Albuquerque 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. Sunday's games not included in player stats.

1. Washington

Location: Seattle.

Record: 27-5.

RPI: 3.

Record vs. tournament field: 9-4.

Road record: 6-5.

Record in past 10: 8-2.

Impressive victories: Nov. 25, Utah, 78-71; Nov. 27, Alabama, 79-76; Feb. 26, Arizona, 93-85.

Disturbing losses: Dec. 1, at Gonzaga, 99-87; Jan. 8, at UCLA, 95-86; Feb. 13, at Oregon State, 90-73.

Top players: Jr. Nate Robinson, G, 16.7 ppg; Sr. Tre Simmons, F, 16.3 ppg; Sr. Will Conroy, G, 9.2 ppg.

Skinny: Since dropping their first five Pac-10 games of the 2003-04 season, the run-and-gun Huskies have lost only five of their next 31 league games.

Graduation rates: 68 percent (athletes), 70 percent (all students).

Little-known fact: Coach Lorenzo Romar is only the second former Husky to return and coach his alma mater, joining Lynn Nance.

2. Wake Forest

Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.

Record: 26-5.

RPI: 6.

Record vs. tournament field: 10-4.

Road record: 8-4.

Record in past 10: 8-2.

Impressive victories: Nov. 26, vs. Arizona, 63-60; Jan. 15, North Carolina, 95-82; Feb. 2, Duke, 92-89.

Disturbing loss: Jan. 18, at Florida State, 91-83.

Top players: So. Chris Paul, G, 14.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 6.6 apg; Jr. Eric Williams, C, 16.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg.

Skinny: With Paul running the show, the Demon Deacons can score (85.4 ppg.) They also can give them up -- in each of their four losses they allowed more than 90 points.

Graduation rate: 76 percent, 87 percent.

Little-known fact: The late Brian Piccolo, former Chicago Bear and and inspiration for the movie Brian's Song, was a Wake alum.

3. Gonzaga

Location: Spokane, Wash.

Record: 25-4.

RPI: 8.

Record vs. tournament field: 4-2.

Road record: 6-3.

Record in past 10: 10-0.

Impressive victories: Dec. 1, Washington, 99-87; Dec. 19, Georgia Tech, 85-73; Dec. 28, Oklahoma State, 78-75.

Disturbing losses: Dec. 30, at Missouri, 63-61; Jan. 20, at San Francisco, 73-70.

Top players: So. Adam Morrison, F, 18.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg; Sr. Ronny Turiaf, F, 16.1 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 54 blocks; Jr. J.P. Batista, C, 12.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg.

Skinny: The Bulldogs have not made it past the second round the past two seasons, but they are peaking at the right time. Morrison has emerged as a big-time scorer, and Turiaf and Batista are tough to handle in the post.

Graduation rate: 73 percent, 72 percent.

Little-known fact: Of course John Stockton went there but so did Bing Crosby, the school's most famous alum.

4. Louisville

Location: Louisville, Ky.

Record: 29-4.

RPI: 12.

Record vs. tournament field: 8-2.

Road record: 11-1.

Record in past 10: 9-1.

Impressive victories: Dec. 11, at Florida, 74-40; Jan. 15, at Cincinnati, 69-66; Jan. 26, Marquette, 99-53.

Disturbing losses: Jan. 5, at Houston, 70-67; Feb. 9, Memphis, 85-68.

Top players: Jr. Franciso Garcia, G, 15.4 ppg, 3.9 apg; Jr. Taquan Dean, G, 14.2 ppg; Sr. Ellis Myles, F, 9.3 rpg.

Skinny: Coach Rick Pitino's team won its first Conference USA title in its final season in the league. Next year the Cardinals will be in the Big East.

Graduation rate: 45 percent, 33 percent.

Little-known fact: This was the last Conference USA tournament for the Cardinals.

5. Georgia Tech

Location: Atlanta.

Record: 19-11.

RPI: 31.

Record vs. tournament field: 2-9.

Road record: 4-6.

Record in past 10: 7-3.

Impressive victories: Jan. 27, Wake Forest, 102-101; Feb. 26, at Miami, 76-72.

Disturbing losses: Jan. 22, Virginia Tech, 70-69; Feb. 13, N.C. State, 53-51.

Top players: Jr. Jarrett Jack, G, 15.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.6 apg; Sr. Luke Schenscher, C, 10.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg.

Skinny: Last year's run to the championship game created high expectations this season and the Yellow Jackets have come up short. An inconsistent Georgia Tech won back-to-back conference games just once.

Graduation rate: 58 percent, 68 percent.

Little-known fact: Buzz is the name of the Yellow Jacket mascot.

6. Texas Tech

Location: Lubbock, Texas.

Record: 20-11.

RPI: 30.

Record vs. tournament field: 6-7.

Road record: 5-5.

Record in past 10: 6-4.

Impressive victories: Feb. 5, at Oklahoma, 88-81; Feb. 14, Kansas, 80-79 (2OT); Feb. 22, Texas, 69-65.

Disturbing losses: Feb. 12, at Iowa State, 81-68; Feb. 26, at Texas A&M, 85-63.

Top players: Sr. Ronald Ross, G, 16.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg; So. Jarrius Jackson, G, 15.0 ppg, 3.6 apg; Fr. Martin Zeno, G, 13.2 ppg.

Skinny: They depend heavily on Ross, who scored in double figures in all but two games, and their offense, which averaged a league-best 78.7 ppg.

Graduation rate: 56 percent, 51 percent.

Little-known fact: Ross was a walk-on as a freshman and averaged just 3.1 points and 1.1 rebounds that season.

7. West Virginia

Location: Morgantown, W.Va.

Record: 21-10.

RPI: 44.

Record vs. tournament field: 4-6.

Road record: 6-5.

Record in past 10: 7-3.

Impressive victories: Feb. 23, at Pittsburgh, 70-66; March 10, Boston College 78-72; March 11, Villanova, 78-76.

Disturbing losses: Jan. 5, at Villanova, 84-46; Feb. 12, at Georgetown, 67-60; March 5, at Seton Hall, 66-63.

Top players: Sr. Tyrone Salley, F, 12.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg; Jr. Mike Gansey, G, 11.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg; Jr. Kevin Pittsnogle, C, 11.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg.

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