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Filling the Brackets

Nov. 19, 2007
Nov. 19, 2007

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Nov. 19, 2007

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Filling the Brackets

Despite enough at-large, mid-major bids to make Billy Packer groan, the Big East and Pac-10 will rule on Selection Sunday

TEAM | CONFERENCE| RETURNING STARTERS | SKINNY

This is an article from the Nov. 19, 2007 issue

21 STANFORD |PAC-10 | 5 | The Cardinal trio of Lawrence Hill and twin 7-footers Brook andRyan Lopez blocked more shots than any other Pac-10 team.

22 ARKANSAS | SEC| 5 | New coach John Pelphrey inherits SEC's freshman of the year, PatrickBeverley, and its defensive player of the year, Steven Hill.

23 SYRACUSE | BIGEAST | 2 | Guard Jonny Flynn and forward Donte' Greene are the Orange's firstpair of McDonald's All-Americans since 1986.

24 NORTH CAROLINASTATE | ACC | 4 | Star recruit J.J. Hickson joins an imposing frontcourt ofBrandon Costner, Ben McCauley and Gavin Grant.

25 PITTSBURGH |BIG EAST | 2 | Point guard Levance Fields could use a few good big men. Enter6' 7" freshman and Iron City native DeJuan Blair.

26 KANSAS STATE |BIG 12 | 2 | The one-year Michael Beasley Era tips off in Manhattan, where thefreshman forward teams has help from a healthy Bill Walker.

27 DAVIDSON |SOUTHERN | 5 | Stephen Curry, son of former NBA sharpshooter Dell, set theDivision I freshman record with 122 threes last season.

28 ARIZONA |PAC-10 | 2 | Behind super 6' 7" soph Chase Budinger and freshman playmakerJerryd Bayless, the Wildcats will get a 24th straight tournament bid.

29 NOTRE DAME |BIG EAST | 3 | Luke Harangody and Rob Kurz are formidable up front; KyleMcAlarney's return from a lengthy suspension bolsters a thin backcourt.

30 FLORIDA | SEC |0 | Billy Donovan has two McDonald's All-Americans, Jai Lucas and NickCalathes. Had he taken the Orlando Magic job, he'd have five.

31 OHIO STATE |BIG TEN | 1 | Can freshman center Kosta Koufos make fans forget about GregOden? And who will fill in for the other two first-round picks?

32 MISSISSIPPISTATE | SEC | 4 | Physical guard Jamont Gordon, who led the SEC infree throw attempts, complements beefy paint presence Charles Rhodes.

33 GEORGE MASON |CAA | 5 | Four solid seniors, plus one dynamic junior playmaker, Andre Smith,point toward a return to the NCAA tournament.

34 CLEMSON | ACC |4 | Versatile forward James Mays is back, but the Tigers' chances hinge on thedevelopment of freshman point guard Demontez Stitt.

35 VILLANOVA | BIGEAST | 2 | Stud freshmen Corey Stokes and Corey Fisher join conference rookieof the year Scottie Reynolds in the backcourt.

36 WISCONSIN | BIGTEN | 2 | Lacking a Devin Harris or Alando Tucker, Bo Ryan needs forward MarcusLandry to lead and forward Brian Butch to stay healthy.

37 BRADLEY | MVC |2 | The Braves have nation's active assist leader (Daniel Ruffin) and lastyear's fifth-most accurate three-point shooter (Jeremy Crouch).

38 BYU | MWC | 2 |Conference freshman of the year Jonathan Tavernari, a swingman, averaged21.4 points in a five-game summer tour through France.

39 PURDUE | BIGTEN | 3 | Matt Painter's looking at a bright future thanks to his heraldedfour-man recruiting class--headed by guard E'Twaun Moore.

40 VIRGINIA | ACC| 3 | After unexpectedly sharing the conference's regular-season title lastyear, the Cavs need to find help for All-ACC guard Sean Singletary.

41 NEW MEXICO ST.| WAC | 3 | Freshman forward Herb Pope and juco transfer Paris Carter willreinforce first-year coach Marvin Menzies's veteran team.

42 VANDERBILT |SEC | 3 | Under-the-radar Aussie big man A.J. Ogilvy is strong inside presence,complementing sweet-shooting senior swingman Shan Foster.

