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Today's games


Today's games

Chicago Regional

No. 1 seed Illinois (34-1) vs. No. 12 seed Wis.-Milwaukee (26-5)

Time: 7:27 p.m.

How they got there: Illinois defeated No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson, 67-55, beat No. 9 seed Nevada, 71-59; Wisconsin-Milwaukee defeated No. 5 seed Alabama, 83-73, beat No. 4 seed Boston College, 83-75.

Tourney tidbit: Wisconsin-Milwaukee forced 22 turnovers in each of its two NCAA tourney games; Illinois committed 24 total in its two games.

The buzz: To keep it close, Wisconsin-Milwaukee is going to have to hit its three-pointers and hope its 1-2-1-1 press forces a lot of turnovers. In its two tourney games, Milwaukee has turned opponents' mistakes into several easy baskets. One problem for the Panthers: Illinois' backcourt may be the best in the nation, and it's hard to imagine them turning it over that often. In addition, the Illini's perimeter defense is going to make it hard for Milwaukee's Ed McCants and Boo Davis to get open looks from three-point range. Illinois junior F James Augustine is coming off the best game of his career (23 points against Nevada), and it would help the Illini's cause if he can score some points in the paint against the smallish Panthers.

No. 2 seed Oklahoma State (26-6) vs. No. 3 seed Arizona (29-6)

Time: 9:57 p.m.

How they got here: Oklahoma State beat No. 15 seed Southeastern Louisiana, 63-50, beat No. 7 seed Southern Illinois, 85-77; Arizona beat No. 14 seed Utah State, 66-53, beat No. 11 UAB, 85-63.

Tourney tidbit: The head coaches have a combined 83 NCAA tourney wins (Arizona's Lute Olson has 44, Okie State's Eddie Sutton 39).

The buzz: These teams are similar, from the athleticism to their lack of depth (both go just seven deep) to their offensive output (Arizona averages 79.4 ppg, Okla. State 78.3) to their three-point shooting (42.5 percent for Oklahoma State, 40.0 percent for Arizona) to their rebounding (the Cowboys out-rebound foes by 5.3 per game, the Wildcats by 4.0). Oklahoma State's advantage is that it is more physical and plays better defense. The Cowboys must get production from F Joey Graham, who has been limited to 15 points and just 40 total minutes of NCAA action because of foul trouble. Arizona's Channing Frye needs to produce, too. If he is shut down, the Wildcats become too perimeter-oriented. There are going to be some excellent outside shooters on view in Oklahoma State's John Lucas, Daniel Bobik and JamesOn Curry and Arizona's Salim Stoudamire (51.3 percent from three-point range).

Albuquerque Regional

No. 1 seed Washington (29-5) vs. No. 4 seed Louisville (31-4)

Time: 7:10 p.m.

How they got here: Washington beat No. 16 Montana, 88-77, beat No. 8 seed Pacific, 97-79; Louisville beat No. 13 seed Louisiana-Lafayette, 68-62, beat No. 5 Georgia Tech, 76-54.

Tourney tidbit: Washington has not trailed in either of its two tourney games.

The buzz: If you like offense, this is the game to watch. Washington is second nationally in scoring (86.7 ppg), Louisville seventh (80.7). The Huskies have four guys averaging in double figures, and none is more important than high-flying 5-9 guard Nate Robinson. He has good range, is strong enough to get to the basket, is a good passer and a solid defender, and his quickness is going to cause fits for Louisville. Guard Tre Simmons needs to hit from three-point range. The Huskies lack size and bulk but still out-rebound foes by 4.4 per game. Louisville's key guy is swingman Francisco Garcia (15.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.9 apg), who has one of the best all-around games in the nation. One thing to watch: Garcia is prone to fouls and has fouled out five times. Larry O'Bannon and Taquan Dean sometimes are lost in Garcia's shadow, but each is an underrated scorer. Big men Ellis Myles - a superb passer - and Juan Palacios could have big nights in the low post. A big advantage for Washington is that it has a better bench.

No. 6 seed Texas Tech (22-10) vs. No. 7 seed West Virginia (23-10)

Time: 9:40 p.m.

How they got here: Texas Tech beat No. 11 seed UCLA, 78-66, beat No. 3 seed Gonzaga, 71-69; West Virginia beat No. 10 seed Creighton, 63-61, beat No. 2 seed Wake Forest, 111-105 (2 OTs).

Tourney tidbit: Texas Tech guards Ronald Ross and Jarrius Jackson have combined for 89 points and gone 35 of 62 (56.5 percent) from the floor in two tournament games.

The buzz: West Virginia takes a lot of three-pointers (25 per game) and hits almost nine. One problem: If those three-pointers aren't falling, WVU isn't going to win. The Mountaineers are almost completely perimeter-oriented (46 percent of their shots are three-pointers), and each of the top five scorers has taken at least 116. Fs Tyrone Sally and Kevin Pittsnogle and G Mike Gansey are the key guys. WVU has good depth, but the Mountaineers get pounded on the boards and aren't that good defensively. Luckily for them, Texas Tech isn't that big, isn't that deep, doesn't shoot many three-pointers and sometimes struggles defensively. But Tech has an excellent backcourt in Ross (52.7 percent from the floor) and Jackson, and those guys likely are going to have a lot of open looks tonight. The wild card is the Red Raiders' Devonne Giles, who is going to be the only consistent low-post threat on the floor.

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