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SPORTS EXTRA / SELECTION-DAY REPORT / NCAA TOURNAMENT

The Men's Field, Region By Region

March 13, 2000

WEST

Thursday, Saturday:

Salt Lake City and Tucson

* Fast Fact: Indiana State, seeded 12th, hasn't been to the NCAAs since Larry Bird led them to the 1979 title game, when it lost to Magic Johnson and Michigan State.

* Sleeper: Fourth-seeded Louisiana State, one of four teams that shared the SEC championship, is in the same region as top-seeded Arizona, which lost to the Tigers this season.

TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES: R4

MIDWEST

Thursday, Saturday:

Cleveland and Minneapolis

* Fast Fact: Valparaiso has pulled off upsets before. Two years ago, Bryce Drew's buzzer-beater got the 13th-seeded Crusaders past Mississippi. This time Valparaiso's seeded 16th, and no No. 16 team has won a tournament game.

* Sleeper: Ball State. Alumnus David Letterman made a quick return from bypass surgery. Can Ball State stave off a quick exit?

TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES: R4

EAST

Friday, Sunday:

Winston-Salem, N.C. and Buffalo, N.Y.

* Fast Fact: Watch out Duke. The top-seeded team from the East hasn't won the tournament since North Carolina in 1993.

* Sleeper: Seton Hall, which figured its 20 wins would be enough for an invitation despite a late-season slump, turned out to be right. If the Pirates, seeded No. 10, can play like they did earlier this season, they could surprise.

TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES: R7

SOUTH

Friday, Sunday:

Nashville and Birmingham, Ala.

* Fast Fact: North Carolina (18-13) survived its highest number of losses since 1989-90 to extend its record streak of NCAA appearances to 26 in a row.

* Sleeper: North Carolina. Despite the poor record, the Tar Heels can never be counted out in the NCAA tournament, no matter where they are seeded.

TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES: R8

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