43 VCU | CAA | 3 |Guard Eric Maynor became a March hero against Duke, while coach Anthony Grantjoined the short list of every AD at a major program.

44 UCONN | BIGEAST | 5 | The good news: Everybody's back. The bad news: Erratic team thatfinished 12th in conference play still has a way to go.

45 WASHINGTON |PAC-10 | 4 | The Huskies lost an NBA lottery pick (Spencer Hawes) but retain asavvy guard corps and burly post player Jon Brockman.

46 UAB | C-USA | 3| Ex--Indiana coach Mike Davis welcomes transfers Walter Sharpe (MississippiState), Channing Toney (Georgia) and Robert Vaden (Indiana).

47 WEST VIRGINIA |BIG EAST | 3 | Back at his alma mater, Bob Huggins has point guards (DarrisNichols and Joe Mazzulla) but is short on depth.

48 ST. JOSEPH'S |A-10 | 4 | Coach turned author Phil Martelli has deep frontcourt led by 6'9" junior Ahmad Nivins, who shot 62% last season.

49 BUTLER |HORIZON | 3 | New coach Brad Stevens, promoted from within to take over a Sweet16 team, has topflight guard in A.J. Graves.

50 HIGH POINT |BIG SOUTH | 3 | Senior forward Arizona Reid is the only returning player in thenation who averaged more than 20 points and 9.5 boards.

51 BOSTONUNIVERSITY | AMERICA EAST | 3 | Four sophomores, led by guards Corey Lowe andTyler Morris, has BU going to NCAAs for first time since '02.

52 KENT STATE |MAC | 4 | One of three mid-majors, along with Gonzaga and Creighton, to havewon at least 20 games in nine straight seasons: Make it 10.

53 IUPUI | SUMMIT| 3 | Conference player of the year candidate George Hill is part of toughbackcourt trio with Gary Patterson and Austin Montgomery.

54 CORNELL | IVY |3 | Guard Adam Gore, the conference's rookie of the year in '06, returns afterACL surgery, joining 6-foot USC transfer Collin Robinson.

55 UC SANTABARBARA | BIG WEST | 4 | Prolific inside-out duo of Alex Harris and ChrisDevine led the Gauchos in scoring in 26 of 29 games last season.

56 HOLY CROSS |PATRIOT | 3 | Senior center Tim Clifford, the preseason conference player ofthe year, leads team that's averaged 23.3 wins the last three years.

57 AUSTIN PEAY |OVC | 5 | League's player of the year in '06-07 (Drake Reed), coach of the year(Dave Loos) and top rebounder (Fernandez Lockett) are back.

58 WESTERNKENTUCKY | SUN BELT | 4 | Hilltoppers have 67 wins during ultratalentedswingman Courtney Lee's three years, but have not made Big Dance.

59 MONTANA | BIGSKY | 4 | Strait shooter: Senior Andrew Strait is the nation's seventh-leadingreturning marksman, having shot 61.1% last year.

60 SAM HOUSTONSTATE | SOUTHLAND | 2 | Forward Ryan Bright & Co. open the season with a29-game nonconference home winning streak.

61 HAMPTON | MEAC| 5 | Forward Mike Freeman, who shot 67.8% as a freshman, will help get thePirates to the NCAAs for the fourth time in eight years.

62 EAST TENNESSEESTATE | ATLANTIC SUN | 2 | Division II juco National Player of the YearKevin Tiggs joins conference player of the year, Courtney Pigram.

63 LOYOLA (MD.) |MAAC | 4 | Four years after going 1-27, Greyhounds seek second-ever NCAA berthbehind Gerald Brown, nation's third-leading returning scorer.

64 WAGNER |NORTHEAST | 4 | Weapons aplenty: four double-digit scorers, plus return offorward Durell Vinson (15.2 ppg in '05-06) from yearlong suspension.

65 GRAMBLING |SOUTHWESTERN ATHLETIC | 4 | Point guard Andre' Ratliff and forward AnthonyWilliams lead the Tigers into their new on-campus gym.

PHOTOCHRIS WILLIAMS/ICON SMILONG AND STRONG Hill, who led Stanford in scoring and rebounding, is a cog in one of the most formidable frontlines.PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYERMAYNOR ATTRACTION The VCU point guard can dish (6.4 apg), but it was his jumper against Duke that gave him national fame.