East Region

John Feinstein's Analysis of the East Region
Elsewhere:  West  |  East  |  South

The Seeds
1. North Carolina
2. Georgetown
3. Washington State
4. Texas
5. Southern California
6. Vanderbilt
7. Boston College
8. Marquette
9. Michigan State
10. Texas Tech
11. George Washington
12. Arkansas
13. New Mexico State
14. Oral Roberts
15. Belmont
16. Eastern Kentucky

The Washington Post
Monday, March 12, 2007; Page F18


FIRST- AND SECOND-ROUND GAMES
At Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, N.C.
THURSDAY & SATURDAY    |   TICKETS: SOLD OUT

1. North Carolina

ACC champion

Record: 28-6, 11-5. Past 10: 7-3.

RPI: 2. Schedule: 4. Key Wins: at Arizona, Tennessee, Ohio State

Coach: Roy Williams (42-16 in NCAAs).


Starters
G Ty Lawson, 5-11 Fr. (10.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.4 apg)
G Wayne Ellington, 6-4, Fr. (11.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.3 apg)
F Reyshawn Terry, 6-9, Sr. (9.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.7 apg)
F Brandan Wright, 6-9, Fr. (14.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.1 apg)
C Tyler Hansbrough, 6-9, So. (18.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.1 apg)
Top Reserves
G Marcus Gineyard, 6-5, So. (3.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.6 apg)
F Chris Richard, 6-8, Fr. (4.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.5 apg)

What You Need To Know: Once ranked No. 1 in the country, the Tar Heels are as deep as anyone but showed some flaws late in the ACC season. Aside from Tyler Hansbrough, Carolina showed a lack of toughnesss in losses to Maryland and Georgia Tech. It also has to decide whether it can afford to keep freshman post star Brandan Wright in the game late because of his 55 percent free-throw shootng. Still, UNC has great depth.



16. Eastern Kentucky

Ohio Valley champion

Record: 21-11, 13-7. Past 10: 8-2.

RPI: 126. Schedule: 235. Key Wins: vs. Austin Peay

Coach: Jeff Neubauer (first NCAAs).


Starters
G Adam Leonard, 6-0 Fr. (12.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.7 apg)
G Mike Rose, 6-3, So. (15.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.8 apg)
F Julian Mascoll, 6-4, Sr. (11.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 4.9 apg)
F Michael Brock, 6-7, Sr. (5.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.2 apg)
F Darnell Dialls, 6-8, Jr. (8.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.4 apg)
Top Reserves
F Josh Taylor, 6-7, Fr. (2.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.6 apg)
F Jamaal Douglas, 6-7, Jr. (6.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.1 apg)

What You Need To Know: The Colonels are in the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years after beating Austin Peay in the conference title game. Eastern Kentucky, which made 10 three-pointers in that game, is 15-0 this season when finishing with a better shooting percentage than its opponent. The Colonels' defense allowed the second-feewest points in the league (62.6), and Julian Mascoll was first in steals (2.19).



8. Marquette

Big East at-large

Record: 24-9, 10-6. Past 10: 5-5.

RPI: 22. Schedule: 17. Key Wins: Duke, at Pittsburgh, Villanova

Coach: Tom Crean (4-3 in NCAAs).


Starters
G Dominic James, 5-11, Sr. (14.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.9 apg)
G Jerel McNeal, 6-3, Fr. (14.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.8 apg)
G Wesley Matthews, 6-5, Sr. (12.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.2 apg)
F Ousmane Barro, 6-10, So. (8.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 0.4 apg)
F Lazar Hayward, 6-6, Fr. (6.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 0.3 apg)
Top Reserves
F Dan Fitzgerald, 6-9, Jr. (6.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.7 apg)
G David Cubillan, 6-0, Jr. (5.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.5 apg)

What You Need To Know: Dominic James, Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews are as good a trio of guards as there is the tournament. Their specialty is getting to the basket, not accuracy -- together, they are shooting just 28.8 percent from beyond the arc, and 68.8 percent from the foul line. Dan Fitzgerald (41.6) and David Cubillan (43.0) are the three-point threats. Ousmane Barro is an active rebounder, but is limited offensively.



