Monday, March 28, 2005; Page D11
TEMPE REGION Who: No. 1 seed North Carolina (30-3) vs. No. 2 seed Baylor (30-3) When: 7. TV: ESPN.
Data: Both teams are riding long winning streaks -- North Carolina 16 games and Baylor a school-record 17. Both teams love to run, both play tough defense, both are strong inside. North Carolina Coach Sylvia Hatchell is 412-185 in 19 seasons at North Carolina, but is in a region final for just the third time. Baylor has never been this deep into the tournament, but Coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson knows something about winning: As a player, she helped Louisiana Tech win two national titles and was part of the U.S. Olympic gold medal team in 1984. She also was an assistant at Louisiana Tech for 15 years, helping the school win three more national championships, before turning down the top job when longtime coach Leon Barmore retired; she and the school couldn't agree on contract terms.
Data: The question is what's more important at this stage in the tournament: to be fresh or battle-tested? LSU is certainly the former, having won its three tournament games by 30 points or more. Duke is certainly the latter, having beaten 12 ranked teams this season and having won close games over Boston College and Georgia in the past two rounds. Duke Coach Gail Goestenkors has 29 NCAA tournament victories, the third-most (behind Georgia's Andy Landers and Virginia's Debbie Ryan) among coaches who have never won a national title.