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NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Today's Games

March 21, 2004|Chicago Tribune

No. 2 OKLAHOMA STATE vs. No. 7 MEMPHIS

* Site: Kansas City, Mo. * Time: 11:20 a.m. PST.

* What to watch for: Eddie Sutton of Oklahoma State (28-3) and John Calipari of Memphis (22-7) agree to "philosophical similarities" -- an emphasis on defense, a willingness to run, disciplined team play -- but while Oklahoma State prefers to push the ball inside, Memphis will live or die on its three-point shooting. Both teams have standouts at point guard -- John Lucas of Oklahoma State and Antonio Burks of Memphis.

* Key to the game: Forwards Joey Graham of Oklahoma State and Sean Banks of Memphis, neither of whom played particularly well in the first round, present an important matchup.

No. 3 PITTSBURGH vs. No. 6 WISCONSIN

* Site: Milwaukee. * Time: 1:45 p.m. PST.

* What to watch for: The Panthers (30-4) were borderline pathetic while defeating Central Florida in their first-round game, but their defense held the Golden Knights to only 30.8% shooting. That same defense will be the biggest challenge for the Badgers (25-6), whose swing offense depends on precision and rhythm and the creativity of point guard Devin Harris. Look for Pittsburgh to try to disrupt that offense by denying Harris the ball and aggressively challenging every Wisconsin pass.

* Key to game: Harris must find room to get off his shot or the Badgers will struggle even while enjoying a home-court advantage.

-- Chicago Tribune

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