YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Tonight's Final

ARIZONA (28-7) vs. DUKE (34-4)

April 02, 2001|SAM FARMER

6 PDT, Channel 2


* STYLE OF PLAY: Both teams play well at high speeds and love launching three-point shots. Defense will decide this game, particularly what Arizona does to contain point guard Jason Williams and forward Shane Battier. The Wildcats are coming off two extremely physical victories over Illinois and Michigan State. Duke relies more on quickness and finesse.

* MATCHUP TO WATCH: Who are the Wildcats going to put on Battier, the national player of the year? Richard Jefferson is their defensive stopper, but they need him to put the clamps on Williams. Watch for rail-thin center Loren Woods to guard Battier in the early stages. Woods did a good job guarding USC's Brian Scalabrine and Oregon's Bryan Bracey and probably would get pushed around in the low post by Duke banger Carlos Boozer.

* INTANGIBLES: Arizona players are emotionally drained when it comes to talking about Coach Lute Olson's wife, Bobbi, who died of cancer in January. But they have dedicated their season to her, and are determined to put the finishing touches on the job. Something to watch is the condition of guard Gilbert Arenas, who suffered an undisclosed right shoulder injury in the second half of the Michigan State game. He skipped Sunday's media session so he could receive treatment. He's right-handed, so an injury to that shoulder really could affect his shot.

* MAGIC NUMBERS: The Blue Devils are 5-0 in games played at the Metrodome, site of their last championship (1992). Woods is 24 for 25 on free throws in the tournament.

* FINAL ANALYSIS: If Arizona can shoot and defend as well as it did against Michigan State, get ready for a parade in Tucson.

Los Angeles Times Articles