Player to Watch
On a team that has been likened to an NFL line, Madsen is the Cardinal's very own Fuzzy Thurston. A 22-year-old sophomore, he packs 235 pounds on his 6'8" frame-having matured during a two-year Mormon mission in Spain—and sets tungsten-strength screens to spring scorers free.
You want outside? The Cardinal has five regulars who shoot the three at 40% or better. You want inside? With eight players 6'7" or taller, Stanford is "the most dominant team around the basket in the country," says UCLA coach Steve Lavin. Trouble is, guards Lee and Weems are Stanford's only light-footed starters. "We've had real problems with the two premier teams we've played that had tremendous quickness," says Montgomery. That would be Arizona (twice) and UConn, which scored victories by an average of 23-3 points.
Stanford got a lucky draw: Charleston, then probably Clemson and possibly Purdue, none of which is overly quick. But if Western Michigan or Detroit survives, watch out.
14 College of Charleston
Coach John Kresse
Team scoring 70.5 (FG%: 46.5) (3-pointers: 101-293, 34.5%)
Opponents' scoring 55.0 (FG%: 38.5)
Rebound margin +2.0
Team FT% 69.4
Whom not to foul Marc Himes (78%), Shane McCravy (77%)
Whom to foul Carlos Brown (64%)
Quality wins None
Players to Watch
In Sedric Webber, a willowy 6'6", 200-pound junior center, the Cougars have the Trans America conference's best player. He spent last season in the shadow of Thaddeous (the Shaq of the TAAC) Delaney, but he has been busy this year, leading Charleston in scoring (15-2) and rebounding (8.1) and the conference in steals (2.3). He'd bring the ball up the floor, too, but the Cougars have a sure-handed—though diminutive—backcourt in 5'11" juniors McCravy (4.6 assists a game) and Jermel President (10.4 points).
Charleston's defense gives up only 55.0 points a game, the third-lowest total in the nation, but its offense struggles. The Cougars lost 52-40 to UMass, the one quality opponent on their schedule. If they can score in the 80s, the odds favor them: They are 99-0 under Kresse when they score 84 or more points. But they did that only three times this year.
A year ago the Cougars got a No. 12 seed and proved the committee wrong. This season the suits got it right.