Wednesday, June 3, 2015

NCAA tournament: West Regional at a glance

1 ARIZONA

Record: 30-4, 15-3 Pac-12, 1st.

RPI: 1.

Coach: Sean Miller (11th season; 246-94; 126-48 in six seasons at Arizona; 11-6 NCAA).

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  • Best win: 77-72 vs. Duke, Nov. 29.

    Worst loss: 60-58 vs. California, Feb. 1.

    Three-pointers: 35.6 percent.

    Free throws: 65.5 percent.

    Top three: Nick Johnson (16.2 ppg.), Aaron Gordon (12.1 ppg.,

    7.8 rpg.), Brandon Ashley (11.5 ppg., 5.8 rpg.).

    The skinny: The Wildcats, who spent eight weeks at No. 1 in the

    AP poll, give up just 58.1 ppg., sixth in the nation. Johnson is the Pac-12 player of the year. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, from Chester, averages 8.6 points and 5.8 rebounds.

     

    2 WISCONSIN

    Record: 26-7, 12-6 Big Ten, tied 2d. RPI: 6.

    Coach: Bo Ryan (15th season, 347-147; 317-120 in 13 seasons at Wisconsin; 16-12 NCAA).

    Best win: 79-74 at Iowa, Feb. 22.

    Worst loss: 65-56 vs. Northwestern, Jan. 29.

    Three-pointers: 37.3 percent.

    Free throws: 74.4 percent.

    Top three: Frank Kaminsky

    (13.6 ppg., 6.4 rpg.), Sam Dekker (12.7 ppg., 6.2 rpg.), Traevon Jackson (10.4 ppg., 3.9 apg.).

    The skinny: The Badgers finished the season strong with Kaminsky and Jackson forming a nice inside-out tandem. They get their offense from a lot of contributors: The top five scorers average between 9.2 and 13.6 ppg.

     

    3 CREIGHTON

    Record: 26-7, 14-4 Big East, 2d.  

    RPI: 10.

    Coach: Greg McDermott (20th season, 386-232; 106-37 in four seasons at Creighton; 2-5 NCAA).

    Best win: 101-80 vs. Villanova, Feb. 16.

    Worst loss: 70-65 vs. St. John's, Feb. 9.

    Three-pointers: 42.1 percent.

    Free throws: 75.2 percent.

    Top three: Doug McDermott

    (26.9 ppg., 7.0 rpg.), Ethan Wragge (10.5 ppg., 4.0 rpg.), Austin Chatman (7.7 ppg., 4.5 apg.).

    The skinny: Behind Doug McDermott, a lock for national player of the year, the Bluejays led the nation in three-point percentage and assist-turnover ratio, and were second in three-pointers made and assists.

     

    4 SAN DIEGO STATE

    Record: 29-4, 16-2 Mountain West, 1st. RPI: 15.

    Coach: Steve Fisher (23d season; 495-256; 310-175 in 15 seasons at San Diego State; 23-12 NCAA).

    Best win: 61-57 vs. Kansas, Jan. 5.

    Worst loss: 68-62 vs. Wyoming, Feb. 11.

    Three-pointers: 35.8 percent.

    Free throws: 65.3 percent.

    Top three: Xavier Thames (16.8 ppg., 1.7 spg.), Winston Shepard (12.1 ppg., 5.2 rpg.), Josh Davis

    (7.7 ppg., 9.7 rpg.).

    The skinny: The Aztecs rode their defense to a successful season.

    They are second nationally in scoring defense (56.6 points per game), fourth in three-point defense (28.7 percent), and eighth in field-goal percentage defense (38.4).

     

    5 OKLAHOMA

    Record: 23-9, 12-6 Big 12, 2d.

    RPI: 27.

    Coach: Lon Kruger (28th season, 537-341; 58-37 in three seasons at Oklahoma; 14-14 NCAA).

    Best win: 87-82 vs. Iowa State, Jan. 11.

    Worst loss: 68-60 vs. Texas Tech, Feb. 12.

    Three-pointers: 37.8 percent.

    Free throws: 75.0 percent.

    Top three: Buddy Hield (16.8 ppg., 4.4 rpg.), Cameron Clark (15.3 ppg., 5.5 rpg.), Jordan Woodard

    (10.3 ppg., 4.7 apg.).

    The skinny: The Sooners have used the same starting five all season - three sophomores, a freshman, and a senior. Oklahoma led the Big 12 and was 18th nationally in made three-pointers (8.5 per game).

     

    6 BAYLOR

    Record: 24-11, 9-9 Big 12, tied 6th. RPI: 30.

    Coach: Scott Drew (12th season, 224-160; 204-149 in 11 seasons at Baylor; 6-3 NCAA).

