TONIGHT'S GAMES

The Baltimore Sun

East Regional semifinals

Site -- Charlotte (N.C.) Bobcats Arena

North Carolina (34-2) vs. Washington State (26-8)

Time, TV -- 7:27, chs. 13, 9

How they got here -- No. 1 seed North Carolina def. No. 16 Mount St. Mary's 113-74, def. No. 9 Arkansas 108-77; No. 4 seed Washington State def. No. 13 Winthrop 71-40, def. No. 5 Notre Dame 61-41.

The buzz -- Washington State has played absolute lockdown defense in the tournament, and the Cougars' defensive performance against a high-powered Notre Dame offense was unreal. That said, the Tar Heels are far more athletic than Notre Dame. Plus, this is essentially a home game for the Tar Heels. The Cougars have allowed more than 70 points just six times this season and are 3-3 in those games. UNC averages 89.9 points.

Tennessee (30-4) vs. Louisville (26-8)

Time, TV -- 9:57 (approx.), chs. 13, 9

How they got here -- No. 2 seed Tennessee def. No. 15 American 72-57, def. No. 7 Butler 76-71 (OT); No. 3 seed Louisville def. No. 14 Boise State 79-61, def. No. 6 Oklahoma 78-48.

The buzz -- There will be a ton of great athletes on the floor, and both teams will apply defensive pressure all over the court. A tough zone de fense has been Louisville's hallmark during the second half of the season. The outside shooting of Chris Lofton and JaJuan Smith is going to be huge for Tennessee.

West Regional semifinals

Site -- US Airways Center, Phoenix

UCLA (32-3) vs. Western Kentucky (27-6)

Time -- 9:40

How they got here -- No. 1 seed UCLA def. No. 16 Mississippi Valley State 70-29, def. No. 9 Texas A&M; 51-49; No. 12 seed Western Kentucky def. No. 5 Drake 101-99 (OT), def. No. 13 San Diego 72-63.

The buzz -- Western Kentucky wants a fast pace, but the Bruins -- while having the athletes for that kind of tempo -- likely will slow it down a bit. UCLA is likely to make it a grind-it-out affair because of its ad vantage in the low post. It's hard to see the Hilltoppers being able to slow UCLA big man Kevin Love. Western loves to fire away from three-point range, but UCLA has a number of top-notch perimeter defenders. West ern Kentucky senior swingman Courtney Lee is a big-time talent.

Xavier (29-6) vs. West Virginia (25-10)

Time -- 7:10

How they got here -- No. 3 seed Xavier def. No. 14 Georgia 73-61, def. No. 6 Purdue 85-78; No. 7 seed West Virginia def. No. 10 Arizona 75-65, def. No. 2 Duke 73-67.

The buzz -- While both teams pre fer a fast pace and like to shoot three-pointers, both win with defense. West Virginia mixes in some 1-3-1 zone with coach Bob Huggins' usual tough man-to-man defense. Xavier is extremely well-balanced offensively, with five players averaging in double figures.

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