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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT

Scouting Report

NORTH CAROLINA (34-3 vs. UTAH (29-3); ALAMODOME, SAN ANTONIO: Today, 5 p.m. (approximate) Ch. 2

March 28, 1998|GREG SANDOVAL

UTAH: THE STARTERS

No. 34: Drew Hansen

No. 13: Hanno Mottola

No. 24: Andre Miller

No. 50: Alex Jensen

No. 51: Michael Doleac

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* About Utah: The secret is out. This is much more than a team of tall, lumbering players. "That is one of the biggest misconceptions about Utah," New Mexico Coach Dave Bliss said. "Everybody looks at them and believes they can't run and jump. But play them and they'll surprise you." Few will be surprised now, after Utah's 76-51 upset of Arizona last week. Utah has been most effective attacking pressing defenses like the ones Arizona, West Virginia and Arkansas threw at them. The Utes are one of the tallest teams (the average height is 6 feet 5) and passed easily over the press or let Andre Miller drive through it. On defense, Coach Rick Majerus has conjured up some of the best game plans in the tournament. The Utes stuffed Arizona's vaunted offense with a triangle-and-two defense.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

UTE STATISTICS

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No. Player Pos. FG% FT% Reb. Ast. Pts. 51 Michael Doleac C .481 .804 6.9 0.4 15.9 24 Andre Miller G .569 .756 5.0 4.8 14.0 13 Hanno Mottola F .497 .752 5.6 0.9 12.7 50 Alex Jensen F .440 .753 5.8 2.4 6.6 34 Drew Hansen F/G .455 .643 2.8 2.2 5.8 21 Trace Canton F/G .473 .833 1.2 0.8 4.3 3 David Jackson G .417 .778 1.6 1.6 3.3 11 Jordie McTavish G .362 .724 0.8 1.0 3.0 31 Britton Johnsen F .436 .480 1.4 0.5 2.8 40 Jon Carlisle F .565 .618 2.1 0.3 2.4 52 Nate Althoff C .667 .462 1.9 0.1 1.9 45 Greg Barratt F .306 .500 1.9 0.1 1.3 Totals .483 .736 36.8 14.6 70.2

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*

NORTH CAROLINA: THE STARTERS:

No. 15: Vince Carter

No. 33: Antawn Jamison

No. 5: Ed Cota

No. 13: Ademola Okulaja

No. 4: Makhtar Ndiaye

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* About North Carolina: Aside from being a little soft defending against the three-point shot and very occasional glitches in their rebounding, the Tar Heels are the hottest and most talented team in the tournament. Although all four coaches are making their first Final Four appearances as head coaches, Bill Guthridge was Dean Smith's chief assistant through 10 previous Final Four games. North Carolina has stars all around. With Antawn Jamison, a shoo-in for player of the year; Vince Carter, Ed Cota and swingman Shammond Williams, you have the most balanced attack in the country.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

TAR HEEL STATISTICS

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No. Player Pos. FG% FT% Reb. Ast. Pts. 33 Jamison F .594 .680 10.4 0.8 22.6 3 Williams G .501 .904 3.1 4.3 16.9 15 Carter G .592 .679 5.1 2.0 15.4 13 Okulaja F .416 .623 5.5 2.2 8.1 5 Cota G .497 .823 3.4 7.4 8.0 4 Ndiaye C .492 .667 4.1 0.8 6.0 00 Haywood C .531 .635 2.5 0.2 3.1 50 Bersticker C .556 .900 1.4 0.3 2.7 24 Owens G .387 .500 0.9 0.2 1.4 21 Newby G .471 .250 0.2 0.6 1.2 11 Brooker G .211 .500 0.5 0.4 0.6 35 Frederick G .333 .500 0.7 0.4 0.4 Totals .525 .713 39.4 13.3 83.0

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* Keys to the game: The Tar Heels have to spread the court to allow their guards to penetrate. Utah is one of the nation's best teams at cutting off the passing lanes, and Michael Doleac and Hanno Mottola will force shooters to alter shots if they are allowed to camp under the basket. Utah has made many transition baskets by beating full-court defensive pressure, so it's to North Carolina's advantage to get into a half-court game. The Tar Heels are quicker and almost as big and if they make the effort to rebound--the way Utah does--they should take away many of Utah's second and third shots. Utah needs to be patient and work the ball into Doleac and Mottola for high-percentage shots and not fall into a three-point shooting trap that Connecticut and Michigan State did. The Spartans made six of their 25 three-point shots and the Huskies were eight of 24.

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