March 12, 2006

Minneapolis Region Capsules


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1. Villanova
Record: 25-4, 15-3 Big East
vs. Tourney Teams: 9-4
RPI: 2
Coach: Jay Wright (222-143, 101-58 at Villanova, 2-3 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: At-large bid
Last Appearance: 2005, lost to North Carolina 67-66 in Sweet 16
Probable Starters:
G Randy Foye (20.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
G Allan Ray (18.8 ppg)
G Mike Nardi (11.4 ppg)
G Kyle Lowry (11.6 ppg)
F Will Sheridan (5.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg)
Inside Scoop: The Wildcats lost by one point to the eventual national champions last year and appear stronger this time, though they'll dearly miss injured forward Curtis Sumpter this month. Allan Ray and Randy Foye – arguably the best backcourt duo in the nation – make the Wildcats contenders for the Final Four.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
16. Monmouth
Record: 19-14, 16-6 Northeast Conf.
vs. Tourney Teams: 0-2
RPI: 144
Coach: Dave Calloway (129-121 at Monmouth, 0-2 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: Won Northeast Conf. Tourney
Last Appearance: Lost to Mississippi State, 85-52, 2004 First Round
Probable Starters:
G Tyler Azzarelli (8.9 ppg, 3.0 apg)
G Chris Kenny (8.5 ppg)
G Dejan Delic (12.1 ppg)
F Marques Alston (12.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
F Corey Hallett (5.1 ppg)
Inside Scoop: Monmouth has had production from its bench with 7-foot-2 center John Bunch leading the team with 5.4 rebounds per game despite not starting a game. Senior guard Chris Kenny set a play-in game record with six 3-pointers against Hampton.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
8. Arizona
Record: 19-12, 12-8 Pac-10
vs. Tourney Teams: 3-8
RPI: 23
Coach: Lute Olson (760-268, 568-176 at Arizona, 44-24 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: At-large bid
Last Appearance: 2005, lost to Illinois 90-89 (OT) in Elite Eight
Probable Starters:
G Hassan Adams (17.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
G Mustafa Shakur (10.7 ppg)
F Ivan Radenovic (11.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg)
F Marcus Williams (12.8 ppg)
C Kirk Walters (6.3 ppg)
Inside Scoop: The Wildcats' hopes could hinge on the status of leading scorer Hassan Adams, who was temporarily suspended after a DUI arrest. This Arizona team isn't as strong as the group that just missed the Final Four last year, but the Wildcats lead the Pac-10 in turnover margin and assist-turnover ratio.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
9. Wisconsin
Record: 19-11, 9-8 Big Ten
vs. Tourney Teams: 7-7
RPI: 24
Coach: Bo Ryan (495-151, 112-48 at Wisconsin, 7-4 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: At-large bid
Last Appearance: 2005, lost to North Carolina 88-82 in Regional Final
Probable Starters:
G Kammron Taylor (14.2 ppg)
G Ray Nixon (6.2 ppg)
F Jason Chappell (4.3 ppg)
F Alando Tucker (19.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
C Brian Butch (10.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg)
Inside Scoop: Alando Tucker will be a matchup problem for every opponent that faces the Badgers, and Tucker and Taylor form a potent duo. Don't expect the Badgers to go past the second round, though – especially if they face a deep frontcourt. Wisconsin gives up 34.4 rebounds a game.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
5. Nevada
Record: 27-5, 15-3 WAC
vs. Tourney Teams: 4-2
RPI: 19
Coach: Mark Fox (27-5, 27-5 at Nevada, 1-1 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: Won WAC Tournament
Last Appearance: 2005, lost to Illinois 71-59 in Second Round
Probable Starters:
G Kyle Shiloh (8.8 ppg)
G Marcelus Kemp (14.4 ppg)
G Ramon Sessions (4.6 ppg, 5.0 apg)
F Nick Fazekas (21.8 ppg, 10.3 rpg)
F Demarshay Johnson (5.1 ppg)
Inside Scoop: These next couple of weeks could give Nick Fazekas – one of the nation's most underrated players – a chance to make a name for himself. Fazekas proved he was a legitimate star by pouring in 35 points in an early-season victory over Kansas. Nevada has won 14 games in a row, and has advanced beyond the first round for a two consecutive years.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
12. Montana
Record: 23-6, 12-4 Big Sky
vs. Tourney Teams: 1-1
RPI: 61
Coach: Larry Krystkowiak (41-19, 41-19 at Montana, 0-1 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: Won Big Sky Conf. Tourney
Last Appearance: 2005, lost to Washington 88-77 in First Round
Probable Starters:
G Kevin Criswell (16.5 ppg)
G Virgil Matthews (10.0 ppg, 4.0 apg)
G Jordan Hasquet (7.6 ppg)
F Matt Dlouhy (7.7 ppg)
C Andrew Strait (16.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg)
