1. No. Carolina
9. Iowa State
10. N.C. State
11. No. Iowa
12. New Mexico
15. Central Fla.
16. Oak./Ala. A
John Feinstein's Analysis of the Syracuse Region
Chicago | Austin | Albuquerque
The Washington Post
Monday, March 14, 2005; Page G12 FIRST- AND SECOND-ROUND GAMES
at Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte
FRIDAY & SUNDAY | TICKETS: 704-894-2943
1. North Carolina, ACC at-large
Record: 27-4, 14-2. Past 10: 8-2.
Coach: Roy Williams (35-15 in NCAAs).
G Raymond Felton, 6-1, Jr. (12 ppg, 4 rpg, 7.3 apg)
G Rashad McCants, 6-4, Jr. (15.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.8 apg)
F Jackie Manuel, 6-5, Sr. (6.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.6 apg)
F Jawad Williams, 6-9, Sr. (14.4 ppg, 4 rpg, 1.5 apg)
C Sean May, 6-9, Jr. (16.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 1 bpg)
F Marvin Williams, 6-9, Fr. (11.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 22 mpg)
G Melvin Scott, 6-2, Sr. (5.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.9 apg)
F David Noel, 6-6, Jr. (4.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.6 apg)
Data: The Tar Heels probably have five future NBA players, including Marvin Williams, who does not start. Inside, May has become a dominant scorer and rebounder, posting a jaw-dropping 26 points and 24 rebounds against Duke on March 6. At point guard, Felton is considered by many coaches the fastest player in the conference with the ball. When Felton has struggled or has not played (see: season opener against Santa Clara), North Carolina has lost.
16. Oakland, Mid-Continent champion
Record: 12-18, 7-9. Past 10: 6-4.
Coach: Greg Kampe (first NCAAs).
F Rawle Marshall, 6-7, Sr. (19.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
F Patrick McCloskey, 6-7, Fr. (4.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 50% FG)
F Cortney Scott, 6-6, Sr. (17.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 53.8% FG)
G Pierre Dukes, 6-1, Jr. (4.5 ppg, 2.1 apg, 1.8 rpg)
G DeMarcus Ishmeal, 5-9, Sr. ( 4.4 ppg, 3.1 apg, 1.8 rpg)
Data: The Golden Grizzlies are the 15th team to make the tournament with a losing record. After starting the season 0-7, Oakland did not win more than two games in a row until ending the season on a five-game winning streak. Dukes, who made the game-winning three-pointer in the tournament final, quit the team during the summer only to rejoin at the behest of Kampe.
16. Alabama A&M, SWAC champion
Record: 18-13, 12-6. Past 10: 7-3.
Coach: Vann Pettaway (first NCAAs).
G Obie Trotter, 6-1, Jr. (14.8 ppg, 4.7 apg, 33.6 mpg)
G Rickey Ricketts, 6-2, Sr. (8.6 ppg, 1.4 apg, 24 3-pt. FG%)
F Joseph Martin, 6-4, Jr.(13.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 49 FG%)
G Marcus Young, 6-0, Sr.(7.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 83 FT%)
F Andre Matthews, 6-5, Sr. (6.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 53 FG%)
Data: Trotter led the nation in steals (four per game) and scored 24 points in the 72-53 conference title win over Alabama State. That's about it for household names among a team that played before crowds of less than 700 five times. Still, the Bulldogs had a great season under Pettaway, one of 41 coaches who is coaching at his alma mater. They led the SWAC in scoring (71.7 points), three-point shooting (26.4 percent) and steals (11.6).
8. Minnesota, Big Ten at-large
Record: 21-10, 10-6. Past 10: 6-4.
Coach: Dan Monson (3-1 in NCAAs).
G Vincent Grier, 6-5, Jr. (17.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.4 apg)
G Aaron Robinson, 5-10, Sr. (8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 40 3-pt. FG%)
F Brent Lawson 6-4, Sr. (6.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 49 FG%)
F Dan Coleman 6-9, Fr. (8.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 33 3-pt. FG%)
C Jeff Hagen 7-0, Sr. (11.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.5 bpg)
G Rico Tucker 6-0, Fr. (6.3 ppg, 2 apg, 1.5 spg)
F J'son Stamper, 6-6, Jr. (5.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 17.3 mpg)
C Spencer Tollackson, 6-9, Fr. (3.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 13.3 mpg)
Data: This is the Gophers' first NCAA bid since 1999, and they can thank Grier for it. Grier, a junior college transfer, led the team in scoring, led the conference in steals (2.5 per game) and played 1,034 minutes in the regular season, more than 100 minutes more than his next-closest teammate. He played all 40 minutes in five of the final seven regular season games.
