Thursday, August 28, 2014
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NCAA tournament: Midwest Regional at a glance

1 WICHITA STATE

Record: 34-0, 18-0 Missouri Valley, 1st. RPI: 4.

Coach: Gregg Marshall (16th season, 520-367 overall; 173-70 in seven seasons at Wichita State;

5-9 NCAA).

Best win: 70-65 at St. Louis, Dec. 1

Worst loss: None.

Three-pointers: 34.8 percent.

Free throws: 73.0 percent.

Top three: Cleanthony Early (15.8 ppg., 5.9 rpg., 0.8 bpg.), Fred VanVleet (12.1 ppg., 5.3 apg., 44.7 three-point percentage), Ron Baker (13.1 ppg., 3.6 rpg., 3.1 apg.).

The skinny: The Shockers made a surprise run to the Final Four as a ninth seed a season ago before falling to Louisville. Another run to the national semis would surprise no one this time around.

 

2 MICHIGAN

Record: 25-8, 15-3 Big Ten, 1st. 

RPI: 9.

Coach: John Beilein (22d season, 440-268; 145-92 in seven seasons

at Michigan; 13-8 NCAA).

Best win: 77-70 vs. Wisconsin, Jan. 18.

Worst loss: 63-61 vs. Charlotte, Nov. 24.

Three-pointers: 39.4 percent.

Free throws: 76.1 percent.

Top three: Nik Stauskas (17.5 ppg., 3.3 apg.), Caris LeVert (13.3 ppg., 4.5 rpg.), Glenn Robinson III (13.0 ppg., 4.3 rpg.).

The skinny: The national runner-up proved to be the class of its conference by the end of the regular season. The Wolverines led the league in field-goal percentage (47.6) but were last in opponent field-goal percentage (44.5).

 

3 DUKE

Record: 26-8, 13-5 Atlantic Coast, tied 3d. RPI: 7.

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski (39th season, 983-305; 910-246 in 34 seasons at Duke; 82-25 NCAA).

Best win: 66-60 vs. Syracuse, Feb. 22.

Worst loss: 72-59 vs. Clemson, Jan. 11.

Three-pointers: 39.1 percent.

Free throws: 72.7 percent.

Top three: Jabari Parker (19.2 ppg., 8.8 rpg.), Rodney Hood (16.5 ppg., 3.9 rpg.), Quinn Cook (11.5 ppg.,

4.3 apg.).

The skinny: Parker, though only a freshman, is one of the best players in the country. Friends School product Amile Jefferson is playing 22.4 minutes per game but is shooting 65.2 percent from the floor.

 

4 LOUISVILLE

Record: 29-5, 15-3 American Athletic, tied 1st. RPI: 18.

Coach: Rick Pitino (28th season, 691-240; 339-116 in 13 seasons at Louisville; 48-16 NCAA).

Best win: 58-57 vs. Cincinnati, Feb. 22.

Worst loss: 73-67 vs. Memphis, Jan. 9.

Three-pointers: 37.4 percent.

Free throws: 65.4 percent.

Top three: Russ Smith (18.3 ppg., 4.7 apg.), Montrezl Harrell (14.2 ppg., 8.2 rpg.), Luke Hancock

(11.7 ppg.).

The skinny: Louisville's four seniors, led by Smith, comprise the Cardinals' winningest class ever (119 victories). The Cards, the defending national champions, outscored opponents by 21.1 points per game.

 

5 ST. LOUIS

Record: 26-6, 13-3 Atlantic 10, 1st. RPI: 26.

Coach: Jim Crews (26th season, 407-362; 54-13 in two seasons at

St. Louis; 2-5 NCAA).

Best win: 64-62 vs. Virginia Commonwealth, Feb. 15.

Worst loss: 71-64 vs. Duquesne, Feb. 27.

Three-pointers: 31.9 percent.

Free throws: 70.8 percent.

Top three: Dwayne Evans (14.0 ppg., 6.4 rpg., 1.3 apg.), Jordair Jett (13.7 ppg., 4.8 apg., 4.0 rpg.), Rob Loe (9.9 ppg., 5.4 rpg., 2.0 apg.).

The skinny: The Billikens slumped late, losing four of their final five games. This is an inconsistent offensive team (70.0 ppg.), but it was the A-10's top defensive team, allowing 61.2 ppg.

 

6 MASSACHUSETTS

Record: 24-8, 10-6 Atlantic 10, tied 5th. RPI: 23.

Coach: Derek Kellogg (6th season, 109-85, all at Massachusetts;

0-0 NCAA).

