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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT | MIDWEST REGIONAL

Today's Games / At Oklahoma City

March 15, 1998|CHRIS DUFRESNE

* Kansas (35-3) vs. Rhode Island (23-8): Jim Harrick's undersized Rams sparkled in a first-round win over Murray State, but they're in trouble here. Six-foot-nine forward Antonio Reynolds-Dean had a 16-point, seven-rebound, four-block performance against Murray State, but he'll be hard-pressed to match that against a Kansas interior manned by 6-11 All-American center Raef LaFrentz. The Jayhawks might actually have to break a sweat today after defeating Prairie View by 58 points. The Panthers scored their first basket with 13:37 left in the first half. Rhode Island won't take that long to get started, but it's difficult to see how the Rams win this game.

* Valparaiso (22-9) vs. Florida State (18-13): Bryce Drew's last-second three-pointer to beat Mississippi is the shot of the tournament so far and Valparaiso is this year's feel-good story, son Drew playing his heart out for his father/coach, Homer. If Valparaiso makes it to the Sweet 16, CBS feature editors may need to send out for sedatives. And who says the Crusaders can't do it? The Seminoles stumbled into the tournament, losing six of their last seven games. But the lowest-seeded at-large team in the field proved it belonged with its first-round victory against Texas Christian. Florida State would figure to have too many top-rate athletes for Valparaiso, but the same could have been said for Mississippi. The Crusaders need to control Seminoles Corey Louis and Randell Jackson, who scored 20 points each against the Horned Frogs.

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