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NCAA basketball tournament: Southwest Region preview

Kansas is seeded No. 1, and USC might be a good bet for a Cinderella.

March 13, 2011|By Mike Hiserman

Mr. Outside, Louisville's Preston Knowles, versus Mr. Inside, Morehead's Faried. Knowles has 97 three-pointers; Faried, who this season broke Tim Duncan's Division I career rebounding record, is the only Eagles starter taller than 6-4.

AT CHICAGO, FRIDAY

No. 6 GEORGETOWN (21-10, at-large selection) VS.

No. 11 USC or VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH

As point guard Chris Wright goes, so go the Hoyas. Wright suffered a broken hand on Feb. 23, when Georgetown was 21-6. Without him, they were 0-4 — their losses by 12, seven, 22 and 17 points.

No. 3 PURDUE (25-7, at-large selection) VS.

No. 14 ST. PETER'S (20-13, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion)

The Peacocks are making their first NCAA tournament appearance in 16 years, but if Purdue's Johnson doesn't prove too big to hand, Boilermakers guard E'Twaun Moore (18.2 points, 5.1 rebounds) might simply be too good.

No. 7 TEXAS A&M (24-8, at-large selection) VS.

No. 10 FLORIDA STATE (22-10, at-large selection)

Texas A&M plays gritty defense, but the knock on the Aggies is they struggle to score. Florida State? Ditto. The Seminoles need star forward Chris Singleton to return from a fractured foot. He hasn't played since Feb. 12.

No. 2 NOTRE DAME (26-6, at-large selection) VS.

No. 15 AKRON (23-12, Mid-American Conference champion)

Notre Dame is battle-tested, and its school-record 25 regular-season victories included wins at Connecticut and Pittsburgh. Akron has won 11 of its last 13 but needed a buzzer-beater to down Kent State to win the Mid-American Conference tournament. Eight Zips players average between 5.1 and 11.9 points per game.

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