NCAAs: The inside scoop from A to Z


The NCAA tournament, from A to Z:

* A is for Adam Anderson and Andy Karich, neither of whom planned for the West Regional this weekend. Karich averaged 11.6 minutes and 2.6 points, Anderson 3.8 minutes and 1.4 points for Santa Clara. They'll watch the Broncos lose to Arizona on Thursday.

* B is for Ron Bertovich, the Atlantic 10 commissioner who told his coaches to schedule better teams if they wanted good tournament treatment. "We were 17th in the country, now we're fourth," Bertovich said after four Atlantic 10 teams reached the tournament. Nobody in the Big East office gave John Thompson or Jim Calhoun such advice; the Big East has three NCAA teams.

* C is for Cyclones, the Iowa State team that will eliminate UCLA on Friday for many reasons. The best one? An 80-percent free-throw mark in the last five minutes of games.

* D is for Dunkley, first name Spencer, who captained a cricket team in Wolverhampton, England, before leading Delaware to two straight NCAA appearances.

* E is for East Carolina, the sacrificial lamb in North Carolina's path. But ECU's coach, Eddie Payne, threw a full-court pass for Wake Forest to upset Carolina in the first round of the '73 ACC tournament, so there's hope.

* F is for flop, i.e. Nebraska, which lost 10 times. But the Huskers still have enough to beat New Mexico State on Friday.

* G is for the Golden Bears of Cal, who will throw Jason Kidd against Duke's Bobby Hurley in CBS' dream second-round game -- provided Cal gets by LSU.

* H is Hooray For Me, the loose translation of Bravo Pitino, the Lexington, Ky., restaurant owned by the Kentucky coach. It'll be hopping when the Wildcats beat Seton Hall in the Southeast final.

* I is for Indians, the politically incorrect folks from Northeast Louisiana, who will scare Iowa on Friday. Fortunately for Northeast, the game is at 2 p.m. Its best player, Ryan Stuart, belongs to the Worldwide Church Of God and will not play from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Honest.

* J is Jalen Rose, Michigan's eclectic point guard, who dares you to cite his weaknesses while he cuts down nets. The Fab Five (actually the Fab Two and the Pretty Good Three) will overwhelm the West. But stay in the hotel room, Jalen.

* K is for Mike Krzyzewski, whose Duke team has won 12 straight NCAA games. "But this year we only get recognized for losing," he says. The last team to keep Duke out of the Final Four was Indiana, 1987. The next team? Indiana, 1993, in the Midwest final.

* L is for Lithuanian. The best one -- and best foreign player in the field -- is Seton Hall forward Arturas Karnishovas.

* M is for Mahoney, Brian, the top Coach of the Year candidate. His first St. John's team went 18-10 with Lou Carnesecca's paltry leavings.

* N is for Norm Stewart, the Missouri coach who has more than 500 victories but no Final Four trips. His Tigers won the Big Eight Tournament and should beat Temple on Thursday.

* O is for Objection. Providence has the most legitimate one. It beat Arizona and roared down the Big East stretch, but didn't make the cut. So much for "Eastern bias."

* P is for Privateers, from New Orleans, which looks like a good sleeper pick until you notice its starting guards are both 5-9.

* Q is for Quakers. An Ivy League team hasn't won an NCAA game in nine years, but Penn went 22-4, almost beat New Mexico and Virginia, and buried La Salle and Villanova.

* R is for Rex Walters, the bionic Kansas shooter who had better step it up for the Jayhawks to enjoy this experience.

* S is for Shumate, John, the SMU coach whose contract and career were going to expire until the Mustangs won the SWC regular-season title. Why can't Texas schools keep Texas talent -- like Thomas Hill (Duke), Joseph Blair (Arizona), Jimmy King (Michigan), Alfred Grigsby (Cal), Bryan Sallier (Oklahoma) and Stevin Smith (Arizona State)?

* T is for Transfers. There's Walters (Northwestern to Kansas), Billy McCaffrey (Duke to Vanderbilt), Clifford Rozier (North Carolina to Louisville), Chris Mills (Kentucky to Arizona), Travis Ford (Missouri to Kentucky), Matt Maloney (Vanderbilt to Penn) and Ron Curry (Arizona to Marquette).

* U is for Upsets. There won't be many. Long Beach State over Illinois? Vegas wouldn't be shocked. Both schools are 25-1 shots to win the whole tournament.

* V is for Van Exel, Nick, the slinky Cincinnati guard who can get the Bearcats back to the Final Four. Both Cincinnati and Arkansas, in the East, fit the blueprint of North Carolina-beaters in NCAA play -- quick, deep and unimpressed with tradition.

* W is for Wade Lookingbill, the 6-5 senior who replaces the late Chris Street for Iowa. Coach Tom Davis has never lost a first-round NCAA game, at either Iowa or Boston College.

* X is for X Factor, the nickname given to center Malcolm Mackey of Georgia Tech. But Mackey (named for Malcolm X) rose up to help James Forrest win the ACC tournament. The Yellow Jackets could be an X factor in the West.

* Y is for Yinka Dare, George Washington's 7-1 center and the next great Nigerian.

* Z is for Zebra, one of which hit Bobby Knight with a technical foul in the semifinals last year. Knight was so rattled he forgot to coach for 10 minutes, and Indiana lost to Duke. But Big Ten zebras often are accused of being Knight's pets. Nevertheless, Indiana won't need help to beat Kentucky, 81-77, in the final.

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