Best win: 80-75 vs. Virginia Commonwealth, Feb. 21.

Worst loss: 91-80 vs. George Mason, Feb. 12.

Three-pointers: 35.5 percent.

Free throws: 67.5 percent.

Top three: Chaz Williams (15.8 ppg., 7.0 apg., 1.6 spg.), Cady Lalanne (11.4 ppg., 8.0 rpg., 2.2 bpg.), Sampson Carter (10.5 ppg., 4.9 rpg.).

The skinny: The Minutemen had some solid nonleague wins over Brigham Young, Nebraska, and Providence. Everything works off Williams, among the quickest players in the A-10.

 

7 TEXAS

Record: 23-10, 11-7 Big 12, tied 3d. RPI: 35.

Coach: Rick Barnes (27th season, 583-299; 381-165 in 16 seasons at Texas; 20-20 NCAA).

Best win: 81-69 vs. Kansas, Feb. 1.

Worst loss: 59-53 at Texas Tech, March 8.

Three-pointers: 32.4 percent.

Free throws: 66.4 percent.

Top three: Jonathan Holmes (13.0 ppg., 7.2 rpg.), Isaiah Taylor (12.5 ppg., 3.9 apg., 3.3 rpg.), Cameron Ridley (11.2 ppg., 8.1 rpg., 2.2 bpg.).

The skinny: The Longhorns did enough in the Big 12 tournament to earn an NCAA bid after dropping four of their last six regular-season games, including the loss to Texas Tech. Texas has not played past the first NCAA weekend since 2008.

 

8 KENTUCKY

Record: 24-10, 12-6 Southeastern, tied 2d. RPI: 17.

Coach: John Calipari (22d season, 592-176; 147-36 in five seasons at Kentucky; 38-13 NCAA)

Best win: 73-66 vs. Louisville, Dec. 28.

Worst loss: 72-67 at South Carolina, March 1.

Three-pointers: 32.5 percent.

Free throws: 68.2 percent.

Top three: Julius Randle (15.0 ppg., 10.5 rpg.), James Young (14.5 ppg., 4.1 rpg.), Andrew Harrison (10.8 ppg., 3.8 apg., 3.1 rpg.).

The skinny: Calipari is again following the one-and-done plan, which led to a national title in 2012: The team's top four scorers are freshmen. Kentucky lost three of its last four regular-season games before reaching the SEC final.

 

9 KANSAS STATE

Record: 20-12, 10-8 Big 12, 5th.

RPI: 51.

Coach: Bruce Weber (16th season, 360-175; 47-20 in two seasons at Kansas State; 11-9 NCAA).

Best win: 85-82 vs. Kansas, Feb. 10.

Worst loss: 60-58 vs. Northern Colorado, Nov. 8.

Three-pointers: 33.4 percent.

Free throws: 65.8 percent.

Top three: Marcus Foster (15.6 ppg., 3.2 rpg., 2.5 apg.), Thomas Gipson (11.8 ppg., 6.5 rpg., 56.0 field-goal percentage), Shane Southwell

(9.8 ppg., 4.4 rpg., 2.8 apg.).

The skinny: The Wildcats had the best scoring defense (65.7 ppg.) in the Big 12, but they were eighth in scoring offense (69.7). They also held opponents to a league-low 29.4 percent from long distance.

 

10 ARIZONA STATE

Record: 21-11, 10-8 Pac-12, tied 3d. RPI: 44.

Coach: Herb Sendek (21st season, 395-278; 141-120 in eight seasons at Arizona State; 7-7 NCAA).

Best win: 69-66 vs. Arizona, Feb. 14.

Worst loss: 78-76 at Oregon State, March 8.

Three-pointers: 38.6 percent.

Free throws: 69.4 percent.

Top three: Jahii Carson (18.6 ppg., 4.5 apg.), Jermaine Marshall

(15.0 ppg.), Jordan Bachynski

(11.1 ppg., 8.3 rpg.).

The skinny: The Sun Devils are in the top 30 in the nation in both three-pointers made and three-point percentage. They are also 10th in Division I in defensive rebounds, which speaks to their strong half-court defense.

 

11 IOWA/TENNESSEE

IOWA

Record: 20-12, 9-9 Big Ten, 6th.

RPI: 57.

Coach: Fran McCaffery (18th season, 325-239; 74-62 in four seasons at Iowa; 2-5 NCAA).

Best win: 85-82 vs. Iowa State, Dec. 13.

Worst loss: 67-62 vs. Northwestern, March 13.

Three-pointers: 35.3 percent.

   TENNESSEE

Record: 21-12, 11-7 Southeastern, 4th. RPI: 42.

