Ncaa Tournament

March 13, 2006|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

TOP 8 SEEDS

1. Duke

Location -- Durham, N.C.

Record -- 30-3.

RPI -- 1.

Record vs. tournament field -- 11-2.

Road record -- 16-2.

Record in past 10 -- 8-2.

Impressive wins -- Nov. 25, vs. Memphis at New York, 70-67; Dec. 10, vs. Texas at East Rutherford, N.J., 97-66.

Top players -- Senior G J.J. Redick, 27.4 ppg; senior F Shelden Williams, 18.4 ppg, 10.3 rpg.

Skinny -- The Blue Devils shoot better than 50 percent from the field, best in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and also led the conference in scoring, field-goal percentage, free-throw percentage and three-point shooting percentage.

2. Texas

Location -- Austin, Texas.

Record -- 27-6.

RPI -- 8.

Record vs. tournament field -- 10-5.

Road record -- 11-5.

Record in past 10 -- 7-3.

Impressive wins -- Jan. 2, at Memphis, 69-58; Jan. 14, home vs. Villanova, 58-55; March 5, home vs. Oklahoma, 72-48.

Top players -- Junior F P.J. Tucker, 16.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg; sophomore C LaMarcus Aldridge, 15.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg; sophomore G Daniel Gibson, 13.9 ppg, 3.1 apg.

Skinny -- The Longhorns have a very talented starting five, but a striking habit of inconsistency. Though they are 6-3 against Top 25 teams with victories over top-five teams Villanova and Memphis, the margins of defeat against Duke and Tennessee are a concern.

3. Iowa

Location -- Iowa City, Iowa.

Record -- 25-8.

RPI -- 7.

Record vs. tournament field -- 10-5.

Road record -- 8-8.

Record in past 10 -- 7-3.

Impressive wins -- Nov. 21, vs. Kentucky at Kansas City, 67-63; Nov. 30, home vs. North Carolina State, 45-42; Jan. 7, home vs. Illinois, 63-48; Jan. 28, home vs. Ohio State, 67-62.

Top players -- Senior F Greg Brunner, 14.1 ppg, 9.2 rpg; junior G Adam Haluska, 13.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg; senior G Jeff Horner, 12.0 ppg, 4.9 apg.

Skinny -- The Hawkeyes allowed an average of only 58.8 points a game during the regular season and teams shot just 38.3 percent. Those are the fewest points allowed by an Iowa team since 1984-85 and the field-goal defense is the best since 1961-62.

4. LSU

Location -- Baton Rouge, La.

Record -- 23-8.

RPI -- 13.

Record vs. tournament field -- 7-6.

Road record -- 9-6.

Record in past 10 -- 8-2.

Impressive wins -- Nov. 26, at West Virginia, 71-68 (OT); Jan. 14, home vs. Tennessee, 88-74; Feb. 25, home vs. Kentucky, 71-67.

Top players -- Sophomore F Glen Davis, 18.5 ppg, 9.9 rpg; senior G Darrel Mitchell, 17.3 ppg, 4.6 apg; freshman F Tyrus Thomas, 12.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg.

Skinny -- Davis -- at 6 feet 9, 310 pounds -- was the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, solidifying his selection with a streak of eight consecutive conference games with a double double. LSU won seven straight before losing to Florida in an SEC semifinal but was without the shot-blocking Thomas, who missed the SEC tournament because of a sprained ankle. Impressive results include a one-point loss at Connecticut and a two-point loss at Ohio State.

5. Syracuse

Location -- Syracuse, N.Y.

Record -- 23-11.

RPI -- 17.

Record vs. tournament field -- 6-9.

Road record -- 9-6.

Record in past 10 -- 6-4.

Impressive wins -- Jan. 14, at Cincinnati, 77-58; Feb. 20, home vs. West Virginia, 60-58; March 9, vs. Connecticut at New York, 86-84 (OT).

Top players -- Senior G Gerry McNamara, 16.4 ppg, 90.1 FT%; junior F Terrence Roberts, 10.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg.

Skinny -- The Orangemen shot only 42 percent in conference play and coach Jim Boeheim gets only decent production from seven players. McNamara, who was on Syracuse's national champion three years ago, has struggled with three-point shooting in this, his senior season.

6. West Virginia

Location -- Morgantown.

Record -- 20-10.

RPI -- 38.

Record vs. tournament field -- 7-8.

Road record -- 7-8.

Record in past 10 -- 4-6.

Impressive wins -- Dec. 22, vs. Oklahoma at Oklahoma City, 92-68; Jan. 8, at Villanova, 91-87; Jan. 21, at UCLA, 60-56.

Top players -- Senior C Kevin Pittsnogle, 19.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg; senior F Mike Gansey, 17.2 ppg, 5.6. rpg.

Skinny -- Pittsnogle and Gansey are both shooting better than 40 percent from three-point range and coach John Beilein's Mountaineers run backdoor cuts to perfection, so they are hard to defend for teams unfamiliar with the style.

7. California

Location -- Berkeley, Calif.

Record -- 20-10.

RPI -- 52.

Record vs. tournament field -- 4-5.

Road record -- 8-6.

Record in past 10 -- 6-4.

Impressive wins -- Dec. 31, at UCLA, 68-61; Jan. 26, home vs. Washington, 71-69; Feb. 16, home vs. Arizona, 75-66.

Top players -- Sophomore F Leon Powe, 20.7 ppg, 10.0 rpg; junior G Ayinde Ubaka, 14.8 ppg, 3.1 apg.

Skinny -- Powe and 6-11 DeVon Hardin give the Golden Bears one of the best front lines in the nation, and guards Richard Midgley and Ayinde Ubaka are prolific three-point scorers.

8. George Washington

Location -- Washington.

Record -- 26-2.

RPI -- 37.

Record vs. tournament field -- 1-1.

Road record -- 11-2.

Record in past 10 -- 9-1.

Impressive wins -- Dec. 5, vs. Maryland at MCI Center, 78-70.

Top players -- Senior F Pops Mensah-Bonsu, 13.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg; junior G Danilo Pinnock, 14.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.1 apg.

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