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It Would Have Blue-Deviled Them to Go Elsewhere

SPORTS EXTRA / SELECTION DAY REPORT: NCAA Tournament

March 08, 1999|ROBYN NORWOOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

* Player to watch: Center Danny Moore, a 6-10 center, is good enough to often have defenses designed to stop him.

* Tidbit: This is Steve Alford's team, and perhaps his last at Southwest Missouri State. The former Indiana guard has been rumored all season as a likely replacement for Tom Davis at Iowa.

* NCAA bio: One victory in five previous appearances, all under coach Charlie Spoonhour, who recently stepped down as coach at Saint Louis.

13. DELAWARE (25-5)

* First-round opponent: Tennessee.

* Season in brief: Beat Drexel to win the America East tournament and reach the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row under Coach Mike Brey, a former assistant to Mike Krzyzewski. Brey has relied heavily on transfers, with eight in his first four seasons at the school.

* Player to watch: Mike Pegues, a 6-5 junior forward, was among the nation's top 15 scorers at 22 points a game.

* Tidbit: Delaware has three players from Senegal on its roster--and only two from Delaware.

* NCAA bio: Lost to Purdue by 39 points in first round last season. Blue Hens have not won a game in three appearances.

14. GEORGE MASON (19-10)

* First-round opponent: Cincinnati.

* Season in brief: An athletic, run-and-press team, the Patriots started 1-5 but won their last 10. Point guard Jason Miskiri, a boyhood friend of Maryland's Steve Francis in Takoma Park, Md., made a 25-foot shot with a minute left in the Colonial Athletic Assn. tournament final to beat Old Dominion. Among the teams to beat George Mason: Villanova, College of Charleston and Penn State.

* Player to watch: Sophomore center George Evans is a 28-year-old Gulf War veteran who spent seven years in the Army before becoming the CAA player of the year this season.

* Tidbit: Notable former coaches at Fairfax, Va., school include Paul Westhead, Rick Barnes and Joe Harrington.

NCAA bio: Only other trip was 1989, when Patriots lost to Indiana in the first round.

15. LAFAYETTE (22-7 )

* First-round opponent: Miami (Fla.).

* Season in brief: The team's prospects looked dim when the Leopards' best player, Stefan Ciosici, tore a ligament in his knee before the season. But Lafayette not only recovered, it reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1957, beating Bucknell in the Patriot League tournament final to qualify.

* Player to watch: Junior guard Brian Ehlers was the Patriot League player of the year.

* Tidbit: The Leopards have come a long way in a short while: They won only two games in 1994-95.

* NCAA bio: Lost opening game to Syracuse in 1957 in only other appearance.

16. FLORIDA A&M (12-18)

* First-round opponent: Duke.

* Season in brief: The only team in the tournament with a losing record, the Rattlers earned their bid by beating South Carolina State in a close Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament final.

* Player to watch: Guard Monroe Pippens.

* Tidbit: Located in Tallahassee along with Florida State, the school is known locally as FAMU.

* NCAA bio: First appearance.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

EAST REGIONAL

First-Round Matchups

1. Duke (32-1)

16. Florida A&M (12-18)

*

8. COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (28-2)

9. TULSA (22-9)

*

4. TENNESSEE (20-8)

13. DELAWARE (25-5)

*

5. WISCONSIN (22-9)

12. SW MISSOURI STATE (20-10)

*

2. MIAMI (22-6)

15. LAFAYETTE (22-7 )

*

7. TEXAS (19-12)

10. PURDUE (19-12)

*

3. CINCINNATI (26-5)

14. GEORGE MASON (19-10)

*

6. TEMPLE (21-10)

11. KENT (23-6)

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