9. Iowa State, Big 12 at-large FIRST- AND SECOND-ROUND GAMES
Record: 18-11, 9-7. Past 10: 7-3.
Coach: Wayne Morgan (first NCAAs).
G Curtis Stinson, 6-2, Soph. (17.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4 apg)
G Will Blalock, 5-11, Soph. (12.8 ppg, 4.1 apg, 79 FT%)
F Rashon Clark, 6-6, Fr. (6.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 73 FT%)
F Damion Staple, 6-8, Sr. (5.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 48 FT%)
C Jared Homan, 6-9, Sr. (13.4 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 36.2 mpg)
G Tasheed Carr, 6-5, Fr. (5.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 8 starts)
G John Neal, 6-4, Jr. (1.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 11.6 mpg)
F Robert Faulkner, 6-8, Soph. (3.7 ppg, 3 rpg, 12.3 mpg)
Data: Morgan was a candidate for Big 12 coach of the year after the team's late seven-game winning streak. Critics noted he also was the coach when they lost six in a row in January. In truth, the winning streak came after he shortened the rotation: The Cyclones used seven players in wins over Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Kansas and six players to beat Nebraska. Homan is the son of an Iowa dairy farmer.
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4. Florida, SEC champion
Record: 23-7, 12-4. Past 10: 8-2.
Coach: Billy Donovan (9-6 in NCAAs).
F David Lee, 6-9, Sr. (13.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 52.8 FG%)
F Corey Brewer, 6-8, Fr. (7.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 50 FG%)
F Al Horford, 6-8, Fr. (6.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 50.4 FG%)
G Matt Walsh, 6-6, Jr. (14.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 43.8 3-pt. FG%)
G Anthony Roberson, 6-1, Jr. (18.6 ppg, 2.4 apg, 40.7 3-pt. FG%)
G Lee Humphrey, 6-2, Soph. (5.1 ppg, 1.1 apg, 35.9 3-pt. FG%)
C Joakim Noah, 6-11, Fr. (3.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 60 FG%)
G Taurean Green, 6-0, Fr. (3.8 ppg, 36.7 FG%, 31.7 3-pt FG%)
Data: After underachieving the past few seasons, the Gators played remarkably well this year despite their youth. Roberson and Walsh can carry them offensively, as both are prolific shooting three-pointers. Lee is an active player around the basket and is very athletic. Noah is the son of former pro tennis player Yannick Noah. Since losing to Michigan State in the 2000 national championship game, the Gators have won only twice in the tournament and have lost four games to lower seeds. Last year, No. 5 seed Florida was upset by No. 12 seed Manhattan, 75-60, in the first round. Three of the Gators' last four losses in the NCAAs were by 13 points or more.
13. Ohio, Mid-American champion
Record: 21-10, 11-7. Past 10: 8-2.
Coach: Tim O'Shea (first NCAAs).
F Sonny Troutman, 6-5, Soph. (12.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 80.6 FT%)
F Terren Harbut, 6-6, Sr. (8.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 71.9 FT%)
F Leon Williams, 6-8, Fr. (11.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 63.9 FG%)
G Mychal Green, 6-4, Jr. (14.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 62 3-pt. FG%)
G Jeremy Fears, 6-3, Fr. (10.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.7 apg)
G Jeff Halbert, 6-5, Jr. (7.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 52 3-pt. FG%)
C Clay McGowen, 6-10, Sr. (1.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 46.9 FG%)
Data: Ohio, which went 10-20 last season and was picked to finish last in a preseason MAC poll, hasn't been to the postseason since 1995, when it went to the NIT and beat George Washington. This is the Bobcats' first NCAA tournament appearance since 1994 and their 11th overall. Williams, a Baltimore native, was the MAC freshman of the year and conference tournament MVP after scoring a career-high 29 points in the final. Ohio assistant coach Kevin Kuwik, an Army captain, was called to active duty in September. He returned from Iraq in time to watch Ohio win the MAC tournament title. He goes back to Mosul on March 22. The Bobcats are wearing pins on their warmups to honor Kuwik.
5. Villanova, Big East at-large
Record: 22-7, 11-5. Past 10: 8-2.
Coach: Jay Wright (0-2 in NCAAs).
