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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
When Georgia's Andy Landers looks at Duke, he sees a team that is big, talented, adept at the dribble drive, good in transition and accurate from the perimeter.
Except for the big part, the same adjectives could be applied to the Bulldogs, which means it could be strength against strength today in Chattanooga.
"I like to think defense is where we are strong," Landers said. "They are good offensively."
Each team goes about seven deep, and each has a signature offensive threat.
Georgia has 6-foot-3 Tasha Humphrey, co-national freshman of the year. She averages 19.1 points and 8.2 rebounds.
"She can score at will on anybody," teammate Sherill Baker said. "We played Texas the second game of the season, and after that, I knew she was going to be a big part of the team."
Humphrey scored 27 in the 78-64 win over the Longhorns in November then 26 against them Monday in a 70-68 win.
But Duke will put more size on the floor than Humphrey and Georgia are used to, including 6-7 Alison Bales, 6-5 Chante Black, 6-3 Mistie Williams and 6-2 Wynter Whitley.
Duke's go-to player is guard Monique Currie, averaging 17.7 points and seven rebounds. A stress fracture in her foot has limited her practice time, but she scored 21 in a 70-65 win over Boston College on Tuesday.
"Currie is more dangerous than Alana Beard," Landers said. "Beard, to be effective, needed a lot of postups. Currie can hurt you in more ways."
Beard was on the Duke team that beat Georgia in the 2003 tournament. Only one player who had an impact in that game returns. Georgia junior Alexis Kendrick scored 11 with five assists in 39 minutes.
"They are a little bit bigger than us at each position," she said. "We have to use our quickness and the little advantages we have."
NEW TEAM ON THE BLOCK: Minnesota is in the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive season.
That puts the Gophers in select company. Only five other teams have reached the Sweet 16 the past three seasons: UConn, Tennessee, LSU, Duke and Georgia.
"That tells me we've arrived," Gophers coach Pam Borton said. "We can list our name among those big names. This is where I wanted to take this program."
NEW BLOOD: Nine of the 16 teams also reached the Sweet 16 last season. That might sound like a lot. But consider that's down from last season, when 12 of the 16 teams were repeats from 2003.
Michigan State and Liberty are in it for the first time, and Arizona State's trip is its first since 1983.