9. Michigan State

Big Ten at-large

Record: 22-11, 8-8. Past 10: 5-5.

RPI: 24. Schedule: 9. Key Wins: Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana

Coach: Tom Izzo (23-8 in NCAAs).


Starters
G Drew Neitzel, 6-0 Jr. (18.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.1 apg)
G Travis Walton, 6-2, So. (6.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 5.5 apg)
F Raymar Morgan, 6-7, Fr. (11.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.9 apg)
F Marquise Gray, 6-8, So. (6.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.5 apg)
C Goran Sutton, 6-10, So. (9.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.3 apg)
Top Reserves
G Isaiah Dahlman, 6-6, Fr. (4.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.4 apg)
C Idong Ibok, 6-11, So. (2.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.2 apg)

What You Need To Know: The Spartans reached the tournament for the 10th straight year because of their defense (56.3 ppg) and a four-game winning streak toward the end of the season, which included a victory over then-No. 1 Wisconsin. It was the program's first-ever win over a top-ranked team. Drew Neitzel was among the best shooters in the Big Ten, hitting 88 percent of his free throws and conference-best 3.19 three-pointers per game.




FIRST- AND SECOND-ROUND GAMES
At Spokane Memorial Arena, Spokane, Wash.
FRIDAY & SUNDAY    |   TICKETS: SOLD OUT

4. Texas

Big 12 at-large

Record: 24-9, 12-4. Past 10: 9-1

RPI: 26. Schedule: 53. Key Wins: Texas A&M, Texas Tech

Coach: Rick Barnes (14-14 in NCAAs).


Starters
G D.J. Augustin, 5-11 Fr. (15.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 6.8 apg)
G A.J. Abrams, 5-10, S0. (15.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.6 apg)
G Justin Mason, 6-2, Fr. (8.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.0 apg)
F Damion James, 6-7, Fr. (8.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.0 apg)
F Kevin Durant, 6-9, Fr. (25.1 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 1.4 apg)
Top Reserves
G Connor Atchley, 6-9, So. (3.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.7 apg)
F Matt Hill, 6-9, Fr. (2.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.1 apg)

What You Need To Know: Kevin Durant's freshman year has been compared with Larry Bird's. The former All-Met Player of the Year at Montrose Christian is the only player in the nation's top 10 in scoring and rebounding. he averaged 28.7 points and 12.7 rebounds in Big 12 games, and scored 25 in one half at Kansas before hurting his ankle in a four-point loss. He also leads the team in blocks and steals and shoots 43-percent on three-pointers



13. New Mexico State

WAC champion

Record: 25-8, 11-5. Past 10: 7-3.

RPI: 69. Schedule: 154. Key Wins: Nevada, Utah State, Hawaii

Coach: Reggie Theus (first NCAAs).


Starters
C Hatila Passos, 6-9 Jr. (8.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.7 apg)
F Tyrone Nelson, 6-9, Jr. (11.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.1 apg)
G Justin Hawkins, 6-7, Jr. (15.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.3 apg)
G Fred Peete, 6-4, Jr. (10.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.9 apg)
G Elijah Ingram, 6-1, Sr. (9.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.4 apg)
Top Reserves
C Martin Iti, 7-0, Jr. (6.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 0.4 apg)
G David Fisher, 6-6, Sr. (6.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.0 apg)

What You Need To Know: The Aggies return to the tournament for the first time since 1999. Coach Reggie Theus has posted winning records in his first two years in Las Cruces after inheriting a team that went 6-24. Theus has enjoyed success by developing a solid nine-man rotation from a patchwork group of transfers. Justin Hawkins scores the points, but Tyone Nelson and Elijah Ingram are underrated threats.



5. Southern California

Pacific-10 at-large

Record: 23-11, 11-7. Past 10: 5-5.