    Best win: 74-61 vs. Iowa State, March 4.

    Worst loss: 82-72 vs. Texas Tech, Jan. 15.

    Three-pointers: 39.0 percent.

    Free throws: 67.3 percent.

    Top three: Cory Jefferson

    (13.5 ppg., 8.4 rpg.), Kenny Chery (11.6 ppg., 5.0 apg.), Isaiah Austin (11.0 ppg., 5.5 rpg., 3.3 bpg.).

    The skinny: Austin, a 7-foot-1 sophomore, is seventh in the country in blocks per game, anchoring the Big 12's second-best scoring defense (68.4 ppg.). The Bears recovered from a 2-8 start to the conference season.

     

    7 OREGON

    Record: 23-9, 10-8 Pac-12, tied 3d. RPI: 28.

    Coach: Dana Altman (25th season, 506-289; 96-46 in four seasons at Oregon; 4-9 NCAA).

    Best win: 64-57 vs. Arizona, March 8.

    Worst loss: 80-72 at Oregon State, Jan. 19.

    Three-pointers: 39.2 percent.

    Free throws: 76.6 percent.

    Top three: Joseph Young (18.6 ppg.), Mike Moser (13.5 ppg., 8.0 rpg.), Jason Calliste (12.4 ppg.).

    The skinny: The Ducks are second in the Pac-12 in scoring offense at

    81.8 points a game and are sixth in the nation in free-throw percentage. Although they give up 74.0 points a game, they force 7.9 steals a game and guard the perimeter pretty well.

     

    8 GONZAGA

    Record: 28-6, 15-3 West Coast, 1st. RPI: 19.

    Coach: Mark Few (15th season, 402-99, all at Gonzaga; 15-14 NCAA).

    Best win: 75-64 vs. Brigham Young, March 11.

    Worst loss: 82-73 at Portland, Jan. 9.

    Three-pointers: 39.4 percent.

    Free throws: 71.0 percent.

    Top three: Sam Dower Jr.

    (15.0 ppg., 7.1 rpg.), Kevin Pangos

    (14.1 ppg.), Gary Bell Jr. (11.2 ppg.).

    The skinny: The Zags' best out-of-conference wins were over West Virginia and Arkansas, but they're still dangerous. They made 49.8 percent of their shots, fourth in the nation. David Stockton, son of John (the most well-known Zags alum), leads the team in assists.

     

    9 OKLAHOMA STATE

    Record: 21-12, 8-10 Big 12, 8th.

    RPI: 45.

    Coach: Travis Ford (14th season, 248-191; 125-76 in six seasons at Oklahoma State; 1-4 NCAA).

    Best win: 72-65 vs. Kansas, March 1.

    Worst loss: 65-61 at Texas Tech, Feb. 8.

    Three-pointers: 36.8 percent.

    Free throws: 72.4 percent.

    Top three: Marcus Smart (17.8 ppg., 5.7 rpg., 4.7 apg., 2.8 spg.), Markel Brown (17.1 ppg., 5.3 rpg.), Le'Bryan Nash (14.2 ppg., 5.7 rpg.).

    The skinny: The Cowboys survived a seven-game skid in February to earn a bid. Almost all of Smart's numbers improved this year, but his draft stock has fallen because of the team's record and his three-game suspension for shoving a fan last month.

     

    10 BRIGHAM YOUNG

    Record: 23-11, 13-5 West Coast, 2d. RPI: 31.

    Coach: Dave Rose (9th season, 209-66, all at Brigham Young; 15-14 NCAA).

    Best win: 86-82 vs. Texas, Nov. 25.

    Worst loss: 87-76 at Loyola Marymount, Dec. 28.

    Three-pointers: 35.9 percent.

    Free throws: 69.0 percent.

    Top three: Tyler Haws (23.4 ppg.), Kyle Collinsworth (14.0 ppg., 8.1 rpg.), Matt Carlino (13.7 ppg.).

    The skinny: If you like scoring, win or lose, this is your squad. BYU averages 85 points, third in the nation, first in this tournament. Either the Cougars or their opponent went over 100 points six times. (In two games, both teams did it).

     

    11 NEBRASKA

    Record: 19-12, 11-7 Big Ten, 4th. RPI: 48.

    Coach: Tim Miles (7th season, 105-118; 34-30 in two seasons at Nebraska; 0-1 NCAA).

    Best win: 77-68 vs. Wisconsin, March 9.

    Worst loss: 87-74 vs. Alabama-Birmingham, Nov. 22.

    Three-pointers: 33.9 percent.

    Free throws: 71.9 percent.

