- The Washington Times - Friday, March 28, 2008

TODAY’S SWEET 16 GAMES

[2] Texas vs. [3] Stanford

7:27 p.m.

Reliant Stadium, Houston

South Region semifinal

Coaches: Rick Barnes (246-92 in 10th year at Texas) and Trent Johnson (80-43 in fourth year at Stanford)

How they got here: Texas beat No. 15 Austin Peay 74-54 in the first round and No. 7 Miami 75-72 in the second round. Stanford beat No. 14 Cornell 77-53 in the first round and No. 6 Marquette 82-81 in overtime in the second round.

Key stat: In the Longhorns’ school-record tying 30 wins, they have given up 61 points a game. In Texas’ six losses, it has surrendered 81.5 ppg.

Outlook: The Longhorns will get a sizable boost from the home-state crowd. The superb D.J. Augustin-A.J. Abrams backcourt will be hard for the Cardinal to contain, while Texas should have similar trouble handling the Lopez twins inside. With a 5-1 mark in games decided by three points or less, Stanford would love for this to come down to wire.

TEXAS STARTERS

G D.J. Augustin

G A.J. Abrams

G-F Damion James

F Connor Atchley

G Justin Mason

STANFORD STARTERS

F Brook Lopez

C Robin Lopez

G Anthony Goods

G Mitch Johnson

F Fred Washington

[1] Memphis vs. [5] Michigan State

10:10 p.m.

Reliant Stadium, Houston

South Region semifinal

Coaches: John Calipari (216-64 in eighth year at Memphis) and Tom Izzo (305-129 in 13th year at Michigan State)

How they got here: Memphis beat No. 16 Texas-Arlington 87-63 in the first round and No. 8 Mississippi State 77-74 in the second round. Michigan State beat No. 12 Temple 72-61 in the first round and No. 4 Pittsburgh 65-54 in the second round.

Key stat: The Tigers are 326th in the nation in free throw shooting (59.2 percent), including 37-for-67 in their first two NCAA wins. Since 1999, the Spartans have won all five of their regional semifinal games.

Outlook: Calipari insists the Tigers’ free throw woes are overblown. With only four games decided by four points or less, he could be right. The key to the game probably comes down to how Drew Neitzel and Kalin Lucas handle Memphis’ stifling defense. At 73.9 percent from the line (second in Big Ten), the Spartans would love to have the lead in the final minutes.

MEMPHIS STARTERS

G Chris Douglas-Roberts

G Derrick Rose

F Robert Dozier

G Antonio Anderson

C Joey Dorsey

MICHIGAN STATE STARTERS

G Drew Neitzel

G Raymar Morgan

G Kalin Lucas

C Goran Suton

F Drew Naymick

[10] Davidson vs. [3] Wisconsin

7:10 p.m., Chs. 9, 13

Ford Field, Detroit

Midwest Region semifinal

Coaches: Bob McKillop (339-224 in 19th year at Davidson) and Bo Ryan (173-59 in seventh year at Wisconsin)

How they got here: Davidson beat No. 7 Gonzaga 82-76 in the first round and No. 2 Georgetown 74-70 in the second round. Wisconsin beat No. 14 Cal State-Fullerton 71-56 in the first round and No. 11 Kansas State 72-55 in the second round.

Key stat: Before beating Gonzaga and Georgetown in the first two rounds, the Wildcats had not beaten a ranked team since 1974. The Badgers lead the nation in scoring defense (53.9 ppg) and have given up only 101 points in two NCAA wins.

Outlook: Something has to give. Only twice in the last 12 games have the defensive-minded Badgers given up more than 60 points in a game. That’s 10 less than the mercurial Stephen Curry (25.7 ppg) has scored by himself in the Wildcats’ two NCAA wins.

DAVIDSON STARTERS

G Stephen Curry

G Jason Richards

F Thomas Sander

F Andrew Lovedale

G Max Paulhus Gosselin

WISCONSIN STARTERS

C Brian Butch

G Trevon Hughes

G Michael Flowers

F Marcus Landry

G-F Joe Krabbenhoft

[1] Kansas vs. [12] Villanova

10:10 p.m., Chs. 9, 13

Ford Field, Detroit

Midwest Region semifinal

Coaches: Bill Self (138-32 in fifth year at Kansas) and Jay Wright (142-82 in seventh year at Villanova)

How they got here: Kansas beat No. 16 Portland State 85-61 in the first round and No. 9 UNLV 75-56 in the second round. Villanova beat No. 5 Clemson 75-69 in the first round and No. 13 Siena 84-72 in the second round.

Key stat: The Jayhawks are 81-10 in their last 91 games but have not reached the Final Four over that span. Since the NCAA began seeding the field in 1979, the Wildcats lead the nation with 13 wins over higher seeds, including Clemson in first round.

Outlook: The Jayhawks enjoy a sizable edge in talent. But Kansas has struggled dealing with the pressure of these types of situations in recent NCAA tournaments. The Wildcats are dependent on talented, quick Scottie Reynolds (16.0 ppg, 11-for-20 on 3-pointers in first two NCAA wins) to generate much of their offense. So if the Jayhawks clamp down on him, the Elite Eight should await.

KANSAS STARTERS

F Darrell Arthur

G Mario Chalmers

G Brandon Rush

F Darnell Jackson

G Russell Robinson

VILLANOVA STARTERS

G Scottie Reynolds

F Dante Cunningham

F Antonio Pena

F Dwayne Anderson

G Corey Stokes

Scripps Howard

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