Midwest Regional final

March 22, 1998|By Jerry Bembry

At St. Louis

No. 8 seed Rhode Island (25-8) vs. No. 3 Stanford (29-4)

Time: 2: 40 p.m. today

TV: Chs. 13, 9

Line: Stanford by 4

Conference records: Rhode Island (12-4) lost in the second round of the Atlantic 10 tournament. Stanford (15-3) finished second in the Pac-10 to Arizona.

Coaches: Jim Harrick is 25-8 in his first year at Rhode Island and 383-168 overall (including an NCAA title at UCLA in 1995) in 18 seasons. Mike Montgomery is 234-131 in 12 seasons at Stanford and 388-208 in 20 seasons overall.

Starting lineups: Rhode Island: PG Tyson Wheeler (14.6 ppg, 6.1 apg), SG Cuttino Mobley (17.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg), C Luther Clay (9.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg), SF Joshua King (8.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg), PF Antonio Reynolds-Dean (11.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg). Stanford: PG Arthur Lee (13.8 ppg, 4.5 apg), SG Kris Weems (12.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg), C Tim Young (11.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg), PF Mark Madsen (11.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg), SF Peter Sauer (9.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg).

Bench strength: Rhode Island: G Preston Murphy (9.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg), C David Arigbabu (4.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg). Stanford: G Ryan Mendez (5.6 ppg, .483 three-point shooting), F/G David Moseley (6.2 ppg), F Jarron Collins (3.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg).

Key matchup: Reynolds-Dean vs. Madsen. Reynolds-Dean played a major role in Rhode Island's advancement, getting second-chance opportunities and recording two big blocks in the final minutes against Valparaiso on Friday night. He will have to use his mobility and his knack for finding the ball against Madsen, who relies on brute strength and positioning.

What Rhode Island needs to do to win: The key is twofold. First, get big games from Reynolds-Dean and Clay against a Stanford front line that dominated Purdue. Second, hit three-point shots, which was a factor in Friday's victory.

What Stanford needs to do to win: The Cardinal definitely will need a better game from its backcourt of Lee and Weems, who shot a combined 3-for-21 against Purdue. Lee and Weems will play one of the best backcourts in the nation in Mobley and Wheeler.

Bottom line: Rhode Island got by a good Valparaiso team that had talent and size on its front line. The Rams face more of the same today, but Stanford's depth will be the difference in the Cardinal reaching the Final Four.

Pub Date: 3/22/98

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