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NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Today's Game

March 28, 2004|Paul Gutierrez

No. 1 DUKE vs. No. 7 XAVIER

* Site: Atlanta.

* Time: 2 p.m. PST.

* What to watch for: Duke (30-5) will face a perimeter-oriented team for the second game in a row. Xavier lives and dies with the speed and success of its guards. Because the Musketeers (26-10) are thin in the frontcourt, they look to point guard Lionel Chalmers to push the tempo and create in a free-wheel motion offense. Chalmers and shooting guard Romain Sato will try to run Duke's injured point guard Chris Duhon ragged while the Blue Devils want to establish a post presence with center Shelden Williams. "The only time I really feel pressure is when I get into foul trouble, where I am not able to help my team being on the sideline," Williams said. "My foul trouble is the only thing that pressures me."

* Key to the game: If Duke is able to negate Xavier's speedy guard play with its superior post presence in Williams and forward Luol Deng, Xavier could be in trouble. The Blue Devils' big-game acumen of playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference won't hurt, either.

* Projected winner: Duke.

-- Paul Gutierrez

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