Originally created 03/30/02

Final Four capsules

Kansas Jayhawks (Midwest Champion, No. 1 Seed)

Record: 33-3, 16-0 Big 12

Semifinal opponent: Maryland

Coach: Roy Williams (388-92 in 14 seasons at Kansas)

How they got here: The Jayhawks survived a first-round scare against Holy Cross before gathering their bearings and dominating Stanford to advance to the Round of 16, where they edged Illinois. Kansas ripped Oregon last week to advance to its first Final Four since 1993.

Best player: Forward Drew Gooden. The junior is the best big man in the country, capable of banging in the post and running the open floor.

Potential hero: You've probably heard of Gooden, guards Kirk Hinrich and Jeff Boschee. But freshman guard Keith Langford is more than capable of coming off the bench. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder scored a combined 35 points on 11-of-14 shooting in the wins over Illinois and Oregon.

Did you know? Today's game will mark the fourth consecutive time Kansas has faced an ACC team in the Final Four.

Bottom line: Point guard Aaron Miles is a freshman, and that doesn't bode well for a team hoping to win it all. Excluding Arizona in 1997, no team with a freshman starter at point guard has claimed a national championship. Miles will get plenty of help from Hinrich and Boschee, but he'll need to use his touch from the perimeter to give Kansas its first championship since 1988.

Maryland Terrapins (East Champion, No. 1 seed) Record: 30-4, 15-1 ACC

Semifinal opponent: Kansas

Coach: Gary Williams (272-143 in 13 seasons at Maryland)

How they got here: The Terrapins coasted by Siena (85-70) and Wisconsin (87-57) to advance to the Round of 16. After a workmanlike victory over Kentucky, Maryland got clutch shots late against Connecticut and won 90-82 to advance to its second straight Final Four.

Best player: Guard Juan Dixon. The senior guard has produced in the NCAAs, averaging 26 points per game and shooting 52.2 percent.

Potential hero: Guard Drew Nicholas. The junior has been valuable off the bench this season by hitting big shots. If the Jayhawks key too much on Dixon and point guard Steve Blake, Nicholas could find himself open to hit more.

Did you know? Maryland has won 17 of its past 18 games and 22 of its past 24.

Bottom line: The Terps need a solid performance from Blake, who figures to have the edge against Miles. The junior has played in plenty of big games during his career, but the Jayhawks will cause problems with their quick backcourt. Blake isn't known as a scorer, but he might need to be tonight.

Oklahoma Sooners (West Champion, No. 2 seed) Record: 31-4, 13-3 Big 12

Semifinal opponent: Indiana

Coach: Kelvin Sampson (187-73 record in eight seasons at Oklahoma)

How they got here: The Sooners edged Illinois-Chicago (71-63) and Xavier (78-65) to advance to the Round of 16 before beating Arizona by 21. They outlasted Missouri 81-75 to earn their first Final Four appearance since 1988.

Best player: Point guard Hollis Price. The junior was the Sooners' sparkplug throughout the regular season, and that hasn't changed in the NCAAs. He is averaging 18.3 points per game, and he earned MVP honors in the West Region.

Potential hero: Guard Jason Detrick. The junior is Oklahoma's top player off the bench, averaging 9.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

Did you know? The Sooners have 116 more offensive rebounds than their opponents and have committed 154 fewer turnovers.

Bottom line: Oklahoma needs to find someone to bottle up Indiana forward Jared Jeffries and avoid being flustered by Indiana's patient, methodical offense. The Hoosiers can shoot, but they probably won't repeat their 15-of-19 performance from 3-point range that wiped out Kent State last week.

Indiana Hoosiers (South Champion, No. 5 seed) Record: 24-11, 11-5 Big Ten

Semifinal opponent: Oklahoma

Coach: Mike Davis (45-24 in two seasons at Indiana)

How they got here: The Hoosiers beat Utah (75-56) and UNC-Wilmington (76-67) before pulling off the upset of the tournament against Duke (74-73) in the third round. Indiana beat Kent State 81-69 to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 1992.

Best player: Forward Jared Jeffries. He's a sophomore but he doesn't play like one. The 6-10, 220-pounder has averaged 15.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, and his versatility makes him a difficult matchup.

Potential hero: Point guard Donald Perry. Tom Coverdale's ankle injury has thrust the freshman into an enormously difficult situation. Perry hasn't played more than 18 minutes in a game since December, but chances are he'll be asked to play - and do - a lot more today.

Did you know? Davis earned $50,000 in bonuses for winning a share of the Big Ten title and leading the Hoosiers to the Final Four. He plans to donate it all to the Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis.

Bottom line: Without Coverdale, Indiana will be vulnerable to Oklahoma's presses and traps. The Hoosiers will have to take care of the ball, be patient and try to chip away at the Sooners' lack of depth in the post. Against Oklahoma, it's be physical or be beaten.


Trending this week:


© 2017. All Rights Reserved.    | Contact Us