NCAA West capsules

March 15, 2010|By Tribune Newspapers

1Syracuse Orange
Record: 28-4.

How they got here: At-large bid.

Key players: F Wesley Johnson (6-7 jr.), 15.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg; G Andy Rautins (6-5 sr.), 11.6 ppg, 4.8 apg; F Rick Jackson (6-9 jr.) 10.2 ppg.

Noteworthy: Despite a hiccup against Georgetown in the Big East tournament, 'Cuse is as deep and talented as any team in the country. Five players average in double figures.

8Gonzaga Bulldogs
Record: 26-6.

How they got here: At-large bid.

Key players: G Matt Bouldin (6-5 sr.), 15.8 ppg, 4.1 apg; F Elias Harris (6-7 fr.), 14.7 ppg; 7.2 rpg; G Steve Gray (6-5 jr.), 13.7 ppg, 2.8 apg.

Noteworthy: An 81-62 loss to St. Mary's in the conference tournament hurt Gonzaga's NCAA seed, but March's perennial Cinderella favorite is still plenty capable of a deep run.

5Butler Bulldogs
Record: 28-4.

How they got here: Won Horizon League tournament.

Key players: G-F Gordon Hayward (6-9 so.), 15.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg; G Shelvin Mack (6-3 so.), 13.9 ppg; F Matt Howard (6-8 jr.), 12.3 ppg.

Noteworthy: Butler takes a 20-game win streak into the NCAA tournament, including an 18-0 regular-season Horizon League record.

4Vanderbilt Commodores
Record: 24-8.

How they got here: At-large bid.

Key players: G Jermaine Beal (6-5 sr.), 14.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.1 apg; C A.J. Ogilvy (6-11 jr.), 13.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg; F Jeffery Taylor (6-6 so.), 13.9 ppg.

Noteworthy: There isn't much Vandy is lacking as one of the country's most complete teams. The Commodores are disciplined, shoot well and have ample size.

16Vermont Catamounts
Record: 24-9.

How they got here: Won America East tournament.

Key players: F Marqus Blakely (6-5 sr.), 17.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg; G Maurice Joseph (6-4 sr.), 14.1 ppg; G Evan Fjeld (6-8 jr.), 10.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg.

Noteworthy: Blakely leads the team in points per game, field-goal percentage, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and double-doubles.

9Florida State Seminoles
Record: 22-9.

How they got here: At-large bid.

Key players: F Chris Singleton (6-9 so.), 10.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg; C Solomon Alabi (7-1 so.), 11.6 ppg; G Michael Snaer (6-5 fr.), 8.9 ppg.

Noteworthy: This is the second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance for FSU, which went 10-6 in the ACC for the second consecutive season under coach Leonard Hamilton.

12Texas-El Paso Miners
Record: 26-6.

How they got here: At-large bid.

Key players: G Randy Culpepper (6-0 jr.), 18.1 ppg, 2.0 apg, 1.7 spg; F Derrick Caracter (6-9 jr.), 14.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg; F Jeremy Williams (6-0 jr.), 10.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg.

Noteworthy: UTEP relied on a slew of talented players from Memphis, Tenn., to claim its first regular-season conference title 1987.

13Murray State Racers
Record: 30-4.

How they got here: Won Ohio Valley tournament.

Key players: C Tony Easley (6-9 sr.), 10.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.3 bpg; G B.J. Jenkins (6-0 jr.), 10.7 ppg, 1.9 spg.

Noteworthy: This is about as balanced as a team can be. Five players average between 10 and 11 points per game, and a sixth is at 9.9.

2Kansas State Wildcats
Record: 26-7.

How they got here: At-large bid.

Key players: G Jacob Pullen (6-0 jr.), 18.9 ppg, 3.6 apg; G Denis Clemente (6-1 sr.), 16.0 ppg, 3.9 apg; F Curtis Kelly (6-8 jr.), 11.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg.

Noteworthy: Setting aside a 17-point loss at Kansas, the Wildcats' other four losses were by a combined 16 points.

7Brigham Young Cougars
Record: 29-5.

How they got here:At-large bid.

Key players: G Jimmer Fredette (6-2 jr.), 20.6 ppg, 4.7 apg, 47.2% 3-point shooting; G Jackson Emery (6-3 jr.), 12.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg.

Noteworthy: Fredette is one of the nation's most prolific scorers, but BYU proved it could win without him when he was sidelined with mononucleosis and stomach problems.

6Xavier Musketeers
Record: 24-8.

How they got here: At-large bid.

Key players: G Jordan Crawford (6-4 so.), 19.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg; F-C Jason Love (6-9 sr.), 11.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg; G Terrell Holloway (6-0 so.), 11.4 ppg, 4.0 apg.

Noteworthy: Holloway led the Atlantic 10 in free throw percentage (84.9 percent) during the regular season.

3Pittsburgh Panthers
Record: 24-8.

How they got here: At-large bid.

Key players: G Ashton Gibbs (6-2 so.), 16.2 ppg, 40.4% 3-pt. shooting; G Brad Wanamaker (6-4 jr.), 12.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 4.7 apg.

Noteworthy: It has been a relatively up-and-down season for the Panthers, who showed promise by winning eight of their last nine games before losing in the Big East tourney.

15North Texas Mean Green
Record: 24-8.

How they got here: Won Sun Belt tournament

Key players: G Josh White (5-10 jr.), 14.9 ppg, 3.5 apg; G Tristan Thompson (6-5 jr.), 14.1 ppg.

Noteworthy: The Mean Green returns to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007 and just the third time since 1988. North Texas enters on an 11-game winning streak.

10Florida Gators
Record: 21-12.

How they got here: At-large bid.

Key players: F Chandler Parsons (6-9 jr.), 12.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg; G Kenny Boynton (6-2 fr.), 13.5 ppg; G Erving Walker (5-8 so.), 12.7 ppg.

Noteworthy: Florida, which snapped a two-year NCAA drought, made the tournament despite shooting 30.8 percent from the 3-point line during the regular season.

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