RPI: 47. Schedule: 43. Key Wins: Arizona, at Arizona, at Oregon

Coach: Tim Floyd (4-5 in NCAAs).


Starters
G Lodrick Stewart, 6-4 Sr. (14.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.3 apg)
G Dwight Lewis, 6-5, Fr. (5.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.2 apg)
G Gabe Pruitt, 6-4, Jr. (12.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.0 apg)
F Nick Young, 6-6, Jr. (17.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.5 apg)
F Taj Gibson, 6-9, Fr. (11.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.6 apg)
Top Reserves
F Daniel Hackett, 6-5, Fr. (4.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.7 apg)
C Abdoulaye N'Diaye, 6-11, Sr. (3.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.1 apg)

What You Need To Know: Coach Tim Floyd is probably a year ahead of schedule with USC, which swept Oregon and twice took UCLA to the wire. The Trojans can get it done on both ends of the floor: They held 17 of their regular season opponents to under 40 percent shooting, and they shot nearly 49 percent during the regular season, the highest for a USC team since 1985. Taj Gibson is a double-double threat.



12. Arkansas

SEC at-large

Record: 21-13, 7-9. Past 10: 6-4.

RPI: 35. Schedule: 10. Key Wins: Southern Illinois, Alabama, Vanderbilt

Coach: Stan Heath (3-2 in NCAAs).


Starters
G Gary Ervin, 6-0 Jr. (9.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.2 apg)
G Patrick Beverly, 6-1, Sr. (14.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.2 apg)
F Sonny Weems, 6-6, Jr. (11.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.1 apg)
F Charles Thomas, 6-8, Jr. (11.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.3 apg)
C Steven Hill, 7-0, Jr. (6.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 0.4 apg)
Top Reserves
F Darian Townes, 6-10, So. (8.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 0.5 apg)
F Vincent Hunter, 6-10, Sr. (3.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.3 apg)

What You Need To Know: The Razorbacks, who relied heavily on just two players (Ronnie Brewer and Jonathon Modica) last season, just missed out on having four players average 10 points for the first time since 1992-1993. Patrick Beverly stepped into a void left by the departure of three 1,000-point career scorers -- Brewer, Modica and Eric Ferguson -- to lead the team in scoring. Steven Hill led the SEC in blocked shots (three per game).



FIRST- AND SECOND-ROUND GAMES
At Arco Arena, Sacramento, Calif.
THURSDAY & SATURDAY    |   TICKETS: SOLD OUT

3. Washington State

Pac-10 at-large

Record: 25-7, 13-5. Past 10: 7-3.

RPI: 25. Schedule: 89. Key Wins: Washington, at Arizona, Gonzaga

Coach: Tony Bennett (first NCAAs).


Starters
G Derrick Low, 6-1 Jr. (13.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.2 apg)
G Kyle Weaver, 6-5, Jr. (11.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.7 apg)
F Daven Harmeling, 6-7, So.. (9.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.0 apg)
F Ivory Clark, 6-5, Sr. (8.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.1 apg)
C Robbie Cowgill, 6-10, Jr. (7.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.1 apg)
Top Reserves
G Taylor Rochestie, 6-1, So. (3.7 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 1.8 apg)
F Aron Baynes, 6-10, So. (4.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.1 apg)

What You Need To Know: Few coaches did a better job than Tony Bennett, who became the first head coach at a current Pacific-10 school to start 7-0 in his first season in more than a half-century. The Cougars, who won six of nine road games against league opponents, ranked among the nation's top five in fewest turnovers and the top 15 in scoring defense. The Cougars held six opponents without a field goal for at least five minutes during games.



14. Oral Roberts

Mid-Continent champion

Record: 23-10, 12-2. Past 10: 8-2.

RPI: 90. Schedule: 165. Key Wins: Kansas

Coach: Scott Sutton (0-1 in NCAAs).


