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Buffalo, N.Y.

By BRIAN LANDMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 13, 2000


Friday, Sunday

  • GAMES: No. 2 Temple vs. No. 15 Lafayette; No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 Seton Hall; No. 3 Oklahoma State vs. No. 14 Hofstra; No. 6 Indiana vs. No. 11 Pepperdine.

  • BEST PLAYER: Indiana's A.J. Guyton. The senior guard was averaging 20.5 points entering the Big Ten tournament. His textbook form and release have been compared to former Hoosier great Steve Alford. Guyton can curl off a Bobby Knight-coached screen as well as Alford did (witness his 43.4 percent shooting from three-point range), but he has the speed and athletic ability to create his own shot, too. He's arguably the best player in the Big Ten and one of the best in the nation.

  • BEST UPSET POSSIBILITIES: Sorry, A.J., but as good as you are, and as well as you and your Hoosier teammates play defense, Pepperdine has played extremely well all season against top-flight competition. Remember, it lost to UCLA when the tying shot was ruled late.

  • BEST STORY LINE: Oregon is a team on the rise for former star Ernie Kent, in his third year as coach. Oregon last made the tournament in 1995, but this is just its second berth since 1961. Seton Hall is its East Coast counterpart. Former Duke star Tommy Amaker, in his third year as a coach, has the Pirates back in the Show for the first time since 1994. Neither team has a big name, but both have plenty of quality, whether it's Oregon's senior guard Alex Scales or Seton Hall's senior guard Shaheen Holloway.

  • WHAT TO EXPECT: Temple, which won the Atlantic 10 tournament for the first time since 1990, easily could have been a No. 1 seed. When senior point guard Pepe Sanchez is on the floor, this team can beat anyone. And has. The Owls used their signature matchup zone and better-than-normal perimeter shooting (Mark Karcher and Lynn Greer) to win at Cincinnati last month.

  • WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "A team like Temple can beat anyone in the country. Their matchup zone is so difficult to play against. If you have an off shooting night, they're going to beat you." -- ESPN analyst Brad Daugherty.

  • ADVANCING: Temple, Oklahoma State

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