Sports

NCA West Regional matchups

(1) Michigan State

Record: 27-7

Nickname: Spartans

Coach: Tom Izzo

Scoring: Draymond Green 16.2; Keith Appling 11.5; Brandon Wood 8.3

Last 10: 8-2

The skinny: Branden Dawson is already gone to a torn ACL, and Travis Trice hurt his right ankle in Big Ten Tournament practice, though he wound up playing with it heavily taped.

(16) LIU

Record: 25-8

Nickname: Blackbirds

Coach: Jim Ferry

Scoring: Julian Boyd 17.4; Jamal Olasewere 16.8; C.J. Garner 12.5; Jason Brickman 9.7; Michael Culpo 9.6

Last 10: 9-1

The skinny: Film director Spike Lee was in their little gym in Brooklyn when they knocked off Robert Morris to win their second straight Northeast Conference championship.

(3) Marquette

Record: 25-7

Nickname: Golden Eagles

Coach: Buzz Williams

Scoring: Darius Johnson-Odom 18.5; Jae Crowder 17.4; Davante Gardner 9.5; Vander Blue 8.7

Last 10: 7-3

The skinny: Perhaps Buzz Williams' time as a junior college coach endeared him to Jae Crowder, who went through two jucos. Or maybe it's the fact that Crowder can flat-out play.

(14) Brigham Young/Iona

BYU (25-8): This is the sixth straight year they've gone dancing, winning three in the tournament the past two years. No Jimmer this time. They might be just as good without him.

Iona (25-7): The Gaels figured they were headed for a decent seed after a nice regular season. They surely didn't expect to lose to Fairfield in the MAAC semifinals. That strong regular season wound up being even more important to the selection committee.

(5) New Mexico

Record: 27-6

Nickname: Lobos

Coach: Steve Alford

Scoring: Drew Gordon 13.4; Kendall Williams 12.0; Tony Snell 11.0

Last 10: 8-2

The skinny: Drew Gordon might be one of the premier centers in the field. The UCLA transfer is 6-foot-9, 245 pounds, and he averages a double-double while connecting on better than 50 percent from the field.

(12) Long Beach State

Record: 25-8

Nickname: 49ers

Coach: Dan Monson

Scoring: Casper Ware 17.4; Larrey Anderson 14.0; T.J. Robinson 12.0; James Ennis 9.9; Eugene Phelps 9.5

Last 10: 8-2

The skinny: Casper Ware was hardly recruited out of high school, but the senior loves big stages: 28 points at Pitt, 26 versus San Diego State and 29 points against North Carolina.

(7) Florida

Record: 23-10

Nickname: Gators

Coach: Billy Donovan

Scoring: Kenny Boynton 16.3; Bradley Beal 14.6; Erving Walker 12.1; Erik Murphy 10.7; Patrick Young 10.3

Last 10: 4-6

The skinny: The Gators were ranked in the top 10 at one point this season. Losing three in a row and five of eight heading into the SEC Tournament made folks forget.

(10) Virginia

Record: 22-9

Nickname: Cavaliers

Coach: Tony Bennett

Scoring: Mike Scott 18.1; Joe Harris 11.5; Sammy Zeglinski 8.7

Last 10: 4-6

The skinny: 22 regular-season wins were their most since 25 in 1982-83. They also had seven road wins for the first time since 1986-87, and the 11 straight weeks they spent in the Top 25 were the most since 2000-01.

(8) Memphis

Record: 26-8

Nickname: Tigers

Coach: Josh Pastner

Scoring: Will Barton 18.1; Joe Jackson 11.1; Tarik Black 10.9; Chris Crawford 9.3; Adonis Thomas 9.0

Last 10: 9-1

The skinny: The Tigers led Conference USA in scoring and field-goal percentage and shot better than 71 percent from the foul line. In other words, they can score.

(9) Saint Louis

Record: 25-7

Nickname: Billikens

Coach: Rick Majerus

Scoring: Brian Conklin 14.6; Kwamain Mitchell 11.8; Cody Ellis 10.5

Last 10: 8-2

The skinny: Majerus missed a 75-60 win over Duquesne this season because he was hospitalized shortly before the game. If that's how good they were without him, imagine how good they can be with him.

(6) Murray State

Record: 30-1

Nickname: Racers

Coach: Steve Prohm

Scoring: Isaiah Canaan 19.2; Donte Poole 14.2; Ivan Aska 10.9

Last 10: 9-1

The skinny: Jewuan Long wears No. 33 as an homage to Scottie Pippen and, like the ex-Bulls star, he's a defensive whiz. This is a team that started with 23 straight wins, and nobody wants to face it in March.

(11) Colorado State

Record: 20-11

Nickname: Rams

Coach: Tim Miles

Scoring: Wes Eikmeier 15.6; Dorian Green 13.5; Greg Smith 9.7

Last 10: 6-4

The skinny: Miles started at NAIA Mayville State and turned around D-II Southwest Minnesota State before North Dakota State. The Bison made it in their first year of eligibility under his successor and haven't let up.

(4) Louisville

Record: 26-9

Nickname: Cardinals

Coach: Rick Pitino

Scoring: Kyle Kuric 13.1; Russ Smith 11.4; Chris Smith 10.0; Gorgui Dieng 9.4; Peyton Siva 9.1; Chane Behanan 9.0

Last 10: 6-4

The skinny: Rick Pitino has the Cardinals back in the tournament for the sixth straight year, though they've been bounced in the opening round the last two.

(13) Davidson

Record: 25-7

Nickname: Wildcats

Coach: Bob McKillop

Scoring: De'Mon Brooks 16.0; Jake Cohen 14.0; JP Kuhlman 11.1; Nik Cochran 11.0; Chris Czerapowicz 10.2

Last 10: 8-2

The skinny: Forget that Davidson needed double OT to beat Western Carolina in the Southern Conference title game. Remember it beat Kansas on a neutral court in December.

(2) Missouri

Record: 30-4

Nickname: Tigers

Coach: Mike Anderson

Scoring: Marcus Denmon 17.6; Kim English 14.9; Ricardo Ratliffe 13.9; Michael Dixon 13.3; Phil Pressey 10.0.

Last 10: 9-1

The skinny: English hit 20 of his first 23 field-goal attempts in the Big 12 Tournament. Pressey scored 23 points in a semifinal win over Texas. And neither of them is the leading scorer.

(15) Norfolk State

Record: 25-9

Nickname: Spartans

Coach: Anthony Evans

Scoring: Kyle O'Quinn 15.9; Chris McEachin 12.8; Pendarvis Williams 11.8

Last 10: 9-1

The skinny: They earned a bid after winning the MEAC title, their first post-season tournament victory in Division I in 15 years. Kyle O'Quinn had 18 points against Bethune-Cookman to secure the berth.

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