Starters
F Caleb Green, 6-8 Sr. (20.8 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.5 apg)
F Yemi Ogunoye, 6-9, Jr. (2.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.9 apg)
C Shawk King, 6-10, Jr. (7.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.7 apg)
G Ken Tutt, 6-1, Sr. (16.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.5 apg)
G Adam Liberty, 6-2, Jr. (6.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.9 apg)
Top Reserves
F Marchello Vealy, 6-7, So. (7.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.7 apg)
G Moses Ehambe, 6-6, Jr. (7.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 0.7 apg)

What You Need To Know: The Golden Eagles are making their second consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament. Caleb Green, a three-time conference player of the year, is the school's career leading scorer with 2,490 points, and Ken Tutt has 2,000 career points, making them the seventh set of teammates to reach that plateau in NCAA Division I history. Yemi Ogunoye comes from Nigerian royalty. His uncle is king of Owo City.



6. Vanderbilt

SEC at-large

Record: 20-11, 10-6. Past 10: 5-5.

RPI: 46. Schedule: 23. Key Wins: Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky

Coach: Kevin Stallings (3-3 in NCAAs).


Starters
G Dan Cage, 6-5, Sr. (11.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.1 apg)
G Alex Gordon, 5-11, Jr. (7.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.4 apg)
G Derrick Byars, 6-7, Sr. (16.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.3 apg)
F Shan Foster, 6-6, Jr. (15.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.4 apg)
F Ross Neltner, 6-9, Jr. (9.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.2 apg)
Top Reserves
F Ted Skuchas, 6-10, Sr. (3.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.4 apg)
C Jermaine Beal, 6-3, Fr. (3.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.8 apg)

What You Need To Know: The Commodores rely heavily on the three-pointer. "I am certain that if you don't take away their threes, you will have a very difficult time beating them," South Carolina Coach Dave Odom said before Vanderbilt made 16 of 30 three-point shots against the Gamecocks on Feb. 28. Cage, Byars and Foster each was among the SEC's three-point leaders, and nine players made at least one three-pointer this season.



11. George Washington

Atlantic 10 champion

Record: 23-8, 11-5. Past 10: 8-2.

RPI: 71. Schedule: 156. Key Wins: Virginia Tech, Saint Louis, Rhode Island.

Coach: Karl Hobbs (1-2 in NCAAs).


Starters
F Dokun Akingbade, 6-9 Sr. (7.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.0 apg)
F Regis Koundjia, 6-8, Sr. (7.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.5 apg)
G Damian Hollis, 6-8, Fr. (5.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.8 apg)
G Carl Elliott, 6-4, Sr. (13.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.0 apg)
G Maureece Rice, 6-1, Jr. (16.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.1 apg)
Top Reserves
F Rob Diggs, 6-8, So. (11.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.1 apg)
G Travis King, 6-2, Fr. (5.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.4 apg)

What You Need To Know: The Colonials are playing their best basketball of the season after a four-game midseason losing streak looked like it had ended their NCAA chances. Carl Elliott provides the kind of smart point guard play essential to tournament success, and Maureece Rice is a pure scorer who is playing well. GW has stepped it up on defense, spurred by freshman Damian Hollis and Travis King.



FIRST- AND SECOND-ROUND GAMES
At Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, N.C.
THURSDAY & SATURDAY    |   TICKETS: 312-455-4667

2. Georgetown

Big East champion

Record: 26-6, 13-3. Past 10: 9-1.

RPI: 9. Schedule: 14. Key Wins: Notre Dame, Marquette, Pittsburgh

Coach: John Thompson III (2-3 in NCAAs).


