Saturday college basketball previews

Orlando Sentinel

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Saturday's second-round games

ALBUQUERQUE REGIONAL No. 1 Washington vs. No. 8 Pacific
SITE: Boise, Idaho
TIME: 3:20 p.m.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Washington d. N0. 16 Montana 88-77; Pacific d. No. 9 Pittsburgh 79-71.
THE BUZZ: The Huskies had some trouble with Montana, and they need to play much better today if they're to beat Pacific. Gs Nate Robinson, Tre Simmons and Will Conroy are going to get the better of their Pacific counterparts, but the Huskies' frontcourt remains a concern. Washington was outrebounded by Montana in the first round. Pacific has a lot of height and out-toughed a physical Pitt team in the first round. Big men Christian Maraker, Tyler Newton and Guillaume Yango need to be active on the offensive end. PG David Doubley must keep in mind that the Tigers cannot get into a running game with the Huskies. It would help Pacific's cause if it can hit some 3-pointers. For Pacific to pull the upset, it needs to keep the game in the 70s.

No. 2 Wake Forest vs. No. 7 West Virginia
SITE: Cleveland
TIME: 8 p.m.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Wake d. No. 15 Chattanooga 70-54, WVU d. No. 10 Creighton 63-61.
THE BUZZ: The offenses will be the focal point. Wake struggled mightily for a half against outmanned Chattanooga, and the Deacons need to play with a sense of urgency from the opening tap. Wake Gs Chris Paul, Justin Gray and Taron Downey will enjoy a quickness advantage against the Mountaineers, but they can't be content to just jack up 3-pointers. It's vital that Wake C Eric Williams do dome damage in the low post; WVU doesn't have anyone who can guard him. WVU has a perimeter-oriented attack, and it must hit its 3-pointers to win this. WVU 6-10 F Kevin Pittsnogle is a big-time outside threat, so look for Wake to put 6-9 Jamaal Levy on him. If Williams scores at least 15, Wake should win.

No. 3 Gonzaga vs. No. 6 Texas Tech
SITE: Tucson, Ariz.
TIME: 1:10 p.m.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Gonzaga d. No. 14 Winthrop 74-64; Texas Tech d. No. 11 UCLA 78-66
THE BUZZ: Don't expect a lot of defense. Instead, expect a lot of good perimeter play. Tech has an excellent guard duo in Jarrius Jackson and the vastly underrated Ronald Ross. But they'd better be on from the outside because Tech's frontcourt is nothing special. That is Gonzaga's advantage. In Ronny Turiaf and J.P. Batista, the Zags have the low-post threats to hurt the Red Raiders. Gonzaga's star, though, is F Adam Morrison. He has an unreal mid-range game and also can pop the occasional 3-pointer. Zags G Errol Knight must avoid foul trouble because his defense will be needed.


No. 1 Illinois vs. No. 9 Nevada
SITE: Indianapolis
TIME: 8:10 p.m.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Illinois d. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson 67-55; Nevada d. No. 8 Texas 61-57.
THE BUZZ: Illinois did not look like a No. 1 seed in the first round, and the Illini must play a lot better today if they don't want to go home. Illini Gs Dee Brown, Luther Head and Deron Williams are going to get their points, but that trio needs some offensive help from Fs Roger Powell and James Augustine. Illinois was outrebounded by 12 by FDU, and Nevada actually has a legit frontcourt. The Wolf Pack edged a depth-shy Texas team despite a subpar game from star F Nick Fazekas. If Fazekas does his usual star turn, gets help from F Kevinn(CQ) Pinkney and the Wolf Pack can avoid turning it over more than 15 times, this will be mighty interesting. Nevada is awful from 3-point range (just 27 percent), but some 3-pointers would go a long way toward helping it pull the upset.

No. 3 Arizona vs. No. 11 UAB
SITE: Boise, Idaho
TIME: 5:50 p.m.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Arizona d. No. 14 Utah State 66-53; UAB d. No. 6 LSU 82-68.
THE BUZZ: UAB beat LSU far worse than the score indicates. But UAB was helped immensely by LSU's bad backcourt. Arizona doesn't have a bad backcourt. Indeed, sharp-shooting G Salim Stoudamire can expect some wide-open looks because of UAB's style of defense. In addition, Wildcats C Channing Frye should be able do some damage down low against UAB's smallish frontcourt. UAB's defensive goal is to make opponents play faster than they want. That's hard to do with Arizona, which thrives in an up-tempo game. To pull the upset, UAB needs to force at least 20 turnovers and use its depth to wear down the Wildcats. The Blazers have been here before, though: They beat top-seeded Kentucky in the second round last season.

No. 4 Boston College vs. No. 12 Wisconsin-Milwaukee
SITE: Cleveland
TIME: 5:30 p.m.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: BC d. No. 13 Penn 85-65; UWM d. No. 5 Alabama 83-73.
THE BUZZ: BC will be much more diligent pounding the ball inside against UWM's smallish frontcourt than Alabama, which seemed content to shoot from the perimeter. BC's inside duo of Craig Smith and Jared Dudley has pulverized foes all season and must continue to do so. UWM plays solid defense, but the Panthers haven't seen a 1-2 punch like Dudley and Smith. UWM was on fire from 3-point range against the Tide -- 10 in the first half alone -- and that needs to continue today. That puts the onus on Boo Davis and Ed McCants to hit their shots. BC is better defensively than Alabama, so open looks are going to be harder to come by.

No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 7 Cincinnati
SITE: Indianapolis
TIME: 5:40 p.m.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Kentucky d. No. 15 Eastern Kentucky 72-64; Cincinnati d. No. 10 Iowa 76-64.
THE BUZZ: Don't expect a lot of offense, as both teams play gritty, in-your-face defense. Cincy relies heavily on its frontcourt of Jason Maxiell, Eric Hicks and James White for points, with Maxiell the key player. If UK shuts him down, Cincy is in a ton of trouble. Some 3-pointers from Armein Kirkland and Nick Williams would help the Bearcats' cause. Kentucky lacks great individual talent, but the players know their roles, generally don't make silly mistakes and play defense with a passion. Fs Chuck Hayes and Kelenna Azebuike are the key guys offensively. G Patrick Sparks may have trouble getting off his shot against the physical Bearcats.

No. 3 Oklahoma vs. NO. 6 Utah
SITE: Tucson, Ariz.
TIME: 3:40 p.m.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Oklahoma d. No. 14 Niagara 84-67; Utah d. No. 11 UTEP 60-54.
THE BUZZ: The key guy is Utah C Andrew Bogut, a double-double machine who may be the nation's best player. All of the pressure is on him today; he needs to score 30 if the Utes are to win. Utah's problem is there is no consistent No. 2 scorer, so Oklahoma's big men can be expected to beat on Bogut all day. The Sooners are better offensively than in seasons past. PG Drew Lavender is jet-quick, and in big men Kevin Bookout and Taj Gary, the Sooners have an explosive low-post duo. Utah has to get some points from its backcourt of Tim Drisdom and Marc Jackson. It would help if a lot of those points came from outside, which would open up the lane for Bogut, who can take any collegian in the nation one-on-one.

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