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Four points

March 26, 2007|ROBYN NORWOOD

Four things to look for at the Final Four in Atlanta, where UCLA meets Florida and Ohio State faces Georgetown on Saturday:

1. The kids are all right: Freshmen? We're talking coaches. UCLA's Ben Howland is 49. Florida's Billy Donovan and Georgetown's John Thompson III are 41. And Ohio State's Thad Matta is younger than you might think: A 1990 Butler graduate, he is a mere 39.

2. Different year, different story? A season after UCLA's 73-57 NCAA title-game loss to Florida, they'll meet again in a national semifinal. But it doesn't always go the same way. In 1990, Nevada Las Vegas blew out Duke by 30 points in the NCAA title game. A season later, Duke upset undefeated UNLV in a national semifinal, 79-77.

3. Big men arrive on schedule: Guards rule the early rounds, but to get to the Final Four, it usually takes a big man -- or two. Say hello to Florida's 6-foot-10 Al Horford and 6-11 Joakim Noah, Ohio State's 7-foot Greg Oden, Georgetown's 7-2 Roy Hibbert and UCLA's Lorenzo Mata -- the little guy at 6-9, 240.

4. Melo fellow: After all the hubbub about Kevin Durant, Oden, below, is the player with the best chance to pull a Carmelo Anthony by winning the NCAA title as a freshman and leaving to become an NBA lottery pick. (Anthony pulled it off with Syracuse in 2003.)

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