Starters
G Jonathan Wallace, 6-1 Jr. (11.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.9 apg)
G Jessie Sapp, 6-3, So. (8.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.3 apg)
F DaJuan Summers, 6-8, Fr. (8.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.9 apg)
F Jeff Green, 6-9, Jr. (13.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 3.5 apg)
C Roy Hibbert, 7-2, Jr. (12.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 0.9 apg)
Top Reserves
F Patrick Ewing Jr., 6-8, Jr. (4.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.0 apg)
G Jeremiah Rivers, 6-3, Fr. (4.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.6 apg)

What You Need To Know:The Hoyas shot 50.8 percent from the field, which put them among the top five nationally and marked only the second time in 20 seasons that they made more than half of their shots. Do-it-all Jeff Green was the Big East player of the year, and Roy Hibbert would have led the nation in field goal percentage (68.8) if he had made enough field goals to qualify. Four starters shoot 70 percent or better from the foul line.



15. Belmont

Atlantic Sun champion

Record: 23-9, 14-4. Past 10: 9-1.

RPI: 16. Schedule: 262. Key Wins: vs. Rice, at East Tennessee

Coach: Rick Byrd (0-1 in NCAAs).


Starters
G Justin Hare, 6-2, Jr. (14.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.7 apg)
G Josh Goodwin, 6-3, Jr. (6.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.4 apg)
G Henry Harris, 6-1, So. (5.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.1 apg)
F Matthew Dotson, 6-8, So. (7.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.4 apg)
C Andrew Preston, 6-10, Sr. (8.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 apg)
Top Reserves
F Andy Wicke, 6-2, So. (9.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.7 apg)
F Boomer Herndon, 6-10, Sr. (10.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.5 apg)

What You Need To Know: Justin Hare was the conference tournament MVP two years in a row. He made five baskets as time expired either to force overtime or win the game last season. Boomer Herndon transferred after two season at Tennessee. As a high school senior in Tennessee, he led the state in rebounds and blocked shots per game. The Bruins have boasted at least a 3.0 grade-point average for 12 straight seasons.



7. Boston College

ACC at-large

Record: 20-11, 10-6. Past 10: 5-5.

RPI: 32. Schedule: 11. Key Wins: Michigan State, Maryland, Virginia Tech

Coach: Al Skinner (6-7 in NCAAs).


Starters
G Tyrese Rice, 6-1 Sr. (17.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.7 apg)
G Sean Marshall, 6-6, S0. (14.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.0 apg)
G Tyler Roche, 6-7, Sr. (1.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.6 apg)
F Jared Dudley, 6-7, Sr. (19.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.0 apg)
F John Oates, 6-10, Sr. (4.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 0.8 apg)
Top Reserves
F Shamari Spears, 6-6, Jr. (7.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.9 apg)
C Tyrelle Blair, 6-11, Sr. (2.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.2 apg)

What You Need To Know: The Eagles were left for dead once shot-blocker Sean Williams was kicked off the team in January, but Jared Dudley and Tyrese Rice kept them afloat. The Eagles lost a nail-biter to Villanova in last year's region semifinals and have been to the last five NCAA tournaments, never advancing past the round of 16. All of BC's starters can shoot three-pointers, but the offense flows through Rice and Dudley.



10. Texas Tech

Big 12 at-large

Record: 21-12, 9-7. Past 10: 6-4.

RPI: 53. Schedule: 39. Key Wins: Kansas, Texas A&M, at Kansas State

Coach: Bob Knight (45-24 in NCAAs).


Starters
G Martin Zeno, 6-5, Sr. (16.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.3 apg)
G Jarrius Jackson, 6-1, Fr. (20.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.7 apg)
G Charlie Burgess, 6-1, Jr. (8.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.6 apg)
F Jon Plefka, 6-8, Fr. (6.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.7 apg)
C Darryl Doya, 6-9, Jr. (5.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.5 apg)
Top Reserves
F Decensae White, 6-6, Jr. (4.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.6 apg)
G Alan Voskuil, 6-3, Fr. (3.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.9 apg)

What You Need To Know: How up-and-down are the Red Raiders? Between Jan. 13 and Feb. 13 they beat three top 10 opponents -- and lost their six other games, including at Baylor and at home to Nebraska. They won five of their last six in the regular season -- after losing five straight. The motion offense relies on Jarrius Jackson, who ended the regular season 87 points short of becoming the Big 12's career leading scorer.



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