Coach Dave Bliss
Team scoring 76.2 (FG%: 47.7) (3-pointers: 237-625, 37.9%)
Opponent scoring 67.8 (FG%: 43.2)
Rebound margin +2.5
Team FT% 74.8
Whom not to foul Kevin Henry (90%), Lamont Long (81%)
Whom to foul Greg Davis (53%), Roland Hannah (59%)
Quality win Arizona 79-78
Thomas is still trying to show he's a lottery pick; he'll have only one game, against Missouri, to display his stuff.
Player to Watch
Four years after arriving unheralded from Everett, Mass., 6'2" guard Pat Bradley hasn't picked up an Arkansas drawl, but he's right at home in coach Nolan Richardson's offense. He made 38.4% of his threes and led the Razorbacks in scoring (14.4 points a game). Watch him late in a game. He doesn't flinch.
Richardson, that old dog, tried a new trick early in the season, making 7-footer Jason Jennings the focal point of a half-court offense. After a 1-2 SEC start Richardson returned to his usual 94-foot pressure game. Arkansas won six of its last nine, including defeats of Kentucky and Auburn, by surrounding 6'8" forward Derek Hood with Richardson's Runts. Five players in the eight-man rotation are 6'3" or shorter and press like dervishes. Opponents will need sure hands and cool heads to prevail. The Hogs are 8-0 in first-round games in the 1990s.
Coach Nolan Richardson
Team scoring 78.4 (FG%: 44.4) (3-pointers: 269-741, 36.3%)
Opponent scoring 71.3 (FG%: 41.5)
Rebound margin -2.6
Team FT% 66.2
Whom not to foul Pat Bradley (83%), Kareem Reid (78%)
Whom to foul Chris Jefferies (46%), Brandon Dean (55%)
Quality wins Tennessee 69-52, Kentucky 74-70, Auburn 104-88
The Hogs will make it to the Sweet 16. Will the First Fan be in Phoenix when Arkansas goes down to UConn?
Player to Watch
Coach Paul Hewitt compares 6'5" junior guard Marcus Faison with Kerry Kittles, whom Hewitt coached as a Villanova assistant. Producer of memorable dunks and an array of slippery moves, Faison knows how to score (14.6 points per game), how to shoot (53.0%) and how to stop others from scoring (2.3 steals per game).