OUTLOOK: Not quite as good as last season's regional finalists. But with the Lukes pacing five double-figure scorers, the Ducks, among the national leaders in 3-point and free-throw shooting, are versatile enough to give most defenses fits. They defeated Kansas early and won the Pac-10 tournament after finishing fourth in the regular season.
No. 9 UTAH (24-7)
COACH: Rick Majerus (17-10 in NCAA).
STARTERS: F Britton Johnsen, F Trace Caton, C Tim Frost, G Nick Jacobson, G Tim Drisdom.
OUTLOOK: Majerus is 9-1 in first-round games after last year's loss to Indiana. Dominance of Mountain West and victories against Alabama and Arizona State indicate he's ready to resume winning ways. Johnsen, Utah's best player, was a freshman on the 1998 Final Four squad and sat out two years on a Mormon mission.
No. 10 ALABAMA (17-11)
NCAA HISTORY: 16th appearance, second straight. Never advanced beyond regional semis. Lost to Kent State last year in second round.
COACH: Mike Gottfried (1-3 in NCAA).
STARTERS: F Kennedy Winston, F Erwin Dudley, C Kenny Walker, G Maurice Williams, G Antoine Pettway.
OUTLOOK: Pick the Tide at your own risk. Alabama won first nine and leaped to No. 1 in the polls before losing seven of 10 at midseason and finishing 7-9 in SEC. First road victory, at Tennessee, didn't come until Feb. 22. Defeated Oklahoma and Xavier outside SEC. Dudley, the league's top rebounder, is a premier power forward.
No. 11 SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (24-6)
NCAA HISTORY: 6th appearance, second straight. Defeated Texas Tech and Georgia last season before losing to UConn in East semis.
COACH: Bruce Weber (2-1 in NCAA).
STARTERS: F Jermaine Dearman, C Sylvester Willis, G Kent Williams, G Darren Brooks, G Stetson Hairston.
OUTLOOK: Salukis lost two of three games against Missouri Valley rival Creighton in their only games against the top 50. Four starters average between 11 and 15 points for a team that won eight road games and makes 40 percent of its 3-point shots. Last year's tournament run should make this a confident squad.
No. 12 WEBER STATE (26-5)
NCAA HISTORY: 13th appearance, first since 1999 when upset North Carolina in first round. Never advanced beyond regional semis.
COACH: Joe Cravens (1st NCAA).
STARTERS: F Nic Sparrow, F Slobodan Ocokoljia, C Stephan Bachmann, G Jermaine Boyette, G John Hamilton.
NCAA Midwest Region capsules
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