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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT

West Regional

March 14, 1997|JASON REID

* No. 6 Stanford (20-7) vs. No. 11 Oklahoma (19-10)--Cardinal point guard Brevin Knight rarely played to his reputation this season but he loves the NCAA stage. Stanford is also loaded with solid shooters. Is this the year Oklahoma Coach Kelvin Sampson finally breaks through in the tournament? Sampson is 0-3 and would like to bring at least one fond NCAA memory back to Norman.

* No. 3 Wake Forest (23-6) vs. No. 14 St. Mary's (23-7)--Even if the game quickly gets away from St. Mary's, which it could, the matchup at center between Wake Forest's Tim Duncan and St. Mary's Brad Millard should be fun to watch. Duncan, 6 feet 10 and 250 pounds, is everyone's All-American. Millard is 7-3, 345 pounds. His nickname is Big Continent, which makes sense. Wake Forest Coach Dave Odom has been waiting for his perimeter players to get rolling. Now would be a good time.

* No. 7 North Carolina Charlotte (21-8) vs. No. 10 Georgetown (20-9)--Georgetown Coach John Thompson is making his 20th tournament appearance. However, North Carolina Charlotte is seeded higher under first-year Coach Melvin Watkins. Three Charlotte players average double figures in scoring, led by forward DeMarco Johnson at 19.6. Georgetown won the Big East 7 but often struggled to score. Remember that 17-point loss to Pacific? Guard Victor Page led the Big East by averaging 22.8 points, but shot only 38.3%.

* No. 2 Utah (26-3) vs. No. 15 Navy (20-8)--Navy has a strong Southland connection, with five players from Los Angeles on the team. Hassan Booker, a 6-3 power forward, averages 8.5 rebounds. Utah was ranked second in the final regular-season poll. All-American forward Keith Van Horn is on a big-time roll and point guard Andre Miller is fast becoming one of the nation's best at his position. Coach Rick Majerus is 5-0 in first-round games. It looks like anchors away for Navy.

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