Coach: Cuonzo Martin (6th season, 122-81; 61-40 in three seasons at Tennessee; 0-0 NCAA).

Best win: 87-52 vs. Virginia, Dec. 30.

Worst loss: 57-56 vs. Texas A&M, Jan. 11.

Three-pointers: 33.6 percent.

 

12 NORTH CAROLINA STATE/XAVIER

NORTH CAROLINA STATE

Record: 21-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast, tied 7th. RPI: 55.

Coach: Mark Gottfried (17th season, 347-192; 69-37 in three seasons at North Carolina State; 7-9 NCAA).

Best win: 74-67 vs. Pittsburgh, March 3.

Worst loss: 82-72, overtime, vs. North Carolina Central, Nov. 20.

Three-pointers: 30.3 percent.

   XAVIER

Record: 21-12, 10-8 Big East, tied 3d. RPI: 47.

Coach: Chris Mack (5th season, 111-56, all at Xavier; 4-3 NCAA).

Best win: 75-69 vs. Creighton, March 1.

Worst loss: 84-78 vs. Southern California, Nov. 30.

Three-pointers: 35.4 percent.

   

13 MANHATTAN

Record: 25-7, 15-5 Metro Atlantic Athletic, 2d. RPI: 60.

Coach: Steve Masiello (3d season, 60-38, all at Manhattan; 0-0 NCAA).

Best win: 71-68 vs. Iona, March 10.

Worst loss: 71-67 at Fairfield, Jan. 18.

Three-pointers: 36.7 percent.

Free throws: 66.2 percent.

Top three: George Beamon (19.2 ppg., 6.6 rpg., 1.6 spg.), Michael Alvarado (12.0 ppg., 4.0 apg., 1.4 spg.), Rhamel Brown (10.1 ppg.,

6.0 rpg., 3.7 bpg.).

The skinny: Behind Beamon, who ranked third in the MAAC in scoring, the Jaspers are in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2004 thanks to their upset of top-seeded Iona in the title game.

 

14 MERCER

Record: 26-8, 14-4 Atlantic Sun, tied 1st. RPI: 83.

Coach: Bob Hoffman (11th season, 193-158; 125-81 in six seasons at Mercer; 0-0 NCAA).

Best win: 79-76 at Mississippi, Dec. 22.

Worst loss: 79-76 vs. North Florida, Feb. 27.

Three-pointers: 38.4 percent.

Free throws: 73.2 percent.

Top three: Langston Hall (14.7 ppg., 5.6 apg., 3.1 rpg.), Daniel Coursey (9.9 ppg., 6.6 rpg., 2.1 bpg.), Bud Thomas (9.1 ppg., 4.1 rpg.).

The skinny: Mercer is in the tournament for the first time since 1985. The Bears knocked off Florida Gulf Coast, one of last year's NCAA darlings, in the Atlantic Sun title game.

 

15 WOFFORD

Record: 20-12, 11-5 Southern, tied 3d. RPI: 153.

Coach: Mike Young (12th season, 189-184, all at Wofford; 0-2 NCAA).

Best win: 63-59 at Elon, Feb. 27.

Worst loss: 71-57 vs. Chattanooga, Jan. 18.

Three-pointers: 37.1 percent.

Free throws: 66.3 percent.

Top three: Karl Cochran (15.7 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 3.0 apg.), Lee Skinner

(11.2 ppg., 8.6 rpg.), Spencer Collins (12.8 ppg., 3.1 rpg.).

The skinny: Wofford was dangerous in 2010 and 2011, losing to Wisconsin by four and Brigham Young by eight as a 13 seed and

14 seed, respectively. The Southern champions are back, but with only one senior, Aerris Smith, who averages only 8.8 minutes a game.

 

16 CAL POLY/TEXAS SOUTHERN

TEXAS SOUTHERN

Record: 19-14, 12-6 Southwest Athletic, 3d. RPI: 239.

Coach: Mike Davis (14th season, 273-180; 36-28 in two seasons at Texas Southern; 7-5 NCAA).

Best win: 67-64 at Southern, March 8.

Worst loss: 75-73 vs. Jackson State, Feb. 17.

Three-pointers: 36.0 percent.

   CAL POLY

Record: 13-19, 6-10 Big West, tied 6th. RPI: 208.

Coach: Joe Callero (5th season, 76-82, all at Cal Poly; 0-0 NCAA).

Best win: 72-64 at Santa Barbara, Jan. 11.

Worst loss: 62-58 vs. Cal Davis, Jan. 30.

Three-pointers: 33.9 percent.

 

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