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NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Today's Game

March 27, 2004|Robyn Norwood

No. 2 CONNECTICUT vs. No. 8 ALABAMA

* Site: Phoenix.

* Time: 1:30 p.m. PST.

* What to watch for: Alabama (20-12) is trying to extend its unlikely run, but Connecticut looks like at least as big a challenge as No. 1-seeded Stanford was. Connecticut will have a size advantage, but Alabama's skinny players are very quick, and they beat Stanford despite being outrebounded by 20. Here's an Alabama good-luck charm update: Guard Antoine Pettway wore his trademark shiny red shoes for the first time this season Thursday against Syracuse but said he was uncertain whether he would wear them today because he was slipping as he tried to guard Gerry McNamara's three-point shots.

* Key to the game: Alabama's three-point shooting would have to be on for the Crimson Tide to win, and the Crimson Tide's slender front line would need to fare well against Connecticut's Josh Boone and Emeka Okafor as well.

* Projected winner: Connecticut.

-- Robyn Norwood

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