Inside Scoop: Criswell and Matthews are the only two seniors on the roster, while Hasquet averaged 17.3 points per game over Montana's last three games. Two of those were against Big Sky regular-season champion Northern Arizona. Krystkowiak, the other "Coach K," played in the NBA for nine seasons. The Chicago Bulls drafted him with the 28th pick in 1987.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
4. Boston College
Record: 26-7, 13-6 ACC
vs. Tourney Teams: 3-4
RPI: 22
Coach: Al Skinner (311-233, 173-107 at Boston College, 4-6 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: At-large bid
Last Appearance: 2005, lost to UW-Milwaukee 83-75 in Second Round
Probable Starters:
G Sean Marshall (11.5 ppg)
G Louis Hinnant (7.3 ppg)
F Craig Smith (17.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg)
F Jared Dudley (16.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg)
C John Oates (3.4 ppg)
Inside Scoop: The presence of one of the game's top inside players (Craig Smith) and the maturity of a sure-handed senior point guard (Louis Hinnant) bode well for the Golden Eagles. But Boston College doesn't shoot particularly well from the foul line or 3-point range, which may well prove costly in the closing minutes of a close game.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
13. Pacific
Record: 24-7, 15-2 Big West
vs. Tourney Teams: 1-1
RPI: 88
Coach: Bob Thomason (362-247, 310-220 at Pacific, 2-3 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: Won Big West Conf. Tournament
Last Appearance: 2005, lost to Washington, 97-79 in Second Round
Probable Starters:
G Johnny Gray (14.8 ppg)
G Mike Webb (10.7 ppg)
F Christian Maraker (17.2 ppg, 8.9 rpg)
F Anthony Esparza (7.2 ppg)
C Michael White (7.3 ppg)
Inside Scoop: After going to the Big Dance just once in 25 years, Pacific has made the last three tournaments. Big West Tournament MVP Johnny Gray scored 18 and 21 points in two conference tournament games. The Tigers have won 13 of their last 14 games, with the lone defeat an overtime loss to New Mexico State.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
6. Oklahoma
Record: 20-8, 11-6 Big 12
vs. Tourney Teams: 7-4
RPI: 16
Coach: Kelvin Sampson (456-256, 280-108 at Oklahoma, 14-11 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: At-large bid
Last Appearance: 2005, lost to Utah, 67-58 in Second Round
Probable Starters:
G Michael Neal (12.7 ppg)
G Terrell Everett (12.4 ppg, 6.7 apg)
G David Godbold (5.4 ppg)
F Kevin Bookout (11.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg)
C Taj Gray (14.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg)
Inside Scoop: Beware of the Sooners in close games. OU closed February with four consecutive one-point victories, but followed with a blowout loss to Texas and then was upset by Nebraska in the Big 12 Tournament. The Sooners are an outstanding rebounding team with 6-9 Taj Gray and 6-8 Kevin Bookout a solid inside pair. Michael Neal is dangerous from 3-point range. However, lack of depth is a concern.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
11. Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Record: 21-8, 14-4 Horizon League
vs. Tourney Teams: 1-2
RPI: 53
Coach: Rob Jeter (21-8, 21-8 at Wisc.-Milwaukee, 0-0 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: Won Horizon League Tournament
Last Appearance: 2005, lost to Illinois 77-63 in Sweet 16
Probable Starters:
G Boo Davis (16.2 ppg)
G Chris Hill (7.9 ppg, 2.8 apg)
F Jason McCoy (4.2 ppg)
F Joah Tucker (16.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg)
F Adrian Tigert (12.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg)
Inside Scoop: Tucker, a first-team all Horizon League selection for the second consecutive year, led the Panthers to the Sweet 16 last season. He averaged 25.3 points in three NCAA Tournament games a year ago. Tigert missed the last two games of the regular season with a back injury, but returned to be named the conference tournament MVP.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
3. Florida
Record: 27-6, 13-6 SEC
vs. Tourney Teams: 8-4
RPI: 15
Coach: Billy Donovan (257-118, 220-98 at Florida, 10-7 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: Won SEC Tournament
Last Appearance: 2005, lost to Villanova 76-65 in Second Round
Probable Starters:
G Taurean Green (13.8 ppg, 4.9 apg)
G Lee Humphrey (10.6 ppg)
F Corey Brewer (12.5 ppg)
F Al Horford (11.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg)
C Joakim Noah (13.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg)
Inside Scoop: Will the real Gators please stand up, or at least thrash their tails a little? Is this the 17-0 team that started the season or the one that went 7-6 thereafter? Is it the team that lost three in a row to end February, or is it the team that throttled Kentucky by 15 at Rupp in the regular-season finale? Florida has the talent for a deep run, but be wary of the fact only one Billy Donovan team has made it past the round of 16 teams.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
