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Five points

March 17, 2007|ROBYN NORWOOD

Five things we saw in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, and five things we'll see in the second round:

WHAT WE SAW

1 It's 11th heaven for Virginia Commonwealth and Winthrop, both dreaming of duplicating George Mason's run to the Final Four after pulling first-round upsets as No. 11-seeded teams.

2 North Carolina and Duke missed a few good players: Davidson's Stephen Curry and VCU's Eric Maynor were first-round stars who grew up in North Carolina but didn't get scholarship offers from Atlantic Coast Conference teams.

3 Surprise: The Big Ten is 5-1 after the first round. In the Pacific 10, UCLA, Washington State, Oregon and USC advanced, but Stanford and Arizona fell by the wayside.

4 Stanford, playing a first-round game in Kentucky, looked like a good choice for the National Invitation Tournament after losing to Louisville, 78-58.

5 Niagara falls, along with the three other No. 16s. And with that, the record for No. 1-seeded teams in the first round of the NCAA tournament is 92-0.

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WHAT WE'LL SEE NEXT

1 No More 121-Point Games: Long Beach State put its mark on the NCAA tournament by allowing Tennessee to tie the record for most points scored in a first-round game. Nobody else will try running with the Volunteers.

2 More Kevin Durant. The virtual lock for national player of the year, Durant is probably bound for the NBA after one season at Texas, but first he'll play USC in the second round.

3 Kansas vs. Kentucky. It sounds more like a Final Four matchup than a second-round game, but that's what it is. Kentucky helped Coach Tubby Smith quell a fan uprising, at least for the moment, by getting past Villanova in the first round.

4 Check out the new faces on the sidelines: It's not a Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Calhoun, Bob Knight, Jim Boeheim or Lute Olson kind of world.

5 Someone else has a broken nose. But Duke didn't do it. Virginia Commonwealth forward Wil Fameni was preparing to be fitted with a face mask, a la Tyler Hansbrough, after an inadvertent blow from teammate Jesse Pellot-Rosa broke his nose during the Rams' upset of Duke.

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