Austin Regional

March 14, 2005|By Capsules written by The Sun, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Hartford Courant, Allentown Morning Call and Newport News Daily Press. | Capsules written by The Sun, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Hartford Courant, Allentown Morning Call and Newport News Daily Press.,CollegeRPI.com; ESPN.com. Note: Road record does not include neutral sites. Yesterday's games not included in player stats

1. Duke

Location: Durham, N.C.

Record: 25-5.

RPI: 5.

Record vs. tournament field: 9-2.

Road record: 5-4.

Record in past 10: 7-3.

Impressive victories: Feb. 9, North Carolina, 71-70; Feb. 20, Wake Forest, 102-92.

Disturbing losses: Jan. 26, Maryland, 75-66; Feb. 17, at Virginia Tech, 67-65.

Top players: Jr. J.J. Redick, G, 22.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg; Jr. Shelden Williams, F, 15.6 ppg, 11.1 rpg.

Skinny: It's not the typical great Duke team as the Blue Devils have been slowed by a lack of depth and a series of injuries. They'll go as far as Redick, Williams and Daniel Ewing can carry them.

Graduation rates: 90 percent (athletes), 93 percent (all students).

Little-known fact: While the school did not desegregate until 1963, Duke was the first white institution of higher education in the South to extend Booker T. Washington an invitation to speak on its campus in 1896.

2. Kentucky

Location: Lexington, Ky.

Record: 25-5.

RPI: 10.

Record vs. tournament field: 6-4.

Road record: 7-3.

Record in past 10: 7-3.

Impressive victories: Dec. 18, at Louisville, 60-58; Feb. 19, Mississippi State, 94-78; Feb. 26, at Alabama, 78-71.

Disturbing losses: Feb. 15, at South Carolina, 73-61.

Top players: Jr. Kelenna Azubuike, F/G, 14.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg; Jr. Patrick Sparks, G, 11.84 ppg, 3.9 apg; Sr. Chuck Hayes, F, 10.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg.

Skinny: This isn't an overly talented team, but it is a team that's well-coached, plays good defense and has clearly defined roles. How far the Wildcats go ultimately will be determined by two freshmen, G Rajon Rondo and C Randolph Morris.

Graduation rates: 46 percent, 58 percent.

Little-known fact: Basketball began on campus in 1902 -- but only as a women's sport. The men's team was organized the following year.

3. Oklahoma

Location: Norman, Okla.

Record: 24-7.

RPI: 18.

Record vs. tournament field: 7-6.

Road record: 6-3.

Record in past 10: 7-3.

Impressive victories: Jan. 24, Oklahoma State, 67-57; Feb. 21, Kansas, 71-63; Feb. 28, at Texas, 74-58.

Disturbing losses: Jan. 29, at Iowa State, 74-66; Feb. 12, at Missouri, 68-65.

Top players: Jr. Taj Gray, F, 14.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg; Jr. Terrell Everett, G, 12.6 ppg, 5.1 apg; Jr. Keven Bookout, 11.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg.

Skinny: Strong down low, but improved guard play is what pushed the Sooners to the top of the Big 12. How those guards hold up in March will determine how far they go.

Graduation rates: 53 percent, 52 percent.

Little-known fact: Bookout is a shot putter and discus thrower on the track team and was an All-American in the shot in 2003.

4. Syracuse

Location: Syracuse, N.Y.

Record: 27-6.

RPI: 22.

Record vs. tournament field: 5-6.

Road record: 6-3.

Record in past 10: 6-4.

Impressive victories: Jan. 10, at Notre Dame, 70-61; Feb. 12, at Villanova, 90-75; March 11, UConn, 67-63.

Disturbing losses: Feb. 14, Pittsburgh, 68-64; Feb. 19, at Boston College, 65-60; March 5, at UConn, 88-70.

Top players: Sr. Hakim Warrick, F, 21.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg; Jr. Gerry McNamara, G, 16.0 ppg, 5.0 apg; Sr. Josh Pace, F, 10.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg.

Skinny: Seasoned group from 2003 championship team was bolstered by its impressive victory against UConn, as Big East Player of the Year Warrick scored 26 points and had 10 rebounds.

Graduation rates: 77 percent, 77 percent.

Little-known fact: This is the 24th tournament appearance in coach Jim Boeheim's 29 seasons.

5. Michigan State

Location: East Lansing, Mich.

Record: 22-6.

RPI: 24.

Record vs. tournament field: 8-5.

Road record: 7-4.

Record in past 10: 8-2.

Impressive victories: Dec. 11, Stanford, 78-53; Feb. 24, Wisconsin, 77-64.

Disturbing losses: Nov. 30, at Duke, 81-74; Dec. 4, at George Washington, 96-83; Feb. 1, Illinois, 81-68.

Top players: Sr. Alan Anderson, F, 13.6 ppg; Jr. Paul Davis, C, 11.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg; Jr. Maurice Ager, G, 13.3 ppg.

Skinny: Coach Tom Izzo has taken the Spartans to the tournament for eight straight years. Their record going in is as good as it was in 2000, when they won the national championship.

Graduation rates: 66 percent, 68 percent.

Little-known fact: After four years of being the Big Nine, the Big Ten was born again when Michigan State was admitted in 1950.

6. Utah

Location: Salt Lake City.

Record: 27-5.

RPI: 23.

Record vs. tournament field: 2-5.

Road record: 7-3.

Record in past 10: 8-2.

Impressive victories: Jan. 3, Louisiana State, 69-55; Jan. 22, New Mexico, 69-58; Feb. 1, at Brigham Young, 72-58.

Disturbing losses: Nov. 25, at Washington, 78-71; Dec. 4, Utah State, 71-41.

Top players: So. Andrew Bogut, F, 20.7 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 2.3 apg; Sr. Marc Jackson, G, 10.6 ppg, 3.8 apg.

Skinny: Bogut, an Australian, probably will turn pro after the tournament. Jackson left the Running 'Utes after the '02-'03 season in a dispute with then-coach Rick Majerus.

Graduation rates: 56 percent, 51 percent.

Little-known fact: Since the 1992-93 season, Utah has played in the NCAA tournament 10 times. Five of those times, including the 1998 final, it lost to Kentucky.

7. Cincinnati

Location: Cincinnati.

Record: 24-7.

RPI: 25.

Record vs. tournament field: 3-5.

Road record: 7-4.

Record in past 10: 7-3.

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