FIRST- AND SECOND-ROUND GAMES
at Spokane (Wash.) Arena
THURSDAY & SATURDAY | TICKETS: SOLD OUT
Record: 23-8 (14-4). Past 10: 7-3.
Coach: Mike Montgomery (14-10 in NCAAs).
G Julius Barnes, 6-1, Sr. (15.7 ppg, 3.8 apg, 82.9 FT%)
G Matt Lottich, 6-4, Jr. (11.1 ppg, 3.1 apg, 39.4 3-pt. FG%)
F Josh Childress, 6-8, Soph. (14.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 43.3 FG%)
F Justin Davis, 6-9, Jr. (10.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 55.7 FG%)
C Rob Little, 6-10, Soph. (8.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 56.4 FG%)
F Nick Robinson, 6-6, Soph. (4.6 ppg, 4 rpg, 48.4 FG%)
F Dan Grunfeld, 6-6, Fr. (4 ppg, 77.8 FT%, 44.1 FG%)
F Joe Kirchofer, 6-9, Jr. (2.2 ppg, 76.2 FT%, 55.6 FG%)
Data: Stanford improved on last year's regular season record and makes its ninth straight tournament. Barnes, the only returning starter, has shined at point guard after Chris Hernandez rebroke his foot in December. The team has the Pacific-10's best scoring defense (66.8 ppg), has five players with 20 or more steals and has outrebounded all but six opponents. Despite embarrassing early-season losses to Montana and Richmond, the Cardinal beat five ranked teams (Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Xavier), is 8-4 in games decided by five points or less and has won six games in which it trailed by at least 16 points.
West Coast champion
Record: 18-11 (10-4). Past 10: 8-2.
Coach: Brad Holland (0-0 in NCAAs).
F Corey Belser, 6-6, Soph. (4.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 41.5 FG%)
F Jason Blair, 6-7, Sr. (16.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 52.1 FG%)
C Jason Keep, 6-10, Sr. (18.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 61.8 FG%)
G Roy Morris, 6-2, Sr. (12.4 ppg, 3.3 apg, 41.9 3-pt.%)
G Matt Delzell, 6-2, Sr. (8 ppg, 3 rpg, 50 3-pt.%)
F Nick Lewis, 6-10, Fr. (8.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 47.1 FG%)
G Mike McGrain, 6-3, Soph. (1.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.7 apg)
G Derek Stockalper, 6-4, Fr. (2.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 33.3 FG%)
Data: The Toreros, who are making their first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1987, earned the automatic bid by unseating four-time WCC tournament champion Gonzaga in the final to earn the school's first WCC tournament title. Keep, the tournament's most valuable player, led the conference in rebounding and field goal percentage and was second in scoring. San Diego was the top scoring team in the WCC, averaging 75.7 points. Keep and the rest of the team struggle at the free throw line. Keep makes 56 percent of his foul shots. As a team, San Diego is shooting 66.1 percent from the free throw line.
Big East at-large
Record: 21-9 (10-6). Past 10: 6-4.
Coach: Jim Calhoun (27-13 in NCAAs).
G Taliek Brown, 6-1, Jr. (7.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5 3-pt. FG%)
G Ben Gordon, 6-2, Soph. (19.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 80 FT%)
F Denham Brown, 6-5, Fr. (8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 22 mpg)
F Emeka Okafor, 6-9, Soph. (16.1 ppg, 11 rpg, 4.8 bpg)
C Hilton Armstrong, 6-10, Fr. (3.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 12.1 mpg)
G Tony Robertson, 6-2, Soph. (10.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 81 FT%)
F Rashad Anderson, 6-4, Fr. (8.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 14.2 mpg)
F Shamon Tooles, 6-5, Jr. (2.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 12 mpg)
Data: Okafor and Calhoun rang the bell to begin the New York Stock Exchange before the Big East tournament last week. It was quite an honor for Calhoun, who missed two weeks in February because of prostate cancer surgery. It also was an honor for Okafor -- he is a finance major in the school's honors program and has a 3.73 cumulative grade-point average. He leads the nation in blocked shots, and only four starting centers have made more than 50 percent of their shots against him this year. But his roommate, Gordon, wasn't exactly thrilled about being named second-team all-conference. "It's an honor, I guess," he said last week.
Mountain West at-large
Record: 23-8 (11-3). Past 10: 7-3.
Coach: Steve Cleveland (0-1 in NCAAs).
G Travis Hansen, 6-6, Sr. (16.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 apg)
G Kevin Woodberry, 6-0, Jr. (6.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.3 apg)
F Mark Bigelow, 6-7, Jr. (13.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 44.4 3-pt. FG%)
F Jared Jensen, 6-9, Soph. (8.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 59.3 FG%)
C Rafael Araujo, 6-11, Jr. (11.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 57.7 FG%)
G Ricky Bower, 6-4, Jr. (5.6 ppg, 1.5 apg, 88.9 FT%)
G Terry Nashif, 5-10, Soph. (2.2 ppg, 2.3 apg, 41.7% 3-pt. FG%)
F Jake Shoff, 6-9, Jr. (2.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 58.5 FG%)
Data: Lone senior Hansen showed why he was the Mountain West co-defensive player of the year March 3, limiting New Mexico's Ruben Douglas, the nation's leading scorer, to 7-for-22 shooting, including 1 for 7 on three-point attempts. Hansen's versatility made him the only consensus conference first-team member besides Douglas. The Cougars are 16th in the nation (39.2%) in three-point shooting and are 19th in free throw shooting (75.2%). They won 20 games for the third time under MWC coach of the year Cleveland, who took over after they went 1-25 in 1996-97.