Syracuse 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.,; Note: Road record does not include neutral sites. Yesterday's games not included in player stats.

1. North Carolina

Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.

Record: 27-4.

RPI: 7.

Record vs. tournament field: 8-3.

Road record: 8-2.

Record in past 10: 8-2.

Impressive victories: Dec. 4, Kentucky, 91-78; Feb. 13, at Connecticut, 77-70; March 5, Duke, 75-73.

Disturbing losses: Nov. 19, Santa Clara, 77-66.

Top players: Jr. Sean May, F, 16.5 ppg, 10.7 rpg; Jr. Raymond Felton, G, 12.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.9 apg.

Skinny: Coach Roy Williams has the country's most talented team playing together. Since the early loss to Santa Clara, the Tar Heels have looked like a team going to St. Louis.

Graduation rates: 69 percent (athletes), 80 percent (all students).

Little-known fact: In case you hadn't heard, ESPN anchor Stuart Scott is an alumni of UNC.

2. Connecticut

Location: Storrs, Conn.

Record: 22-7.

RPI: 16.

Record vs. tournament field: 5-5.

Road record: 7-3.

Record in past 10: 8-2.

Impressive victories: Feb. 7, at Syracuse, 74-66; Feb. 26, at Pittsburgh, 73-64; March 5, Syracuse, 88-70.

Disturbing losses: Dec. 9, at Massachusetts, 61-59; Jan. 22, Pitt, 76-66; March 11, Syracuse, 67-63.

Top players: So. Charlie Villanueva, F, 13.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg; So. Josh Boone, C, 12.7 ppg, 3.0 bpg; So. Marcus Williams, G, 9.2 ppg, 8.1 apg.

Skinny: The Huskies want a fast, transition game, as they were 4-4 when they scored 69 points or less. With Boone, Villanueva and Rudy Gay, UConn is No. 1 in blocked shots (9.1).

Graduation rates: 62 percent, 69 percent.

Little-known fact: Defending champion UConn (five) trails only Kentucky (six) for the most elite eight appearances since 1994.

3. Kansas

Location: Lawrence, Kan.

Record: 23-6.

RPI: 2.

Record vs. tournament field: 9-4.

Road record: 6-4.

Record in past 10: 5-5.

Impressive victories: Jan. 9, at Kentucky, 65-59; Jan. 29, Texas, 90-65; Feb. 27, Oklahoma State, 81-79.

Disturbing losses: Feb. 19, Iowa State, 63-61 (OT); March 6, at Missouri, 72-68.

Top players: Sr. Wayne Simien, F, 20.2 pgg, 11.1 rpg; Sr. Keith Langford, G, 14.7 ppg; Sr. Aaron Miles, G, 7.3 apg.

Skinny: Health questions surround Langford, who twisted his ankle in the regular-season finale. No questions surround Simien, the Big 12's player of the year, who had a league-best 14 double doubles.

Graduation rates: 64 percent, 57 percent.

Little-known fact: James Naismith, basketball's inventor, had a 55-60 record in his nine seasons as the Jayhawks' coach, making him the only coach in school history with a career record under .500.

4. Florida

Location: Gainesville, Fla.

Record: 23-7.

RPI: 19.

Record vs. tournament field: 5-4.

Road record: 6-4.

Record in past 10: 9-1.

Impressive victories: Jan. 15, at Vanderbilt, 82-65; Feb. 5, Alabama, 85-54; March 6, Kentucky, 53-52.

Disturbing losses: Dec. 4, Miami, 72-65; Jan. 2, at Florida State, 82-69; Jan. 19, Tennessee, 83-76.

Top players: Sr. David Lee, F, 13.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg; Jr. Anthony Roberson, G, 18.4 ppg, 47.8 FG pct.; Jr. Matt Walsh, G/F, 14.1 ppg, 47.2 FG pct.

Skinny: The three key players are upperclassmen, a rarity of sorts these days. The Gators have played much better defense this season than in the past few years, and to reverse a trend of early-round NCAA exits, they need to make sure they continue to play good defense.

Graduation rates: 55 percent, 73 percent.

Little-known fact: With more than 46,000 students, Florida is one of the five largest universities in the nation.

5. Villanova

Location: Villanova, Pa.

Record: 22-7.

RPI: 15.

Record vs. tournament field: 7-4.

Road record: 7-3.

Record in past 10: 8-2.

Impressive victories: Jan. 22, Kansas, 83-62; Feb. 23, Boston College, 76-70; March 10, Pittsburgh, 67-58.

Disturbing losses: Dec. 4, Temple, 53-52; Feb. 12, Syracuse, 90-75; March 11, West Virginia, 78-76.

Top players: Jr. Allan Ray, G, 17.3 ppg, 40.8 percent on threes; Jr. Curtis Sumpter, F, 16.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg; Jr. Randy Foye G, 15.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg.

Skinny: Has excellent one-on-one offensive players in Ray and Foye. Sumpter can score away from the rim, as he shot 43.2 percent on threes.

Graduation rates: 82 percent, 85 percent.

Little-known fact: First tournament appearance since 1999.

6. Wisconsin

Location: Madison, Wis.

Record: 22-8.

RPI: 13.

Record vs. tournament field: 6-5.

Road record: 5-6.

Record in past 10: 7-3.

Impressive victories: Nov. 30, Maryland, 69-64; Dec. 29, Alabama, 76-62; Jan. 16, Michigan State, 62-59.

Disturbing losses: Nov. 27, at Pepperdine, 75-61; Dec. 11, at Marquette, 63-54; Jan. 25, Illinois, 75-65.

Top players: Sr. Mike Wilkinson, F, 14.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg; So. Alando Tucker, F, 15.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg.

Skinny: Coach Bo Ryan knows how to win NCAA tournaments. When he was at Wisconsin-Platteville, he coached four Division III national champions.

Graduation rates: 71 percent, 76 percent.

Little-known fact: Madison is ranked the country's No. 1 college sports town by Sports Illustrated on Campus.

7. Charlotte

Location: Charlotte, N.C.

Record: 21-7.

RPI: 35.

Record vs. tournament field: 3-3.

Road record: 7-4.

Record in past 10: 7-5.

Impressive victories: Dec. 22, at Indiana, 74-73; Jan. 22, at Marquette, 76-66; Feb. 5, Cincinnati, 91-90.

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