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West
March 16, 1998
MARCH 12, 14/SACRAMENTO
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March 16, 1998

West

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6 Arkansas

Coach Nolan Richardson
Record 23-8
Team scoring 83.0 (FG%: 44.6) (3-pointers: 224-635, 35.3%)
Opponents' scoring 72.5 (FG%: 41.6)
Rebound margin-0.2 Team FT% 63.9
Whom not to foul Pat Bradley (90%), Kareem Reid (74%)
Whom to foul Nick Davis (47%), Derek Hood (52%)
Quality wins Mississippi 100-87, South Carolina 96-88

Player to Watch
If you're going through Seinfeld withdrawal, fret not. Davis, 6'9" and barely 205 pounds, is built and coiffed like Kramer and has an ugly shot that looks like something Kramer might hoist. Over the years the Hogs have had their share of porky big men (e.g., Oliver Miller, Dwight Stewart), but Davis's knack around the basket—he's a double-figure scorer and rebounder—will cheer all endomorphs.

Scouting Report
Since a January loss at Kentucky, Arkansas has pressed virtually nonstop—harkening back to its 40-minutes-of-hell heyday of the early 1990s. When guards Bradley and Tarik Wallace are sinking threes and the Razorbacks can get into their pressure defense, they score in bunches. Eleven Hogs logged double-figure minutes on a team that Richardson calls "a bunch of misfits who fit in." And you've got to like a group with a player, Sunday Adebayo, named after the day bids go out.

Prediction
Razorbacks' tempering in the SEC should get them past Big 12 (Nebraska) and WAC (Utah) entrants before losing.

11 Nebraska

Coach Danny Nee
Record 20-11
Team scoring 71 8 (FG%: 44.8) (3-pointers: 147-420, 35.0%)
Opponents' scoring 68.3 (FG%: 39.8)
Rebound margin +1.3 Team FT% 62.4
Whom not to foul Tyronn Lue (82%)
Whom to foul Andy Markowski (37%), Venson Hamilton (56%)
Quality wins At Oklahoma State 67-62, Virginia 80-65

Player to Watch
Scouts for the Mavericks and the Nuggets have been tailing Lue all season, which might be reason enough for the shifty junior point guard to stay in Lincoln for one more year. Lue led the Cornhuskers in scoring (21.3 a game) and assists (4.1), and Nee calls him the best player he has coached in his 12 years at Nebraska—yes, even better than the Clippers' Eric (the Polish Rifle) Piatkowski.

Scouting Report
Which Huskers will show up? The ones that lost five out of six a month ago or the ones that swept their last six regular-season games (in which Lue averaged 24.3 points a game)? Lue's explosiveness certainly makes him fun to watch; unfortunately, the observers often include his teammates. The sublimely named Cookie Belcher (11.1 points a game), Lue's cousin and backcourtmate, is about the only Cornhusker who can keep up with him.

Prediction
This team of three-letter words (Lue, Nee) makes acquaintance of another—O-U-T—in Round 1 loss to Arkansas.

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