TONY BOBBITT, G, CINCINNATI (13.3 PPG) The high-energy senior has
ZACH MORLEY, F, WISCONSIN (9.1 PPG) One of many Badgers big men
who can shoot and pass.
CHARLIE VILLANUEVA, F, UCONN (10.0 PPG) When he's on, the 6'11"
freshman can hurt teams from inside and out.
March 22, 2004
BRIAN BODDICKER, F, TEXAS (7.9 PPG) The 6'8" senior has the
second-best three-point percentage (.396) in school history.
TARON DOWNEY, G, WAKE FOREST (10.4 PPG) The lefty sharpshooter is
Wake's x factor.
RUNNING 'N' GUNNING
UAB Blazers coach Mike Anderson, a former Arkansas assistant, has
implemented Nolan Richardson's 40 Minutes of Hell on both ends of
WASHINGTON The Huskies were second in the Pac-10 with 81.4 points
per game, their highest output since 1972.
WAKE FOREST Freshman point guard Chris Paul runs the show for the
nation's third-highest-scoring team (83.8).
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE The Ragin' Cajuns led Sun Belt in scoring
(77.9) and turnovers forced (17.8).
CONNECTICUT The Huskies are suspect in a half-court game, but off
the fast break there's no better team.
PLAYERS YOU WANT ON THE FOUL LINE
J.J. REDICK, G, DUKE (95.6%) The sophomore was the second-best
foul shooter in the nation and made an ACC-record 54 straight
during one stretch earlier this season.
CHRIS HERNANDEZ, G, STANFORD (91.4%) The sophomore and his
backcourt mate Matt Lottich hit a combined 89.4% from the line in
DELONTE WEST, G, SAINT JOSEPH'S (88.9%) The junior averages 18.8
points per game and is one of four Hawks who shoot at least 79%
ILIAN EVTIMOV, F, N.C. STATE (88.8%) The sophomore is the best
free throw shooter on the nation's best free throw shooting team
LUIS FLORES, G, MANHATTAN (86.9%) The senior, a prolific scorer
(24.1 ppg), can shoot well from outside and knows how to get to
PLAYERS YOU DON'T WANT AT THE FOUL LINE
DWAYNE JONES, C, SAINT JOSEPH'S (44.4%) The Hawks only
serviceable big man, he's a shot blocker but can be a liability
JAMAR SMITH, F, MARYLAND (45.8%) The Terps' big man is one of
many bricklayers on the worst free throw shooting team (62.0%) in
ISMA'IL MUHAMMAD, F, GEORGIA TECH (47.4%) Though he struggled
from the charity stripe, Muhammad shot 60.5% from the field.
ANDRE BROWN, F, DEPAUL (50.4%) This is the only weakness for the
Blue Demons' No. 2 scorer (14.6).
EMEKA OKAFOR, C, UCONN (51.1%) The Huskies, who ranked second to
last in the Big East in free throw shooting (61.6%), can expect
teams to play Hack-a-Shaq with Okafor.
DEPAUL The Blue Demons have lost just three times since Jan. 10
and made it to the final as the top seed in the Conference USA
WASHINGTON The Huskies have won 14 of their last 17, including a
victory over then No. 1 Stanford on March 6.
XAVIER The Musketeers are coming off an impressive rout of Saint
Joseph's, and in three years under Thad Matta they are 34-6 in
games played after Feb. 1.
MICHIGAN STATE A brutal schedule led to a 5-7 start, but the
seasoned Spartans have turned it on, winning 12 of their last 15.
EASTERN WASHINGTON The sharp-shooting Eagles won 11 straight
games earlier this season to reach their first-ever NCAA
LOUISVILLE Coach Rick Pitino's Cardinals started off 16-1 and
climbed to No. 4 but were hampered by injuries and finished the
regular season by dropping eight of their last 12.
ARIZONA February road losses to Cal and Oregon State put the
Wildcats precariously close to bubble.
TEXAS TECH Red Raiders struggled through a 5-7 stretch at the end
of the regular season before losing to Oklahoma State in the Big
PROVIDENCE The Friars have impressive wins over Illinois and
UConn, but they have stumbled down the stretch and enter the
tournament having lost three straight.
SOUTH CAROLINA The Gamecocks climbed into the Top 25 at No. 24 in
late January but have won only four of their last 11 games.
ARIZONA The Wildcats have been reeling since junior forward
Isaiah Fox went down with a knee injury on Nov. 28. Seventh man
Ivan Radenovic, a freshman forward, has averaged just nine
minutes in the last four games.
DUKE Injuries or foul trouble could doom the Blue Devils, who go
only seven deep. Eighth man Nick Horvath, a senior forward, is
averaging just 6.5 minutes per game.
KENTUCKY Leading scorer Gerald Fitch, a senior guard, has often
come off the bench over the last two weeks to help spark a
six-man rotation. Foul trouble could doom this team.
MEMPHIS The Tigers were thin even before sophomore forward Jeremy
Hunt tore the ACL in his left knee on Feb. 20.
NORTH CAROLINA The Tar Heels are only seven deep and will be
forced to go small if their only inside presence, 6'9" sophomore
forward Sean May, gets into foul trouble.
OKLAHOMA STATE The dangerous Cowboys are filled with experience.
Junior guard Daniel Bobik, 24, is one of nine upperclassmen in
Oklahoma State's rotation.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS The 25-4 Salukis are making their third
consecutive appearance in the NCAAs and have three senior
STANFORD There is a reason why the Cardinal has played so well in
close games. Coach Mike Montgomery starts four upperclassmen; its
freshmen have scored a total of 72 points this season.
KENTUCKY The veteran poise of four seniors has enabled the
Wildcats to win five games by three points or fewer.
GONZAGA The Zags start four upperclassmen and redshirt sophomore
guard Erroll Knight.