G Mike Nardi, 6-1, Soph. (8.7 ppg, 3.8 apg, 31.5 3-pt. FG%)
G Allan Ray, 6-2, Jr. (17.3 ppg, 44.9 FG%, 41.3 3-pt. FG%)
G Randy Foye, 6-3, Jr. (14.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 2.3 spg)
F Curtis Sumpter, 6-7, Jr. (16.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 47.7 FG%)
F Will Sheridan, 6-8, Soph. (5.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 51 FG%)
G Kyle Lowry, 6-0, Fr. (6.7 ppg, 2.1 apg, 2.7 rpg)
F Jason Fraser, 6-10, Jr. (6.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 64.8 FG%)
F Marcus Austin, 6-9, Sr. (1.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 44.4 FG%)
Data: This is the team that many expected to see when Sumpter, Fraser, Ray and Foye enrolled as highly touted freshmen. But injuries, particularly to Fraser, plagued the Wildcats; over the past 23 months, eight surgical procedures were performed on their players. They withstood injuries to Sumpter, Fraser and Nardi this season, and were one of the Big East's hottest teams before a semifinal loss to West Virginia. They won 12 of their final 14 regular season games, including a 21-point blasting of Kansas, and wins over Pittsburgh and Boston College. Villanova, in its first tournament since 1999, is especially dangerous when its outside shots are falling.
12. New Mexico, Mountain West champion
Record: 26-6, 10-4. Past 10: 9-1.
Coach: Ritchie McKay (first NCAAs).
G Troy DeVries, 6-4, Sr. (11.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 47.1 3-pt. FG%)
G Mark Walters, 6-2, Jr. (10.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 39.1 3-pt. FG%)
F Alfred Neale, 6-6, Sr. (10.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 52.3 FG%)
F Danny Granger, 6-8, Sr. (18.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 43.8 3-pt. FG%)
F David Chiotti, 6-9, Jr. (10.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 55.4 FG%)
G Jeff Hart, 6-1, Jr. (1.5 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 31 FG%)
G Tony Danridge, 6-5, Fr. (3.2 ppg, 1 rpg, 53 FG%)
F Kellen Walter, 6-10, Soph. (2.6 ppg, 60 FG%, 50 3-pt. FG%)
Data: It can be argued that New Mexico is one of the least qualified teams in the tournament outside of the schools from low-major conferences. The jury is still very much out on the Lobos because they have a strength of schedule that ranks among the bottom 20 schools in the nation. New Mexico has played lightweights such as West New Mexico, North Carolina A&T, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado and Arkansas Pine Bluff. New Mexico obviously has played Utah tough, beating the Utes by 11 in the regular season. In addition to being one of the nation's most versatile forwards, Granger also is an excellent defender.
FIRST- AND SECOND-ROUND GAMES
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3. Kansas, Big 12 at-large
Record: 23-6, 12-4. Past 10: 5-5.
Coach: Bill Self (13-6 in NCAAs).
G Keith Langford, 6-4, Sr. (14.7 ppg, 2.3 apg, 59 FT%)
G J.R. Giddens, 6-5, Soph. (10.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 41 FG%)
G Aaron Miles, 6-1, Sr. (9.4 ppg, 7.3 apg, 50 3-pt. FG%)
F Wayne Simien, 6-9, Sr. (19.4 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 82 FT%)
F Christian Moody, 6-8, Jr. (6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 58 FG%)
G Michael Lee, 6-3, Sr. (3.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 80% FT)
F Alex Galindo, 6-7, Fr. (4.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 10.3 mpg)
C Sasha Kaun, 6-11, Sr. (2.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 10.6 mpg)
Data: Langford's nickname is "K-freeze," because teammates claim he has ice water in his veins after making so many big shots late in games. He made crucial shots at the end of regulation against Texas Tech, Iowa State and Georgia Tech. But he missed the conference tournament after he bruised a bone in his ankle in the regular season finale, though he is expected back for the NCAAs. The Jayhawks lost three of their games when either Moody, Langford or Simien was injured. Moody is important; he is from former coach Roy Williams's high school in Asheville, N.C., and the two games he missed because of a knee infection started the team on its skid.
14. Bucknell, Patriot League champion
Record: 22-9, 10-4. Past 10: 7-3.
Coach: Pat Flannery (first NCAAs).
