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Arizona

G Xavier Whipple, 6-2, Sr. (2.1 ppg, 2.2 apg, 1.5 rpg)

F Darnell Lazare, 6-8, Soph. (2.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 69.2 FT%)

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Data: After losing two of their first four conference games, the Tigers won their last six to tie Alabama for first place in the SEC West. Brady was on the hot seat after missing the NCAA tournament in three of the past four seasons, but he found a nice combination of perimeter shooters and strong post players. Bass is perhaps the best sophomore in the country, and Minor is an ultra-quick point guard. Mitchell and Hudson are capable of scoring 20 points in a game. Davis, at 310 pounds, is a major force in the paint if he stays out of foul trouble. The Tigers don't have a very deep bench, which could be a concern in tournament play.

Ala.-Birmingham

Conference USA at-large

Record: 21-10, 10-6. Past 10: 5-5.

Coach: Mike Anderson (2-1 NCAAs).

Starters

G Donnell Taylor, 6-6, Sr. (15.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 40.4 3-pt. FG%)

G Squeaky Johnson, 5-10, Jr. (5.0 ppg, 4.7 apg, 36.7 FG%)

G Marvett McDonald, 6-2, Jr. (10.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 39.3 FG%)

F Demario Eddins, 6-7, Jr. (12.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 49.6 FG%)

F Marques Lewis, 6-8, Sr. (8.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 53.6 FG%)

Top reserves

G Ronell Taylor, 6-5, Sr. (11.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 46.3 FG%)

G Richard Jones, 6-5, Jr. (4.1 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 37.3 FG%)

F Derrick Broom, 6-5, Jr. (3.6 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 41.2 3-pt. FG%)

Data: The Blazers are making their second straight NCAA tournament appearance and 12th in school history. UAB upset top-ranked Kentucky in last year's second round to advance to the round of 16, where it lost to Kansas. After putting their tournament hopes in jeopardy with a four-game losing streak in February, the Blazers won five straight, including an 81-80 overtime victory over DePaul in the conference quarterfinals. Injuries may prevent another run. Ronell Taylor was conference sixth man of the year but broke his foot Feb. 5, Lewis has been hampered by an ankle injury and Eddins is playing with a bad hip.


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