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March 26, 2001|SAM FARMER



Saturday's Semifinal Games

MICHIGAN STATE (28-4) vs. ARIZONA (27-7), 2:30 p.m.

DUKE (33-4) vs. MARYLAND (25-10), 5 p.m.

National Championship

MONDAY, APRIL 2, 6:15 p.m.

All Games on Channel 2; All Times Pacific



* FORWARD: Duke's Shane Battier hurts the opposition in many ways. He's a great shooter, a smart passer and fearless defender. Mike Dunleavy Jr. is extremely versatile--he can play anything from shooting guard to power forward--and can get hot from behind the three-point arc. Maryland had the largest rebounding margin and best interior passing in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Senior Terrance Morris is among the nation's elite power forwards and scored in double figures in each of the three games against Duke this season. Byron Mouton is an afterthought in the Terrapin offense.

* CENTER: Carlos Boozer hasn't slowed down the Blue Devil offense as many people expected since his return from a broken foot. Even at his size, Maryland's Lonny Baxter is frequently battling taller and bigger players such as Boozer but is seldom out-hustled.

* GUARD: Battier was national player of the year, but Duke point guard Jason Williams might be more deserving of that honor. He has the green light to launch three-point shots and can get an opposing team in foul trouble fast with his driving ability. Freshman Chris Duhon isn't as dazzling, but he's dangerous too. Maryland shooting guard Juan Dixon paced the Terrapins in scoring during the regular season (18.5) and led the ACC in steals (2.7). Point guard Steve Blake played great in the first two games against Duke, collecting nine assists then 11.

* COACHING: Mike Krzyzewski has led Duke to seven trips to the Final Four since 1988, although he last won a national championship in 1992. During his 21-season career, his teams have spent 225 weeks ranked in the top 25, and 58 weeks ranked No. 1. Reaching the Final Four is a huge relief for Maryland Coach Gary Williams, who went 23 seasons without getting his teams at Boston College, Ohio State or Maryland beyond the Sweet 16.

* FINAL ANALYSIS: Maryland should win, even though the Terrapins were 1-2 against Duke this season. They easily could have gone 3-0 in those games--blowing a 10-point lead down the stretch in one and losing the other on a last-second tip-in. Maryland is the deepest team in the Final Four and more athletic than Duke, which relies too much on Williams and Battier having big games.




DUKE MARY Points Per Game 90.8 85.2 Opponent Points Per Game 70.1 69.8 Margin 20.7 15.4 Field-Goal Pct. .483 .486 Opponent Field-Goal Pct. .416 .403 3-Pt. Shooting Pct. .391 .377 Opp. 3-Pt. Shooting Pct. .349 .347 3-Pt. Baskets Per Game 10.6 5.7 Opp. 3-Pt. Baskets Per Game 5.3 6.8 Free Throw Pct. .693 .696 Rebound Margin 1.2 4.8 Turnovers Per Game 13.8 14.1 Turnover Differential 5.6 2.6 Steals Per Game 10.8 9.1 Blocked Shots Per Game 5.1 6.1 Personal Fouls Per Game 16.7 19.6




* Points: Williams 21.7; Battier 19.9; Boozer 13.1; Dunleavy 12.7; Nate James 12.6.

* Rebounds: Battier 7.2; Boozer 6.4.

* Assists: Williams 6.2; Duhon 4.4.

* Field-Goal Pct.: Boozer .597; James .495.

* Free-Throw Pct.: Battier .807; James .801

* 3-Point Baskets: Williams 129; Battier 119.


* Points: Dixon 18.1, Baxter 15.7, Morris 12.3, Mouton 9.6, Blake 6.7.

* Rebounds: Baxter 7.9; Morris 7.7.

* Assists: Blake 6.7; Dixon 2.6.

* Field-Goal Pct.: Baxter .576; Mouton .504.

* Free-Throw Pct.: Dixon .862, Morris .800.

* 3-Point Baskets: Dixon 58; Blake 35.

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