G Abe Badmus, 5-11, Soph. (5.6 ppg, 3.8 apg, 2 spg)
G Kevin Bettencourt, 6-2, Jr. (12.7 ppg, 3 rpg, 2.3 apg)
G-F Charles Lee, 6-3, Jr. (12.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 43.8 3-pt. FG%)
F Darren Mastropaolo, 6-8, Fr. (3.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.6 apg)
C Chris McNaughton, 6-11, Soph. (12 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 57.3 FG%)
F John Griffin, 6-0, Fr. (7.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.6 apg)
F Donald Brown, 6-5, Soph. (3.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 54.5 FT%)
F Chris Niesz, 6-8, Sr. (3.1 ppg, 2 rpg, 1 apg)
Data: The Bison qualified for the NCAAs for the first time since 1989 by ending Holy Cross's 16-game winning streak. The 61-57 win capped a dominant defensive performance in the league tournament: The Bison held their three foes to an average of just 42 points per game and 29.8-percent shooting, including 20.7 percent on three-pointers. As for their nonconference schedule, Bucknell lost at Iowa State and Penn and was thrashed, 89-51, at Villanova. But an 11-game win streak in December and January included consecutive victories over Niagara, Saint Joseph's and at then-No. 7 Pittsburgh, the highest-ranked opponent a Bucknell team has ever beaten.
6. Wisconsin, Big Ten at-large
Record: 22-8, 11-5. Past 10: 7-3.
Coach: Bo Ryan (4-3 in NCAAs).
G Clayton Hanson, 6-5, Sr. (6.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 30 mpg)
G Sharif Chambliss, 6-1, Sr. (7.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.6 apg)
F Mike Wilkinson, 6-8, Sr. (14.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 52 FG%)
F Alando Tucker, 6-5, Soph. (15 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 51 FG%)
C Andreas Helmigk, 6-9, Sr. (2.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 10.4 apg)
G Kammron Taylor, 6-2, Soph. (8.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 77 FT%)
G Michael Flowers,. 6-2, Fr. (1.5 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 9 mpg)
F Zach Morley, 6-8, Sr. (6.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 60 FT%)
Data: Though the Badgers led the conference in scoring defense (60.2 points), they had major problems with good individual players. Minnesota's Vincent Grier (32 points), Indiana's Bracey Wright (30), Marquette's Travis Diener (29) and Michigan State's Alan Anderson (28) all had big games against Wisconsin. That's a problem, because the Badgers are 51-5 under Ryan when they give up fewer than 62 points. It doesn't help that defensive stopper Boo Wade left the team in the preseason because of personal reasons. Don't expect much from the guards: In the last six regular season games, Chambliss, Hanson and Taylor averaged 14 points combined.
11. Northern Iowa, Missouri Valley at-large
Record: 21-10, 11-7. Past 10: 7-3.
Coach: Greg McDermott (0-1 in NCAAs).
G Brooks McKowen, 6-2, Soph. (3.6 ppg, 2.3 apg, 1.9 rpg)
G Erik Crawford, 6-3, Jr. (13.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.8 apg)
G Ben Jacobson, 6-3, Jr. (18.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 46.5% 3-pt. FG)
F Eric Coleman, 6-6, Fr. (10.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2 apg)
F Grant Stout, 6-8, Soph. (11.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.4 bpg)
G Chris Foster, 5-10, Sr. (5.7 ppg, 2.8 apg, 1.6 rpg)
G John Little, 6-0, Jr. (4.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1 apg)
C Jon Godfread, 6-10, Sr. (1.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
Data: In addition to playing in an overlooked league, the Panthers lost at Cincinnati in double overtime and at Iowa by three, and thumped Iowa State by 17. But perhaps no result did as much to put UNI in the field as its buzzer-beating, 67-66 win at fellow bubble team Wichita State in the regular-season finale. The Panthers rank 10th nationally in turnovers per game (11.7) and 22nd in field goal percentage (48.5). They have experience, too, returning six of their top eight contributors from last year's NCAA team, which gave Georgia Tech, the eventual national runner-up, all it could handle before losing, 65-60, in the first round.
FIRST- AND SECOND-ROUND GAMES
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2. Connecticut, Big East at-large
Record: 22-7, 13-3. Past 10: 8-2.
Coach: Jim Calhoun (35-14 in NCAAs).
G Marcus Williams, 6-3, Soph. (8.9 ppg, 8 apg, 42.9 3-pt. FG%)
F Denham Brown, 6-6, Jr. (11.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 80.8 FT%)
F Rudy Gay, 6-9, Fr. (11.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 46.2 3-pt. FG%)
F Charlie Villanueva, 6-11, Soph. (13.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 51 FG%)
F-C Josh Boone, 6-10, Soph. (12.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 62.4 FG%)
G-F Rashad Anderson, 6-5, Jr. (13.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 80.5 FT%)
F Hilton Armstrong, 6-11, Jr. (4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 51.4 FG%)
G Antonio Kellogg, 6-3, Fr. (3.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.3 apg)
Data: Early on, the defending national champions seemed to miss gritty Taliek Brown, the school's career assist leader, more than departed all-Americans Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon. U-Conn. was 12-5 at the end of January, but has won 10 of 12 games since then. The emergence of Williams, who missed the second half of last season because of academic difficulties, keyed the Huskies' strong stretch run. He is second in Division I in assists and has an uncanny ability to find Villanueva, Boone and Gay for easy baskets. Anderson missed seven games following complications from a skin abscess on his leg, but returned for the Big East tournament.
