Midwest semifinals

NCAA Tournament

March 22, 2002|By Don Markus

Midwest semifinals

No. 2 Oregon (25-8) vs. No. 6 Texas (22-11)

Site: Kohl Center, Madison, Wis.

Time: 7:55 tonight

Conference records: Oregon finished first in the Pac-10 Conference at 14-4 and lost in the conference tournament semifinals. Texas finished fifth in the Big 12 at 10-6 and lost in the conference tournament semifinals.

Coaches: Ernie Kent is 93-58 in five years at Oregon, 191-138 in 11 years overall. Rick Barnes is 90-42 in four years at Texas, 292-176 in 15 years overall.

Oregon's lineup: F Freddie Jones F (18.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.1 apg, 52.1 FG pct.), F Robert Johnson (7.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 53.4 FG pct), C Chris Christoffersen (8.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 55.0 FG pct), G Luke Ridnour (15.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.0 apg, 47.4 FG pct.), G Luke Jackson (16.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.1 apg, 46.1 FG pct.).

Texas' lineup: F Deginald Erskin (7.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 58.3 FG pct.), F Brandon Mouton (13.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 41.5 FG pct.), C James Thomas (10.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 54.5 FG pct.), G Royal Ivey (11.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 48.1 FG pct.), G T.J. Ford (10.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 8.4 apg, 41.7 FG pct.).

Bench strength: The Ducks have three-point firepower off the bench, with James Davis (6.2 ppg, 45-for-109 on threes) and Anthony Lever (6.2 ppg, 50-for-100 on threes). Brian Boddicker (6.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg) had 11 points for Texas against Mississippi State in the second round. Symill Harris (5.9 ppg) knocked down 45 threes for the Longhorns this season. Fredie Williams (5.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg) is also instant offense.

Key matchup: The battle of the point guards should be everything in this game. Ridnour has a year's more experience than Ford, but the talented freshman has a flair that some compare to what Mike Bibby had in leading Arizona to a national championship in 1997.

What Oregon needs to do to win: The Ducks are masters of steal, with Davis accounting for 54 off the bench and Ridnour leading the starters with 49. If they can pressure and rattle Ford, a freshman, it might prevent Texas from getting into its offense.

What Texas needs to do to win: The Longhorns have to turn this into a half-court game, pound the ball inside to Johnson and allow Ford to penetrate the gaps of the Oregon defense. The nation's leader in assists, Ford can orchestrate a Texas three-step: one more game and the Longhorns are in the Elite Eight.

Bottom line: Whichever team gets to set its tempo is going to win.

No. 1 Kansas (31-3) vs. No. 4 Illinois (26-8)

Site: Kohl Center, Madison, Wis.

Time: 10:20 (approx.) tonight

Conference records: Kansas finished first in the Big 12 at 16-0 and lost in the conference tournament final. Illinois finished tied for first in the Big Ten at 11-5 and lost in the conference tournament semifinals.

Coaches: Roy Williams is 381-92 in 14 years at Kansas; Bill Self is 55-16 in two years at Illinois, 183-96 in nine years overall

Kansas' lineup: F Drew Gooden (20.2 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 50.9 FG pct.), F Nick Collison (15.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 59.5 FG pct.), G Kirk Hinrich (15.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.3 apg, 54.5 FG pct.) G Jeff Boschee (13.6 ppg, 47.9 FG pct.) G Aaron Miles (6.9 ppg, 6.7 apg, 42.1 FG pct)

Illinois' lineup: F Brian Cook (13.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 51.7 FG pct.), F Cory Bradford (11.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 43.0 FG pct., 39.0 3-point FG pct.), C Robert Archibald (10.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 65.1 FG pct.), G Frank Williams (16.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg., 4.4 apg, 39.5 FG pct.), G Luther Head (4.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 50.8 FG pct.).

Bench strength: The Jayhawks were forced to go deeper into their bench last week when Hinrich sprained his ankle against Holy Cross in the opening round, and freshman guard Keith Langford (7.4 ppg) had some problems adjusting. But with Hinrich back, Langford settled down in the rout over Stanford. Freshman forward Wayne Simien (8.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg) played well in both games. Sean Harrington (6.3 ppg) and Luther Johnson (3.9 ppg) are capable of providing three-point scoring depth for the Illini.

Key matchup: Hinrich is always important for the Jayhawks, and his matchup with Bradford or Williams could be the difference between going home or moving on. Hinrich is starting to get the credit for being the focal point of what Kansas does well both offensively (run) and defensively (pressure the ball).

What Kansas needs to do to win: Play with the same maniacal defensive effort it showed against Stanford, when the Jayhawks ran off the game's first 15 points.

What Illinois needs to do to win: The Illini have to slow down the Jayhawks' fastbreak, and take the ball inside on Gooden and Collison rather than relying on outside shooting.

Bottom line: Kansas showed against Stanford why it was the No. 1 team for a good part of the season. With the two-game slump against Oklahoma and Holy Cross behind them, the Jayhawks appear to be over the hump and headed for the school's first Final Four since '93.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.