At Cole Field House
Oklahoma State vs. New Mexico
* WHEN: Tomorrow, 12:20 p.m.
* RECORDS: Third-seeded Oklahoma State is 22-7 out of the Big Eight, and 6-1 against tournament teams. New Mexico, the 14th seed out of the Western Athletic Conference, is 20-9, but only 2-5 against tournament teams.
* COACHES: Oklahoma State's Eddie Sutton is the first coach to take four teams to the NCAA tournament, having done it previously at Creighton, Arkansas and Kentucky. In his third season, Dave Bliss earned New Mexico's first NCAA bid since 1978.
* PLAYERS TO WATCH: Oklahoma State's 6-7 junior forward Byron Houston (23 ppg, 10.4 rpg) was the co-Big Eight Player of the Year. The Cowboys' 6-8 senior forward John Potter nailed 41 three-pointers this season and junior guard Sean Sutton hit 46 percent from the three-point line. New Mexico leans on 7-2 senior center Luc Longley (19.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg), a likely lottery pick in the NBA draft and the active NCAA career blocked shots leader. Outside, the Lobos rely on guards Rob Robbins (14.4 ppg) and Willie Banks (12.7 ppg).
* SCOUTING REPORT: Sutton's bench experience and Houston's inside play will be key factors for the overachieving Cowboys. Longley is definitely an intimidating force inside for the Lobos, who like to run out of their three-guard offense.
N.C. State vs. Southern Mississippi
* WHEN: Tomorrow, 30 minutes after conclusion of Oklahoma State-New Mexico, Ch. 11.
* RECORDS: The sixth-seeded Wolfpack is 19-10 out of the ACC, and went 8-9 against tourney teams. Eleventh-seeded Southern Mississippi is 21-7 out of the Metro Conference, and 3-2 against the tourney field.
* COACHES: State's Les Robinson got the Pack back in postseason play one year after the Jim Valvano era ended in probation. Southern Mississippi's M.K. Turk has produced back-to-back tournament teams.
* PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Wolfpack possesses the brilliant backcourt of Rodney Monroe (27.3 ppg) and Chris Corchiani (16.0 ppg, 9.7 apg). Two other starters average double figures -- Tom Gugliotta (15.3) and Bryant Feggins (13.4). The Golden Eagles have a force inside with 6-7, 240-pound forward Clarence Weatherspoon (17.7 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 2.1 bpg). Senior guard Darrin Chancellor (18.8 ppg) shot .429 from three-point range.
* SCOUTING REPORT: State's strength is in the backcourt with Corchiani and Monroe, the ACC's Player of the Year. The Wolfpack is not deep or dominating inside, and Weatherspoon definitely will challenge there. The Golden Eagles finished in a tailspin, losing four of their last five.
* WHEN: Tomorrow, 7:35 p.m.
* RECORDS: Seventh-seeded Purdue is 17-11 out of the Big Ten, and 4-6 against the tournament field. Tenth-seeded Temple is 21-9 out of the Atlantic-10, and 6-3 against NCAA tournament teams.
* COACHES: Gene Keady has won three Big Ten titles and received nine postseason bids in his 10 years at Purdue. Temple is making its seventh NCAA appearance in nine years under John Chaney.
* PLAYERS TO WATCH: Purdue gets most of its offense from forwards Jimmy Oliver (19.1 ppg) and Chuckie White (13.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg). Temple revolves around 6-5 senior guard Mark Macon (21.9 ppg). Seven-foot center Donald Hodge (7.2 rpg) and 6-8 forward Mik Kilgore (13.4 ppg) represent the inside game for the Owls.
* SCOUTING REPORT: Purdue plays rough and physical inside, where White led the Big Ten in rebounding this season. Despite his size, Temple's Hodge tends to disappear. Keady employs man defense, while Chaney opts for a 2-3 matchup. Temple prefers a slow-paced tempo.
* WHEN: Tomorrow, 30 minutes after conclusion of Purdue-Temple, Ch. 11.
* RECORDS: Second-seeded Syracuse is 26-5 out of the Big East, and 13-4 against the NCAA field. Richmond, seeded 15th, is 21-9 out of the Colonial Athletic Association, and 1-2 against the tournament field.
* COACHES: Jim Boeheim, in his 15th year at Syracuse, won the Big East regular-season title despite the distraction of allegations of NCAA infractions. Richmond's Dick Tarrant, with upset wins over Indiana and Georgia Tech in the 1988 tournament, is a very capable tourney coach.
* PLAYERS TO WATCH: This could be the last NCAA appearance for Syracuse's 6-9 junior forward Billy Owens (23.5 ppg, 11.4 rpg), who may be NBA-bound. Forward Dave Johnson (19.9 ppg) and LeRon Ellis (7.7 rpg) complete a tough front line. Forward Kenny Wood (14.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and guard Curtis Blair (16.4 ppg) give Richmond inside-outside balance.
* SCOUTING REPORT: Richmond, which is not a good rebounding team, may not be able to stay with the Orangemen. It was the Spiders' defense that keyed their three-game sweep of the CAA tournament with 30 steals. As with their first-round Big East tournament loss to Villanova, Syracuse remains unpredictable.