Today's capsules


EAST REGIONAL

No. 3 New Mexico vs. No. 11 Washington

■ SITE: San Jose, Calif.

■ TIME: 2:50 p.m.

■ ANNOUNCERS: Spero Dedes play-by-play, Bob Wenzel analyst

■ THE SPREAD: Washington -1½

■ 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 it is comfortable in a fast-paced game or in a half-court contest. Washington must have a fast pace to win. The Lobos had problems with Montana's height, but that won't be a problem here. As with New Mexico, Washington is a bit undersized but makes up for it by crashing the boards. New Mexico swingman Darington Hobson injured his left wrist in the first round. If he's not 100 percent, the Lobos are in trouble. The Lobos enjoy an advantage in perimeter shooting.

No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Wake Forest

■ SITE: New Orleans

■ TIME: 5:15 p.m.

■ ANNOUNCERS: Dick Enberg play-by-play, Jay Bilas analyst

■ THE SPREAD: Kentucky -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 doesn't always take care of the ball.

SOUTH REGIONAL

No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 10 Saint Mary's

■ SITE: Providence, R.I.

■ TIME: 10 a.m.

■ ANNOUNCERS: Verne Lundquist play-by-play, Bill Raftery analyst

■ THE SPREAD: Villanova -4½

■ RECORDS: Villanova 25-7, Saint Mary's 27-5

■ HOW THEY GOT HERE: Villanova d. No. 15 Robert Morris 73-70, OT; Saint Mary's d. No. 7 Richmond 80-71

■ THE BUZZ: Villanova was lucky in the first round; it didn't play like a No. 2 seed. Saint Mary's didn't play like a No. 10, beating Richmond more decisively than the score indicates. Villanova could have problems with Gaels C Omar Samhan, a deft inside scorer. Look for Villanova coach Jay Wright to use his bench a lot. Saint Mary's lacks depth, and it's important to pressure Gaels Gs Mickey McConnell and Matthew Dellavedova. Villanova needs its guards to get into the lane and make Samhan play defense. Saint Mary's hits better than 41 percent from 3-point range. If the Gaels' perimeter shots fall, Samhan will have room to operate against a smallish Villanova frontcourt.

No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 11 Old Dominion

■ SITE: New Orleans

■ TIME: 2:45 p.m.

■ ANNOUNCERS: Dick Enberg play-by-play, Jay Bilas analyst

■ THE SPREAD: Baylor -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. ODU is a much better -- and more physical -- defensive team than Sam Houston State. But the Monarchs' offense isn't always productive, especially from the perimeter. ODU would much prefer to score in the low post, but the presence of Baylor's Ekpe Udoh will make that difficult. The key is how effective ODU's 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.

MIDWEST REGIONAL

No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Ohio

■ SITE: Providence, R.I.

■ TIME: 12:35 p.m.

■ ANNOUNCERS: Verne Lundquist play-by-play, Bill Raftery analyst

■ THE SPREAD: Tennessee -8½

■ 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 Mid-American Conference Tournament as a No. 9 seed and then pulled a stunner in the first round by whipping Georgetown. Generally, Ohio plays good defense but struggles offensively. The key for the Volunteers 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: 2:40 p.m.

■ ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan play-by-play, Dan Bonner analyst

■ THE SPREAD: Kansas -11½

■ RECORDS: Kansas 33-2, Northern Iowa 29-4

■ HOW THEY GOT HERE: Kansas d. No. 16 Lehigh 90-74; Northern Iowa 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 only twice and held 25 opponents to 60 or fewer. If the Panthers hold Kansas to 60 or fewer, it would be a monumental achievement. Northern Iowa 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 foul trouble and stay on the floor. Kansas struggled in the first half against Lehigh, and one would think the Jayhawks will play with a bit more intensity against Northern Iowa -- which is much better than Lehigh.

WEST REGIONAL

No. 5 Butler vs. No. 13 Murray State

■ SITE: San Jose, Calif.

■ TIME: 12:20 p.m.

■ ANNOUNCERS: Spero Dedes play-by-play, Bob Wenzel analyst

■ THE SPREAD: Butler -4½

■ RECORDS: Butler 29-4, Murray State 31-4

■ HOW THEY GOT HERE: Butler d. No. 12 Texas-El Paso 77-59; Murray State d, No. 4 Vanderbilt 66-65

■ THE BUZZ: Neither team has much size, and it's an interesting contrast in styles. Murray State prefers a fast pace; Butler is content with a game in the 60s. Murray State averages 10 steals per game; Butler can be sloppy with the ball. Butler had problems with UTEP's athleticism early but dominated late. Murray must keep Butler PG Shelvin Mack under control. While Butler Fs Matt Howard and Gordon Hayward are better players, Mack is the Bulldogs' key player. He has a nice outside touch but also is strong enough to get to the rim. Keep an eye on Howard; he can be foul prone, and Murray has the type of athletic big men who could cause him problems.

No. 2 Kansas State vs. No. 7 Brigham Young

■ SITE: Oklahoma City

■ TIME: 5:10 p.m.

■ ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan play-by-play, Dan Bonner analyst

■ THE SPREAD: Kansas State -4½

■ 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, though K-State is better-equipped to win a grind-it-out game. BYU is deadly on 3-pointers (better than 42 percent) and from the line (almost 79 percent). BYU does a nice job forcing turnovers, and K-State can be sloppy. But the Cougars frontcourt lacks athleticism. There will be good guards on display, with BYU's Jimmer Fredette (33-plus points six times) and K-State's Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen sure to be focal points. K-State commits a lot of fouls, and putting BYU on the line can be dangerous.

 

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