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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT | WEST REGIONAL

Keys To The Game

March 22, 2001|LON EUBANKS

* STYLE OF PLAY: Top-seeded Stanford relies heavily on its inside game paced by the Collins twins, Jason and Jarron. Cincinnati will counter with the scoring of guards Steve Logan, the Conference USA player of the year, and Kenny Satterfield. But Coach Bob Huggins says the team's inside game has shown improvement. Cincinnati is shooting 36.1% from three-point range to 42.7% for Stanford.

* MATCHUP TO WATCH: The point guards might be thrust into key roles. Some regard Stanford's Michael McDonald as a potential weak link in an otherwise sturdy chain because of his lack of scoring, but he is a solid passer. Satterfield has shown more scoring strength and outside shooting skill. Stanford gave up 37 points to St. Joseph guard Marvin O'Connor in the second round.

* INTANGIBLES: Cincinnati might be peaking after convincing victories over Brigham Young, 84-59, and Kent State, 66-43, in the first two rounds. "We're playing about as well as we have all season," Huggins said. Stanford overcame a strong challenge in its 90-83 second-round victory over St. Joseph's. "I don't think our kids will get too overburdened with expectations," Stanford Coach Mike Montgomery said.

* MAGIC NUMBERS: Stanford's Ryan Mendez needs only two points to give Stanford its third player with 1,000 or more points in career scoring. Jarron Collins has 1,058 and Casey Jacobsen 1,024. Logan has a career 85.2% at the free-throw line. If maintained, Logan would better the Cincinnati career record of 83.1% by Ron Bonham (1962-64).

* FINAL ANALYSIS: "When you get down to 16 teams, you can throw away all the numbers," Stanford Coach Mike Montgomery says. But some numbers can't be overlooked: Stanford has outrebounded its opponents, 36.9 to 29.2. Cincinnati has averaged 35 rebounds to 35.5 for its opponents.

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