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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT | WEST REGIONAL

Keys To The Game

March 24, 2001|LON EUBANKS

* STYLE OF PLAY: The Collins twins set the tone inside for Stanford. They were dominant against Cincinnati on Thursday, lifting the Cardinal to a 36-25 rebounding advantage. "I haven't seen two big men like that all year," Cincinnati guard Kenny Satterfield said after his team's loss to the Cardinal. Maryland will try to pick up the pace with its running game. "We like to play up-tempo if we can," Maryland Coach Gary Williams said.

* MATCHUP TO WATCH: Stanford's Casey Jacobsen and Maryland's Juan Dixon are two of the nation's top shooting guards. "It's a big-time challenge for me," Jacobsen said of the matchup with Dixon. "I have a lot of respect for him." Jacobsen is shooting 51.2% from the field, 47.1% on three-pointers. Dixon is averaging 48.3% from the field, 40.6 from behind the arc.

* INTANGIBLES: Several of Stanford's players are from the Southland and will have plenty off fan support in the Arrowhead Pond. Point guard Michael McDonald is from Long Beach, the Collins twins from North Hollywood and Jacobsen from Glendora.

* MAGIC NUMBERS: Stanford's Ryan Mendez is shooting 94.8% from the free-throw line, making 92 of 97 this season. The Pacific 10 Conference record is 95.0%, set by Rod Foster of UCLA in the 1981-82 season. Maryland guard Steve Blake has averaged 6.9 assists, a Maryland season record.

* FINAL ANALYSIS: Maryland has made a strong late-season run and has won nine of its last 10 games, but Stanford has lost only twice all season. "Their size is North Carolina and their shooting is Duke," Williams said of the Cardinal. Stanford is shooting 51.4% from the field, including 42.8% from three-point range. Maryland is 48.3% from the field and 37.1% from behind the arc.

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