USA TODAY US Edition
In Anaheim, Calif.
No. 3 Connecticut (28-9) vs. No. 2 San Diego State (34-2)
Tipoff: 7:15, CBS Coaches: Jim Calhoun (Connectituct), Steve Fisher (San Diego State)
Overview: Both teams average in the low 70s, but San Diego State allows 58.5 points a game to UConn’s 65.8. San Diego State, aside from sophomore Kawhi Leonard, is senior-laden. Fisher turns 66 today, but he is not the oldest coach in the game. Calhoun, who led UConn to national championships in 1999 and 2004, is 68. Two of the top talents in the game will be on display in Leonard and UConn’s Kemba Walker, who has led the Huskies to seven consecutive victories.
Difference-makers: San Diego State — F Kawhi Leonard (15.6 ppg, 10.6 rpg, struggled offensively vs. Temple); G D.J. Gay (11.0 ppg, 3.2 apg, once went 177 minutes without a turnover); F Malcolm Thomas (11.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, huge block late vs. Temple). Connecticut — G Kemba Walker (23.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.5 apg); G-F Jeremy Lamb (10.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 30 points in two NCAA tournament games); F-C Alex Oriakhi (9.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, double-figure rebounds in three of last four games).
Stattitude: San Diego State holds opponents to 39.3% shooting. UConn is 6-7 when shooting less than 40%.
No. 5 Arizona (29-7) vs. No. 1 Duke (32-4)
Tipoff: 9:45, CBS Coaches: Sean Miller (Arizona), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke)
Overview: The Blue Devils already were a No. 1 seed and then got GKyrie Irving, a special talent whomissed most of his freshman season, back for the tournament. The defending champs have senior leadership in leading scorers Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler. Arizona F Derrick Williams needs a monster game. Where Arizona turns for additional scoring can be an adventure. Of more concern to Miller is howArizona matches Duke’s intensity.
Difference-makers: Duke — G Nolan Smith (21.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.2 apg, led Atlantic Coast in scoring); F Kyle Singler (16.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, only ACC player with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 offensive rebounds, 250 3FGs, 200 assists, 100 blocks, 100 steals); G Kyrie Irving (16.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.4 apg, scored 14 and 11 last week after missing 26 games with hurt toe). Arizona — F Derrick Williams (19.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg, Pacific-10 player of year); G Lamont “MoMo” Jones (9.5 ppg, 18 vs. Memphis, 0 vs. Texas); F Solomon Hill (8.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, probably at his best vs. Texas with 16 points, eight rebounds).
Stattitude: Duke has won four consecutive NCAA tournament games against Pac-10 schools.