West semifinals

March 27, 2003|By Don Markus

No. 1 Arizona (27-3) vs. No. 5 Notre Dame (24-9)

Site: Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, Calif.

Time: 7:27 tonight

Conference records: The Wildcats won the Pacific-10 with a 17-1 record, losing only at home to Stanford. At 10-6, the Fighting Irish finished tied for third in the Big East West Division.

Coaches: Lute Olson is 498-146 in 20 seasons at Arizona, 690-238 in 30 seasons overall. Mike Brey is 66-30 in three seasons at Notre Dame, 165-82 in eight seasons overall.

Arizona's lineup: G Jason Gardner (14.3 ppg, 4.9 apg), G Salim Stoudamire (13.4 ppg, 67 of 152 on three-pointers), C Channing Frye (12.8 ppg, 8 rpg), F Luke Walton (10.3 ppg, 4.9 apg, 5.4 rpg), F Rick Anderson (10.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg).

Notre Dame's lineup: G Chris Thomas (18.7 ppg, 7 apg), G Matt Carroll (19.8 ppg., 5 rpg, 39 straight games in double figures), C Tom Timmermans (3.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg), F Dan Miller (14 ppg, 5.7 rpg), F Torin Francis (10.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg).

Bench strength: Olson used his bench more during the season than in the NCAA tournament so far, particularly in Saturday's second-round double-overtime win against Gonzaga when all five starters played at least 40 minutes. After a fast start, freshman guard Hassan Adams (8.9 ppg) has had limited time because of tendinitis in his knees. Brey is down to a seven-man rotation for the Irish, bringing in freshman guard Chris Quinn (3.9 ppg) to spell Thomas and sophomore center Jordan Cornette, who has started 21 games and blocked 73 shots, to give Timmermans or Francis a breather.

Key matchup: It likely will come down to which point guard runs his respective team better. Gardner emerged from a late-season shooting slump to hit some big shots against Gonzaga, and has the experience of running a team that played in an NCAA final (two years ago against Duke). Thomas has either led the Irish to victory or played a significant role in its defeat.

What Arizona has to do to win: Defend the three-point line and prevent Francis from having a big game inside.

What Notre Dame has to do to win: Hit the three with the same regularity and precision (13 of 24) as it did against Illinois and keep the Wildcats from turning the game into a track meet.

Bottom line: If the Wildcats are on their game, as they were for spurts against Gonzaga, Notre Dame will likely not be able to keep up the pace.

No. 2 Kansas (27-7) vs. No. 3 Duke (26-6)

Site: Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, Calif.

Time: Approximately 9:57 tonight

Conference records: Kansas won the Big 12 with a 14-2 record. Duke finished tied with Maryland for second in the ACC at 11-5.

Coaches: Roy Williams is 415-100 in 15 seasons at Kansas. Mike Krzyzewski is 590-173 in 23 seasons at Duke, 663-232 in 28 seasons overall.

Kansas' lineup: G Aaron Miles (9.1 ppg, 6.4 apg), G Keith Langford (15.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg), G Kirk Hinrich (17.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg), F Nick Collison (18.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg), F Jeff Graves (5.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg).

Duke's lineup: G Chris Duhon (9.2 ppg, 6.6 apg), G J.J. Redick (15.3 ppg, 94 of 227 on three-pointers), G Daniel Ewing (11.9 ppg), F Dahntay Jones (17.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg), F Shelden Williams (8.3 ppg, 6 rpg).

Bench strength: When Kansas lost forward Wayne Simien to season-ending shoulder surgery, it reduced Williams' rotation from seven to six players. Junior guard Michael Lee (4.6 ppg) scored 10 points in 16 minutes in the second-round rout of Arizona State. Duke has more depth, but not enough to make a significant difference. Senior center Casey Sanders (4.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg) can be a force at times defensively, but he's a liability on offense.

Key matchup: Hinrich and Redick are similar players, but Hinrich's experience and ability to defend should give the Jayhawks an edge.

What Kansas has to do to win: Stay out of foul trouble and go inside to Collison.

What Duke has to do to win: Come out with the defensive intensity the Blue Devils have shown when they've been successful this season, particularly in the past month.

Bottom line: The Jayhawks have much more experience in the NCAA tournament than the Blue Devils.

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.