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Updated: Saturday, March 22, 2003 10:04 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL PREVIEW
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No. 6 Missouri (22-10) vs No. 3 Marquette (24-5)
MISSOURI TIGERS
Missouri Tigers
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MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES
Marquette Golden Eagles
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INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Third-seeded Marquette can advance to the "Sweet 16" for the first time in nine years on Saturday afternoon when it meets No. 6 Missouri in the second round of the Midwest Region.

Marquette (24-5) earned its first NCAA Tournament win since 1996 with a 72-68 victory over Holy Cross on Thursday. Travis Diener scored a career-high 29 points, including a clutch jumper with 35 seconds left for a four-point advantage.

Diener's big game offset a rough night from leading scorer Dwyane Wade, Conference USA's Player of the Year. Wade was held scoreless in the first half before coming alive for 15 points in the second half.

The last Golden Eagles' team to win a pair of games in the NCAA Tournament was the 1993-94 squad, which defeated Kentucky to reach the "Sweet 16."

Missouri (22-10) continued its success in the tournament under coach Quin Snyder with a 72-71 victory over Southern Illinois. Rickey Paulding's free throw with four seconds left after he drew a questionable foul proved to be the difference.

The Tigers are 5-3 in the NCAAs in all four years under Snyder, including last year's trip to the West Region final.

Arthur Johnson notched a second straight double-double with 24 points and 11 reboounds and Paulding netted 17 points. Travon Bryant added 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

Missouri has won four of seven all-time meetings with Marquette.

The winner faces Pittsburgh or Indiana on Thursday in Minneapolis.


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