Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT

West Regional

March 15, 1997|JASON REID

* No. 1 Kentucky (31-4) vs. No. 8 Iowa (22-9)--Kentucky coasted into the second round with a 92-54 victory over Montana. Big surprise. The Wildcats were alert and at the top of their game--so much so that standout forward Ron Mercer didn't have to do much. Mercer stayed in the flow of the game and scored 16 points. His presence and considerable talent gives Kentucky a big edge over the rest of the West Regional field. But the biggest problems the Wildcats pose is their overall athleticism and aggressive defensive concept. Coach Rick Pitino insists this Wildcat team isn't as good as last season's NCAA champion, but the press is still the college game's biggest terror weapon. Kentucky might not be as deep as Pitino would like, but it has more than enough to keep moving on. Iowa did the Big Ten proud in the first round, defeating Virginia of the Atlantic Coast Conference, 73-60. Hawkeye Coach Tom Davis simply doesn't lose tournament openers. He is undefeated in 10 first-round games. However, that won't matter against Kentucky. Standout guard Andre Woolridge, who scored 17 points against Virginia, will be on the spot against Kentucky's press. Woolridge has the talent to get the job done. For a while, anyway.

* No. 5 Boston College (22-8) vs. No. 4 St. Joseph's (25-6)--Boston College defeated Valparaiso, 73-66, in the first round but the game was much tighter than Eagle Coach Jim O'Brien would have liked. Boston College, which won the Big East Conference tournament, made its free throws down the stretch, but might have big problems if it faces a similar situation against St. Joseph's. Boston College also opened the tournament with a victory last season. Then it lost in the second round, so O'Brien isn't looking to the past for answers. A big game from standout forward Danya Abrams would help. St. Joseph's also struggled in its first-round game, a 75-65 victory over Pacific. Rashid Bey might be the best point guard in the West Regional, and here is his chance to gain some supporters.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|