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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 20, 2010

NCAA hoops: Capsule matchups for Saturday's tournament games

By Mike Huguenin


All times EDT.


No. 3 New Mexico vs. No. 11 Washington

SITE: San Jose, Calif.
TIME: 5:50 p.m.
ANNOUNCERS: Spero Dedes play-by-play, Bob Wenzel analyst
THE SPREAD: Washington by 1.5
RECORDS: New Mexico 30-4, Washington 25-9
HOW THEY GOT HERE: New Mexico d. No. 14 Montana 62-57; Washington d. No. 6 Marquette 80-78.
THE BUZZ: New Mexico has shown that it is comfortable in a fast-paced game or in a half-court contest. Washington has to have a fast pace if it is to win again. The Lobos had problems with Montanaís height in the first round, but that wonít be a problem in this one. As with New Mexico, Washington is a bit undersized but makes up for it by crashing the boards. New Mexico star swingman Darington Hobson injured his hand in the first round. If heís not 100 percent, the Lobos will be in trouble. The Lobos enjoy a big-time advantage in perimeter shooting.

No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Wake Forest

SITE: New Orleans
TIME: 8:15 p.m.
ANNOUNCERS: Dick Enberg play-by-play, Jay Bilas analyst
THE SPREAD: Kentucky by 9
RECORDS: Kentucky 33-2, Wake Forest 20-10
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Kentucky d. No. 16 East Tennessee State 100-71; Wake Forest d. No. 8 Texas 81-80 (OT).
THE BUZZ: Wake prevailed in the first round despite being sloppy with the ball. If the Demon Deacons are that careless again, this could get ugly. Wake needs big games from C Chas McFarland and F Al-Farouq Aminu. The Demon Deacons, who shot barely 31 percent from 3-point range during the regular season, also need to find a way to be productive from the perimeter. There is no way they pull the upset if all the points have to come in the paint. While Wake has been sloppy with the ball, the Demon Deacons also do a nice job of forcing turnovers. That bears watching in this one because UK doesnít always take care of the ball.


No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 10 Saint Maryís

SITE: Providence, R.I.
TIME: 1 p.m.
ANNOUNCERS: Verne Lundquist play-by-play, Bill Raftery analyst
THE SPREAD: Villanova by 4.5
RECORDS: Villanova 25-7, Saint Maryís 27-5
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Villanova d. No. 15 Robert Morris 73-70 (OT); Saint Maryís d. No. 7 Richmond 80-71.
THE BUZZ: Villanova was lucky to win in the first round. The Wildcats certainly didnít play like a No. 2 seed. Saint Maryís didnít play like a No. 10 seed, beating Richmond more decisively than the final score would indicate. Villanova could have problems with Gaels C Omar Samhan, a deft scorer in the paint whose bulk makes his hard to handle. Look for Villanova coach Jay Wright to use his bench extensively. Saint Maryís lacks depth and itís important to continue to put pressure on Gaels Gs Mickey McConnell and Matthew Dellavedova. Villanova needs its guards to get into the lane and make Samhan make some defensive plays. Saint Maryís hits better than 41 percent from 3-point range. If the Gaelsí perimeter shots fall, Samhan is going to have a lot of room to operate against a smallish Villanova frontcourt.

No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 11 Old Dominion

SITE: New Orleans
TIME: 5:45 p.m.
ANNOUNCERS: Dick Enberg play-by-play, Jay Bilas analyst
THE SPREAD: Baylor by 4
RECORDS: Baylor 26-7, ODU 27-8
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Baylor d. No. 14 Sam Houston State 68-59; ODU d. No. 6 Notre Dame 51-50.
THE BUZZ: Baylor struggled offensively for a good portion of its first-round game before pulling away late. ODU is a much better and a much more physical defensive team than Sam Houston State. But the Monarchsí offense isnít always productive, especially from the perimeter. ODU would much prefer to score in the low post, but the presence of Baylorís Ekpe Udoh will make that difficult. The key in this one is how effective ODUís guards can be defensively against the Baylor backcourt of Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn. Keep an eye on the point total: The lower it is, the better it is for underdog ODU.


No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Ohio U.

