FIRST- AND SECOND-ROUND GAMES
at FleetCenter, Boston
FRIDAY & SUNDAY | TICKETS: SOLD OUT
Big East champion
Record: 26-4 (13-3). Past 10: 9-1.
Coach: Ben Howland (2-2 in NCAAs).
G Julius Page, 6-3, Jr. (12.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 37 3-pt%)
G Brandin Knight, 6-0, Sr. (10.8 ppg, 7.2 apg, 53 FT%)
G Jaron Brown, 6-4, Jr. (10.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 51 FG%)
F Ontario Lett, 6-6, Sr. (10.2 ppg, 5 rpg, 64 FG%)
F Dontas Zavackas, 6-8, Sr. (10 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 79 FT%)
G Carl Krauser, 6-2, Fr. (6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 35 3-pt. FG%)
F Chevon Troutman, 6-7, Soph. (11.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 59 FT%)
C Toree Morris, 6-10, Jr. (3.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 44 FT%)
Data: The school's official sports Web site has information on the exact time and dates of the Final Four games; those dates also were added to Pittsburgh's schedule in the media notes. Not that tournament success would be anything new for the players: All but two of the 15 won postseason titles while in high school. Knight led his team to three state titles in New Jersey; he and older brother Brevin, a standout at Stanford, are among the highest-scoring sibling tandems in college basketball history. They combined for 3,056 points entering the Big East tournament last week. Pittsburgh wins with defense -- it held 13 opponents to 60 or fewer points this season.
Record: 21-10 (14-4). Past 10: 8-2.
Coach: Dereck Whittenburg (first NCAAs).
G Courtney Pritchard, 6-0, Jr. (10.3 ppg, 5.1 apg, 3.3 rpg)
G Teione Carroll, 6-2, Jr. (9.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.6 apg)
G Dedrick Dye, 6-0, Sr. (12.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.3 apg)
F Jermaine Hall, 6-5, Sr. (21.6 pp, 7.2 rpg, 57.8 FG%)
F Nigel Wyatte, 6-9, Jr. (11.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg)
F Sean Munson, 6-8, Soph. (6.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 63.5 FG%)
G DeEarnest McLemore, 6-1, Fr. (2.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg)
Data: The Seahawks, who last season made their first NIT appearance in 23 years, are in the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. Whittenburg, who played high school basketball at DeMatha, is best remembered for his desperation shot that teammate Lorenzo Charles grabbed and slammed to give North Carolina State the victory over heavily favored Houston in the 1983 NCAA championship game. Wagner limped into the NEC tournament with two straight losses, including one by 16 points to Long Island on Feb. 27. During the regular season, the Seahawks played two teams from the Washington area -- beating American, 69-55, and losing to Maryland, 79-57.
Big Ten at-large
Record: 20-12 (8-8). Past 10: 6-4.
Coach: Mike Davis (5-2 in NCAAs).
G Tom Coverdale, 6-2, Sr. (11.3 ppg, 4.4 apg, 3.6 rpg)
G Marshall Strickland, 6-2, Fr. (6.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.0 apg)
G Bracey Wright, 6-3, Fr. (17.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 39% 3-pt. FG)
F Jeff Newton, 6-9, Sr. (14. 9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.6 bpg)
C George Leach, 6-11, Jr. (6.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.6 bpg)
G A.J. Moye, 6-3, Jr. (5.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 52% FG)
F Kyle Hornsby, 6-5, Sr. (7.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 38% 3-pt. FG)
F Sean Kline, 6-8, Fr. (3.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 44% FG)
Data: Indiana started with 10 straight wins, including a victory in the rematch of last year's title game with Maryland. As impressive as they looked in 2002, that's how bad the Hoosiers played in the new year, when they suffered through a 2-7 stretch and lost to the Big Ten's two worst teams. Led by the gritty Coverdale, whom Davis calls "the ultimate Indiana basketball player," the Hoosiers have the talent to make another improbable run. Strickland's emergence at point guard moved Coverdale to shooting guard and gives Indiana two solid distributors. The one constant for Indiana has been perimeter defense -- opponents shot only 28 percent beyond the arc.
Record: 17-11 (7-9). Past 10: 4-6.
Coach: Mark Gottfried (1-3 in NCAAs).
G Maurice Williams, 6-1, Soph. (15.7 ppg, 4.0 apg, 83.9 FT%)
G Antoine Pettway, 6-0, Jr. (6.1 ppg, 2.4 apg, 41.7 3-pt. FG%)
F Kennedy Winston, 6-7, Fr. (11.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 21.3 3-pt. FG%)
F Kenny Walker, 6-9, Sr. (9. 4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.7 bpg)
C Erwin Dudley, 6-8, Sr. (15.0 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 52.4 FG%)
G Terrance Meade, 6-2, Sr. (4.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 33.3 FG%)
G Earnest Shelton, 6-2, Soph. (4.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 45.0 FT%)
F Emmett Thomas, 6-4, Jr. (6.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 40.3 FG%)
Data: Getting into the tournament represents another upturn in a wildly fluctuating season. Alabama attained its first No.1 ranking ever just in time for Christmas. Shortly thereafter came victories over Xavier and Mississippi State, but then the Crimson Tide started to get rolled in conference play, losing five of its next six games. While Williams added scoring to his point guard duties, others, particularly Meade, did not adequately come to the fore. Eventually, sixth-man sparkplug Pettway was moved into the starting lineup, and he helped the team to a 4-3 regular season finish that -- along with an RPI rating of 33 -- rescued the Tide's postseason hopes.