Big East Tournament title run, winning five games in five days, including four against ranked teams. Kemba Walker has recaptured his player of the year form, but the play of Alex Oriakhi inside and Jeremy Lamb on the wing is why the West's 3 seed are in the running. Oriakhi has become a beast inside, especially on the offensive glass, while Lamb is capable of being a very effective slasher when he is aggressive. Will their legs recover in time?
San Diego State Aztecs
The 2 seed out West has a huge advantage in its front court versatility. Kawhi Leonard and Billy White are both combo-forwards who can defend multiple positions and rebound the ball while Malcolm Thomas is an underrated post scorer.
SDSU's key is going to be the play of guards D.J. Gay, James Rahon, and Chase Tapley. If they are hitting their jumpers and Gay is facilitating the offense, this team is very good. They have just two losses on the season, both to BYU with Brandon Davies in the lineup.
As the saying goes, defense wins championships, and these Longhorns have the ability to be absolutely impenetrable on the defensive end of the floor. Tristan Thompson has become a monster in the paint as the season progressed. The key will be Jordan Hamilton and J'Covan Brown. Are those two going to be willing to defend every possession while limiting how many shots they force up? That's the question for the West's 4 seed
The Orange play a tough zone defense. They have a horse inside in Rick Jackson and a coach who won a national title the last time Syracuse was a three seed. The issue with Syracuse is on the perimeter. Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph are talented scorers, but they are far too inconsistent. Throw in Brandon Triche, who was benched in the second half of Syracuse's loss to UConn, and the Orange are not a team you want to back.
On paper, the Southeast's No. 2 seed looks good. They have the SEC player of the year in 6-9 Chandler Parsons, who is the definition of a matchup nightmare. Erving Walker has been much better as a facilitator this season while Kenny Boynton seems to have finally found a consistent shooting stroke over the last eight games. Vernon Macklin and Alex Tyus are effective inside.
That said, I just don't trust this team in a big game. See their 70-54 loss to Kentucky in the SEC title game for evidence.
This one is obvious -- without center Brandon Davies in the lineup, the Southeast's No. 3 seed is a different team. They don't have depth, they don't have size inside, and they don't have scoring balance. The Jimmer is a show, but he's not going to score 52 points every night.
The Badgers are a brutally efficient offensive machine. They are the slowest team in the country in terms of possessions, but with potent weapons like Jordan Taylor and Jon Leuer, they are near impossible to stop when they run their sets. The issue for the Southwest's 4 seed is on the defensive end of the floor. Against efficient offenses, they struggle to get stops.
Notre Dame Irish
The Southwest's 2 seed is very similar to Wisconsin in that they are a terrific offensive team but a relatively poor defensive team. They also have a tendency to struggle on the offensive end when defenses really get out and defend them, forcing them out of their sets and preventing passes along the perimeter. Regardless of opponent, that second-round matchup against either Texas A&M or Florida State looks dangerous.