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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT

Today's Games

March 23, 1997|CHRIS DUFRESNE

No. 4 Arizona (22-9) vs. No. 10 Providence (24-11)--Dreams of a Kansas-Duke final have dissolved into this unlikely matchup. Providence took care of No. 2 Duke in the second round while Arizona shocked No. 1 Kansas in Friday night's Southeast Regional semifinal. The Wildcats say there won't be a letdown following their upset victory over the Jayhawks, but we'll see. The subplot to watch is the point guard battle between Arizona freshman Mike Bibby and Providence sophomore God Shammgod. Bibby had 21 points and five assists in the Wildcats' victory over Kansas, while Shammgod had 15 points and seven assists in the Friars' sloppy semifinal victory over Tennessee Chattanooga. Arizona Coach Lute Olson almost lost his lunch at Saturday's press conference when Bibby revealed the game plan of laying off Shammgod and making him take the outside shot. "See, he is still a freshman," Olson remarked of Bibby. Key statistics worth noting: Providence senior forward Austin Croshere has averaged 26.3 points and seven rebounds in three tournament games and has made 103 of 108 free throws (95.3%) since Jan. 19. Arizona's sophomore forward A.J. Bramlett is averaging 13 points and 12.3 rebounds per tournament game.

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