SITE: Providence, R.I.
TIME: 3:35 p.m.
ANNOUNCERS: Verne Lundquist play-by-play, Bill Raftery analyst
THE SPREAD: Tennessee by 8.5
RECORDS: Tennessee 26-8, Ohio 22-14
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Tennessee d. No. 11 San Diego State 62-59; Ohio d. No. 3 Georgetown 97-83.
THE BUZZ: Ohio won the MAC tourney as a No. 9 seed, then pulled a stunner in the first round by whipping Georgetown. Generally, Ohio plays good defense but struggles offensively. The key for the Vols is slowing G Armon Bassett, who began his career at Indiana. If Tennessee puts the clamps on Bassett, Ohio will look more like the ninth-best team in the MAC than the team that ran past Georgetown. Vols C Wayne Chism should have a big day in the low post, which is important because the Vols usually struggle from 3-point range.

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Northern Iowa

SITE: Oklahoma City
TIME: 5:40 p.m.
ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan play-by-play, Dan Bonner analyst
THE SPREAD: Kansas by 11.5
RECORDS: Kansas 33-2, Northern Iowa 29-4
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Kansas d. No. 16 Lehigh 90-74; Northern Iowa d. d. No. 8 UNLV 69-66.
THE BUZZ: Northern Iowa needs a half-court, grind-it-out affair to have any shot at the upset. UNI has allowed more than 68 points just twice this season and held 25 opponents to 60 or fewer. If the Panthers hold KU to 60 or fewer, it would be a monumental achievement. UNI shoots about 35 percent from 3-point range and must be hot from the perimeter. The Panthers also need 7-footer Jordan Eglseder to avoid fouls and stay on the floor. KU struggled in the first half against Lehigh, and you would think the Jayhawks would play with a bit more intensity against UNI - which is much better than Lehigh.


No. 5 Butler vs. No. 13 Murray State

SITE: San Jose, Calif.
TIME: 3:20 p.m.
ANNOUNCERS: Spero Dedes play-by-play, Bob Wenzel analyst
THE SPREAD: Butler by 4.5
RECORDS: Butler 29-4, Murray State 31-4
HOW THEY GET HERE: Butler d. No. 12 UTEP 77-59; Murray State d, No. 4 Vanderbilt 66-65.
THE BUZZ: Neither team has much size, and itís an interesting contrast in styles. Murray State, befitting a team nicknamed ďRacers,Ē prefers a fast pace. Butler is more than content with a game in the 60s. Murray State averages 10 steals per game, and Butler can be sloppy with the ball, so the Bulldogs need to control their turnovers and not allow the Racers to get going in transition. Butler had problems with UTEPís athleticism early but dominated in the second half. Murray must keep Butler PG Shelvin Mack under control. While Butler Fs Matt Howard and Gordon Hayward are better players, Mack is the Bulldogsí most important player. He has a nice outside touch eight 3-pointers in the first round but heís also strong enough and quick enough to get to the rim. If he gets into the lane consistently, Murray is in trouble. Keep an eye on Howard; he can be foul prone and Murray has the type of athletic big men who could cause him some problems.

No. 2 Kansas State vs. No. 7 BYU

SITE: Oklahoma City
TIME: 8:10 p.m.
ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan play-by-play, Dan Bonner analyst
THE SPREAD: Kansas State by 4.5
RECORDS: Kansas State 27-7, BYU 30-5.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: K-State d. No. 15 North Texas 82-62; BYU d. No. 10 Florida 99-92 (2OTs).
THE BUZZ: Both teams prefer a fast pace and want to run, though K-State is better-equipped to win a grind-it-out game. BYU is deadly from beyond the arc (better than 42 percent) and from the line (almost 79 percent). BYU does a nice job forcing turnovers and K-State can be sloppy with the ball. But the Cougarsí frontcourt lacks athleticism, and thatís good news for K-Stateís big guys. There will be some good guards on view, with BYUís Jimmer Fredette (33-plus points six times) and K-Stateís Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen sure to be focal points of their teamsí offenses. One thing to watch: K-State commits a lot of fouls, and putting BYU on the line is a dangerous thing.