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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT | TODAY

South Regional AT MEMPHIS, TENN.

March 18, 2001|ROBYN NORWOOD

* Michigan State vs. Fresno State--Jerry Tarkanian earned his 32nd NCAA tournament victory as Fresno State defeated California in the first round. Notching another today against the defending NCAA champion would be a very tall order. Top-seeded Michigan State is rugged, versatile and experienced. But Fresno State is a tough team too, and held off repeated comeback attempts by Cal. Demetrius Porter's career-high 27 points proved Fresno State has plenty of options besides Melvin Ely and ultra-quick Tito Maddox.

* Gonzaga vs. Indiana State--If Gonzaga wins, it will join Duke and, should they also win today, Michigan State and Florida as the only teams to reach the Sweet 16 each of the last three years. . Dan Dickau, a transfer from Washington, scored 29 points and made six of nine three-point shots in the first-round victory over No. 5-seeded Virginia. Indiana State displayed its toughness while upending Oklahoma when Kelyn Block scored five points in overtime while playing in pain--having three teeth either knocked out or chipped by an inadvertent elbow late in regulation.

AT NEW ORLEANS

* Temple vs. Florida--Will Florida's Udonis Haslem be able to score 24 points inside against Temple's famous matchup zone the way he did against Western Kentucky? That's doubtful. This could be a matchup that gives the Gators trouble as they try to make it back to the Final Four. Temple, traditionally offensively challenged, made 10 three-point shots against Texas. But the No. 11-seeded Owls also used their usual formula in winning: defense and few turnovers, a mere four against a good Longhorn defense.

* Penn State vs. North Carolina--Coach Matt Doherty says there is "no magical dust" in the Superdome, but North Carolina won national championships there in 1982 and 1993. Doherty was a starter on the 1982 team that won with Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Sam Perkins. Penn State, the No. 7-seeded team, beat Providence in the first round. But the results that No. 2 North Carolina should pay attention to are the Nittany Lions' 65-63 victory over Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament semifinals and a regular-season 98-95 victory over Illinois, the Midwest's top-seeded team.

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