Midwest final

March 24, 2002|By Don Markus

No. 1 Kansas (32-3) vs. No. 2 Oregon (26-8)

Site: Kohl Center, Madison, Wis.

Time: 2:40 p.m. today.

Conference records: Kansas was 16-0 in the Big 12; Oregon was 14-4 in the Pac-10.

Coaches: Roy Williams is 382-92 in 14 years at Kansas; Ernie Kent is 94-58 in five years at Oregon, 192-138 in 11 years overall.

Kansas' lineup: F Drew Gooden (20 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 50.5 FG pct.), F Nick Collison (15.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 58.9 FG pct.), G Kirk Hinrich (14.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 5.1 apg, 54.3 FG pct., 47.4 on 3-point FG), G Jeff Boschee (13.3 ppg, 47.7 FG pct., 47.5 3-point pct.) G Aaron Miles (7 ppg, 6.9 apg, 42.3 FG pct.).

Oregon's lineup: F Freddie Jones F (18.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.1 apg, 51.8 FG pct.), F Robert Johnson (7.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 54.3 FG pct), C Chris Christoffersen (8.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 54.9 FG pct), G Luke Ridnour (15.7 ppg, 4.9 apg, 47.7 FG pct., 40 3-point pct.), G Luke Jackson (16.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.1 apg, 47.7 FG pct, 44.6 3-point pct.).

Bench strength: The bench won the game for Kansas in Friday's semifinal against Illinois. Freshmen Keith Langford (7.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg) and Wayne Simien (8.3 ppg, 5.4) give the Jayhawks more athleticism, something they will need to run with the Ducks. Oregon is not as deep, but guards James Davis (6.1 ppg, 45 of 110 on threes) and Anthony Lever (6.1 ppg, 50 of 100 on threes) give the Ducks even more shooters.

Key matchup: As with most of Oregon's games, it will come down to whether Ridnour can use an extra year's experience to his advantage against the fast-maturing Miles, a freshman. Their ability to get the ball to the right people in transition should greatly affect the outcome.

Bottom line: This game could be played in the 90s, which should benefit Oregon except for the fact that Kansas' strength is also running. It's something the Jayhawks haven't been able to do in their first three tournament games, so taking the leash off could be prove beneficial.

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