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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT | SCOUTING REPORT

Keys To The Game

March 22, 2001|SAM FARMER

* STYLE OF PLAY: UCLA plans to press, and Duke players say they welcome that. The Blue Devils like to play at a playground pace with lots of fastbreaks. Watch for point guard Jason Williams to pull up from long range, or drive hard to the hoop then kick out passes to teammates behind the arc.

* MATCHUP TO WATCH: Matt Barnes vs. Shane Battier. Both are fantastic defensive players, and Battier has great shooting range. Barnes, who hopes to play in the NBA after next season, could use this as a showcase game. One of Battier's more obscure statistics: He has taken a school-record 108 charges in his career. He is second in career blocks (244) and steals (257).

* INTANGIBLES: If the Bruins are still jet-lagged from their weekend trip home, that's a good thing. The game should tip off about 7 p.m. PST, just about right for them.

* MAGIC NUMBERS: Keeping Dan Gadzuric out of foul trouble will be key for the Bruins. In 29 regular-season games, he fouled out four times and 10 times came within one foul of doing so. Since center Carlos Boozer broke his foot Feb. 27 against Maryland, Duke is 6-0. Many people think the Blue Devils play a more fluid, fast-paced game with him on the bench.

* FINAL ANALYSIS: UCLA has a chance--maybe a good one--as long as Duke isn't scorching from behind the arc. The Bruins cannot fall behind early, because the Blue Devils will slam the door on their fingers.

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