    Top three: Terran Petteway

    (18.1 ppg., 4.9 rpg., 1.6 apg), Shavon Shields (12.7 ppg., 5.8 rpg., 1.6 apg.), Walter Pitchford (9.5 ppg., 4.7 rpg.).

    The skinny: After knocking off No. 12 Wisconsin to end the regular season, fourth-seeded Nebraska lost to Ohio State in the Big Ten quarterfinals. The Cornhuskers start four underclassmen.

     

    12 NORTH DAKOTA STATE

    Record: 25-6, 12-2 Summit, 1st. RPI: 34.

    Coach: Saul Phillips (6th season, 117-70, all at North Dakota State; 0-1 NCAA).

    Best win: 85-66 vs. Delaware, Dec. 16.

    Worst loss: 95-77 at North Dakota, Nov. 24.

    Three-pointers: 36.7 percent.

    Free throws: 74.7 percent.

    Top three: Taylor Braun (18.2 ppg., 5.5 rpg.), Marshall Bjorklund

    (13.4 ppg., 4.3 rpg., 63.6 field-goal percentage), Lawrence Alexander (10.8 ppg., 4.2 rpg.).

    The skinny: The Bison are riding high into their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2009. They've won 14 of their last 15 games, outscoring their opponents by an average of 14.1 points in those victories.

     

    13 NEW MEXICO STATE

    Record: 26-9, 12-4 Western Athletic, 2d. RPI: 73.

    Coach: Marvin Menzies (7th season, 152-88, all at New Mexico State;

    0-3 NCAA).

    Best win: 67-61 at New Mexico, Dec. 17.

    Worst loss: 86-81 at Chicago State, Jan. 16.

    Three-pointers: 36.8 percent.

    Free throws: 68.1 percent.

    Top three: Daniel Mullings (16.8 ppg., 4.9 rpg., 3.5 apg.), Tshilidzi Nephawe (11.1 ppg., 7.8 rpg.), Sim Bhullar (10.3 ppg., 7.9 rpg., 3.4 bpg.).

    The skinny: Bhullar - a Canadian whose 7-foot-3 brother, Tanveer, is also on the Aggies - stands 7-5 and lines up beside the 6-10 South African Nephawe, giving the Aggies one of the nation's tallest frontcourts.

     

    14 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE

    Record: 23-11,11-7 Sun Belt, 3d. RPI: 98.

    Coach: Bob Marlin (16th season, 290-193; 65-62 in four seasons at Louisiana-Lafayette; 0-2 NCAA).

    Best win: 82-81, overtime, vs. Georgia State, March 16.

    Worst loss: 73-70 vs. Jackson State, Dec. 19.

    Three-pointers: 37.0 percent.

    Free throws: 67.1 percent.

    Top three: Elfrid Payton (19.1 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 5.9 apg.); Shawn Long

    (18.7 ppg., 10.5 rpg., 2.7 bpg.); Bryant Mbamalu (12.5 ppg., 4.3 rpg.).

    The skinny: The Ragin' Cajuns rallied from a nine-point deficit late in regulation in Sunday's Sun Belt final, then shocked top-seeded Georgia State in overtime to reach their first NCAA tournament since 2005.

     

    15 AMERICAN

    Record: 20-12, 13-5 Patriot League, 2d. RPI: 118.

    Coach: Mike Brennan (1st season, 20-12).

    Best win: 55-36 at Boston University, March 12.

    Worst loss: 63-60 vs. Colgate, Feb. 8.

    Three-pointers: 38.2 percent.

    Free throws: 71.0 percent.

    Top three: Jesse Reed (13.9 ppg., 4.4 rpg.), Tony Wroblicky (12.2 ppg., 7.3 rpg., 1.9 bpg.), Darius Gardner (11.5 ppg., 4.2 apg., 2.1 spg.).

    The skinny: American rebounded from a 10-20 season in 2012-13 to win its first Patriot League crown since 2009, under first-year coach Brennan. After losing five out of eight, American won its last three games going into the NCAAs.

     

    16 WEBER STATE

    Record: 19-11, 14-6 Big Sky, 1st. RPI: 150.

    Coach: Randy Rahe (8th season, 169-86, all at Weber State; 0-1 NCAA).

    Best win: 68-63 vs. Montana, Jan. 25.

    Worst loss: 78-75 at Idaho State, Feb. 17.

    Three-pointers: 39.2 percent.

    Free throws: 73.7 percent.

    Top three: Davison Berry (19.1 ppg., 4.3 rpg., 4.0 apg.), Jeremy Senglin (11.2 ppg., 2.2 rpg.), Kyle Tresnak (11.8 ppg., 1.8 bpg., 60.5 field-goal percentage).

    The skinny: The Wildcats lost four of their final seven regular-season games before regrouping and capturing the Big Sky tournament.

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