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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT | TODAY'S GAMES

West Regional

March 20, 1997|JASON REID

* No. 6 Stanford (22-7) vs. No. 2 Utah (28-3)--The Bay Area edge might not be enough for the Cardinal, whose campus is about 15 miles north of San Jose, site of the West Regional semifinals. Stanford advanced to its first Sweet 16 because of the sparkling play of point guard Brevin Knight and its reserve of big bodies. All-American forward Keith Van Horn presents matchup problems for the Cardinal, and center Michael Doleac can't be ignored. And Knight didn't face anyone as good as Utah point guard Andre Miller during the first two rounds.

* No. 1 Kentucky (32-4) vs. No. 4 St. Joseph's (26-6)--The Wildcats aren't as talented as last season's champions, but St. Joseph's is about to learn that they are still formidable. The Hawks' biggest problem figures to be Kentucky's relentless defense. Point guard Rashid Bey is a capable floor leader, and he should be able to break the press by himself occasionally, but then what? The problems Kentucky poses don't stop after the ball crosses midcourt. Ron Mercer, Kentucky's All-American forward, is yet to have a monster game in the tournament. Wildcat Coach Rick Pitino said Wednesday that star swingman Derek Anderson, out since Jan. 18 because of torn knee ligament, will not play. Forward Allen Edwards' season is also over. X-rays Tuesday night revealed an ankle fracture.

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