15. Central Florida, Atlantic Sun champion
Record: 24-8, 13-7. Past 10: 9-1.
Coach: Kirk Speraw (0-3 in NCAAs).
G Kingsley Edwards, 6-0, Sr. (7.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.1 apg)
G Gary Johnson, 6-2, Sr. (13.2 ppg, 4 apg, 41% 3-pt)
G-F Josh Peppers, 6-6, Soph. (13.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 37% 3-pt)
F Anthony Williams, 6-8, Jr. (11.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 56% FG)
C William Bakanowski, 6-9, Jr. (6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 86% FT)
G Justin Rose, 6-3, Jr. (6.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 50% FG)
G Troy Lindebeck, 6-3, Jr. (3.1 ppg, 72% FT, 10.3 mpg)
F-C Marcus Johnson, 6-7, Jr. (5.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 53% FG)
Data: No wonder Florida is better known for football and baseball: The Golden Knights are the winningest basketball team in the state over the past three seasons. They are 70-25; Florida (68-26) is second, and no one else has more than 50 wins. Still, it's all rather low-profile for Central Florida, which was evicted from its gym for a robotics convention last week. At least the gym was being used by somebody: The school with an enrollment of 44,000 has an average attendance of around 2,000. Don't be surprised to see Central Florida in this space again next year, when transfers from N.C. State, Marquette and North Carolina Wilmington become eligible.
7. Charlotte, Conference USA at-large
Record: 21-7, 12-4. Past 10: 7-3.
Coach: Bobby Lutz (2-4 in NCAAs).
G Mitchell Baldwin, 6-2, Jr. (7.7 ppg, 3.9 apg, 46.4 FG%)
G Brendan Plavich, 6-2, Sr. (13.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 38.4 3-pt FG%)
F Curtis Withers, 6-8, Jr. (18.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 46.9 FG%)
F Eddie Basden, 6-5, Sr. (15.3 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 3.7 apg, 49.3 FG%)
F E.J. Drayton, 6-8, Jr. (8.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 35.8 FG%)
G Leemire Goldwire, 6-1, Fr. (6.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 35.8 FG%)
C Martin Iti, 7-0, Soph. (5.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 52 FG%)
F Chris Nance, 6-8, Jr. (4.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 45.6 FG%)
Data: Lutz has led his alma mater to consecutive 20-win seasons but the 49ers ended the season on a three-game losing streak. All three of those games were away from home. Charlotte spent three straight weeks in the national rankings, peaking at 18 in February, and put together winning streaks of nine and seven games. Withers led the conference in scoring (19.1), Plavich led with 63 three-pointers and Basden led with 53 steals. Withers is a great scorer who draws the bulk of defensive attention while Basden is a terrific all-around point guard who will be a strong candidate for national defensive player of the year.
10. N.C. State, ACC at-large
Record: 19-13, 7-9. Past 10: 6-4.
Coach: Herb Sendek (3-4 in NCAAs).
G Tony Bethel, 6-2, Jr. (8.3 ppg, 4 rpg, 33.6 3-pt. FG%)
G Engin Atsur, 6-3, Soph. (9.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 39.1 3-pt. FG%)
F Julius Hodge, 6-7, Sr. (17 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 49.6 FG%)
F Ilian Evtimov, 6-7, Jr. (9.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 42.6 3-pt. FG%)
F Andrew Brackman, 6-10, Fr. (6.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 48.5 FG%)
F Jordan Collins, 6-10, Sr. (6.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 50 FG%)
F Levi Watkins, 6-8, Sr. (4.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 84.6 FT%)
G Cameron Bennerman, 6-4, Jr. (8.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 39.1 3-pt. FG%)
Data: N.C. State has not lived up to preseason expectations largely because of injuries. Bethel missed almost a month because of colitis, which affected everyone else's roles. State used 11 starting lineups during the regular season; four players missed a total of 18 regular-season games. The Wolfpack is dangerous because it features several proficient three-point shooters. State can lull a team to sleep with its offense or strike quickly with a three-pointer in transition. Hodge is fully capable of taking over a game, but he is also content getting teammates involved. The loss of Collins, who separated his shoulder before the ACC tournament, hurts State.
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