Player to Watch
A 24-year-old junior who never played high school ball, Gladness was plucked by Knight from the junior college tumbleweeds (Carl Albert State in Poteau, Okla.). The forward shot a team-leading 55.3% from the field, which makes him No. 1 with a bullet—the one that's lodged near Gladness's spine as the result of a shooting while he was in high school in West Memphis, Ark.
Knight considers sophomore guard A.J. Guyton (16.6 points per game) the Hoosiers' MVP because he has been their only consistent player. Consistency—or lack thereof—has been the fatal flaw that has haunted Patterson; in what seems to be a paradigm of his career, he dropped 27 points on Purdue one night but was shut out by Michigan three games later. The Hoosiers are quicker since 7-foot center Jason Collier left the team in January, but their poor rebounding has hurt them.
Patterson and Charlie Miller will become Knight's first four-year players to fail to win an NCAA tournament game.
Coach Kelvin Sampson
Team scoring 74.2 (FG%: 44.4) (3-pointers: 172-494, 34.8%)
Opponents' scoring 675 (FG%: 42.5)
Rebound margin +5.1
Team FT% 70.2
Whom not to foul Corey Brewer (80%), Michael Johnson (75%)
Whom to foul Ryan Humphrey (58%), Evan Wiley (59%)
Quality wins Coppin State 83-72, Texas 81-74
Player to Watch
A gunshot that hit him in the arm didn't stop Brewer at age 15, so what chance did bruised ribs, two sprained ankles and a dislocated finger have this season? Brewer, a 6'2" senior guard who spent last summer playing on a USA Basketball team that went to Australia and another that played in Sicily, averaged 35.4 minutes this season. It's quality time too. Brewer gets his 20.8 points per game from the outside (making 42.7% of his threes) and at the free throw line (making 5.6 foul shots per game), which shows he can drive, too.
These Sooners do what Sampson's teams usually do well. They rebound and play tough defense. But injuries have reduced Oklahoma to eight players, one of whom, forward Edward Najera, hasn't fully recovered from a stress fracture in his left foot. Depth could be the Sooners' undoing: In their five Big 12 losses, they led in the second half in four of them before wilting.
Sampson (four straight NCAA defeats) will end his streak against Indiana before UConn tells the Sooners, "Later."
MARCH 12, 14/WASHINGTON