14. South Alabama
Record: 24-6, 13-3 Sun Belt
vs. Tourney Teams: 0-1
RPI: 66
Coach: John Pelphrey (60-54, 60-54 at South Alabama, 0-0 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: Won Sun Belt Conference Tournament
Last Appearance: 1998, lost to Illinois 64-51 in First Round
Probable Starters:
G Mario Jointer (13.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg)
G Chey Christie (9.1 ppg)
G Carlos Smith (7.2 ppg, 3.0 apg)
F Michael Phillips (8.1 ppg)
F Leandro Buboltz (4.3 ppg)
Inside Scoop: The Jaguars are an experienced team, with four of top five scorers being seniors. The matchup with Florida in the first round pits Pelphrey against his old boss, Billy Donovan. Pelphrey was an assistant on Donovan's staff at Marshall and Florida. Pelphrey earned Sun Belt coach of the year honors, and his name has been mentioned in connection with job openings at major programs.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
7. Georgetown
Record: 21-9, 12-7 Big East
vs. Tourney Teams: 4-7
RPI: 36
Coach: John Thompson III (89-56, 39-21 at Georgetown, 0-2 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: At-large bid
Last Appearance: 2001, lost to Maryland 76-66 in Sweet 16
Probable Starters:
G Jonathan Wallace (8.4 ppg)
G Ashanti Cook (9.8 ppg)
F Brandon Bowman (11.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
F Jeff Green (11.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg)
C Roy Hibbert (11.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg)
Inside Scoop: The Hoyas' late-season inconsistency isn't a good indicator, but they might benefit in the tournament from playing non-conference teams that aren't familiar with their deliberate style. Don't be surprised if the sophomore tandem of Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green carry the Hoyas into the Sweet 16.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
10. Northern Iowa
Record: 23-9, 12-8 MVC
vs. Tourney Teams: 6-4
RPI: 25
Coach: Greg McDermott (90-62, 90-62 at Northern Iowa, 0-2 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: At-large bid
Last Appearance: 2005, lost 57-52 to Wisconsin in First Round
Probable Starters:
G John Little (7.0 ppg)
G Ben Jacobson (14.2 ppg)
G Brooks McKowen (5.6 ppg)
F Grant Stout (12.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg)
C Eric Coleman (11.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg)
Inside Scoop: After starting the season 21-4 with high-profile wins over Iowa and LSU, the Panthers finished the season on a 2-5 skid – including two losses to MVC tournament champion Southern Illinois. Guard Erik Crawford is fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 9.9 points per game off the bench.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
2. Ohio State Buckeyes
Record: 25-5, 14-5 Big Ten
vs. Tourney Teams: 6-5
RPI: 5
Coach: Thad Matta (147-48, 45-17 at Ohio State, 6-4 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: Won Big Ten tournament)
Last Appearance: 2002, lost to Missouri 83-67 in Second Round
Probable Starters:
G Je'Kel Foster (12.4 ppg)
G J.J. Sullinger (10.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg)
F Jamar Butler (10.2 ppg, 4.7 apg)
F Matt Sylvester (7.7 ppg)
C Terence Dials (15.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg)
Inside Scoop: Terrence Dials will determine if the Buckeyes are Final Four-bound, although Jamar Butler is a solid ball-handler and Je'Kel Foster and Matt Sylvester are dangerous shooters. Dials must avoid serious foul trouble, because the Buckeyes have no other real scoring threat inside the paint, although Ronald Lewis provides plenty of offensive punch on the perimeter as a reserve.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats
15. Davidson
Record: 20-10, 11-5 Southern Conf.
vs. Tourney Teams: 0-3
RPI: 94
Coach: Bob McKillop (262-202, 262-202 at Davidson, 0-2 in NCAA Tourney)
How they got here: Won Southern Conference Tournament
Last Appearance: 2002, lost to Ohio State 69-64 in First Round
Probable Starters:
G Brendan Winters (17.1 ppg)
G Kenny Grant (6.4 ppg, 6.6 apg)
G Matt McKillop (6.3 ppg)
F Thomas Sander (6.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
F Ian Johnson (15.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg)
Inside Scoop: Sixth man Jason Morton is third on the team with 10.9 ppg. Winters scored a career-high 33 points against UT-Chattanooga in the conference tournament final, while Johnson and Winters were named first-team all-conference.
• Roster | Schedule/Results | Stats

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