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How Arizona and Connecticut match up in NCAA West Regional final

Contrary to what you may have heard, this will not be a one-on-one duel between Arizona's Derrick Williams and Connecticut's Kemba Walker. But the two player-of-the-year candidates will have a big say in the outcome.

March 25, 2011|By Ben Bolch

No. 5 Arizona (30-7) vs. No. 3 Connecticut (29-9), Honda Center, Anaheim, 4:05 p.m., Channel 2. How they match up:

Arizona; Ht; Wt; Stats; P; Connecticut; Ht; Wt; Stats

Derrick Williams; 6-8; 241; 19.5 ppg; F; Roscoe Smith; 6-8; 205; 6.5 ppg

Jesse Perry; 6-7; 210; 6.4 ppg; F/C; Alex Oriakhi; 6-9; 240; 8.7 rpg

Solomon Hill; 6-6; 226; 4.6 rpg; F; Tyler Olander; 6-9; 225; 1.9 rpg

Kyle Fogg; 6-3; 180; 8.1 ppg; G; Kemba Walker; 6-1; 172; 24.0 ppg

Lamont Jones; 6-0; 196; 2.5 apg; G; Jeremy Lamb; 6-5; 185 ; 10.9 ppg

RESERVES

Jordin Mayes; 6-2; 185; 47.0% 3FG; G; Shabazz Napier; 6-0; 170; 7.9 ppg

Jamelle Horne; 6-7; 224; 6.2 ppg ; F/C; Charles Okwandu; 7-0; 255; 2.9 ppg

Kevin Parrom; 6-6; 205; 3.4 rpg; F; Jamal Coombs-McDaniel; 6-7; 210; 6.0 ppg

SCOUTING REPORT: With the hype machine running full blast, one might get the impression Arizona's Derrick Williams and Connecticut's Kemba Walker are going one on one. Fortunately for the national-player-of-the-year candidates, they won't have to guard each other. Williams is averaging 25.4% of his team's points and Walker, who is averaging a staggering 32.6% of his team's points, is only 89 points short of 1,000 for the season. Williams may be a bit more dynamic with his electric dunks and his outside touch; he is making 60.3% of his three-point attempts, putting him on track to break Steve Kerr's school record of 57.3%. But Walker is the more explosive scorer, collecting at least 30 points in a school-record 11 games this season. Both teams like to push the pace, with Connecticut averaging 73.5 points to Arizona's 76.8.

KEY TO THE GAME: Arizona guard Kyle Fogg, who played high school basketball a few exits up the 57 Freeway at Brea Olinda, can put the Wildcats on the road to Houston for the Final Four if he can fluster Walker. Fogg held Duke's Nolan Smith to eight points on three-for-14 shooting Thursday, but this is an even bigger challenge. "To be honest, you can't stop a guy like that; he's going to score," Fogg said of Walker. "You just have to try your best to make him shoot tough shots and slow him down." Whichever team's supporting cast steps up the biggest will also have an edge. Arizona players not named Williams scored 48 of the Wildcats' 55 points in the second half against Duke.

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