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NCAA '10[ MIDWEST region ]

NCAA men's college basketball: Midwest Region

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Kansas Jayhawks

Record: 32-2, 15-1 Big 12

Tourney history: 84-37; champion 1952, 1988, 2008

Coach: Bill Self (201-42 at Kansas, 408-147 overall)

Key win: 81-79 in overtime against then-No. 11 rival Kansas State on the road.

Key loss: 76-68 to then-No. 16 Tennessee on the road, the first loss of the season and one that ended a 15-game winning streak.

Key player: Sr. G Sherron Collins leads the team with 15.6 points and scored in double figures 25 times during the regular season.

X-factor: Experience. The Jayhawks have been at No. 1 or near the top of the polls all season and have taken everybody's best shot. They'll know how to handle pressure and adversity during this final stretch.

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Georgetown Hoyas

Record: 23-10, 10-8 Big East

Tourney history: 45-24; champion 1984

Coach: John Thompson III (139-61 at Georgetown, 207-102 overall)

Key wins: 89-77 at home against Duke on Jan. 30, and 91-84 over Syracuse in the league tournament last week.

Key losses: 72-64 at home against USF on Feb. 3 was surprising, but worse was 71-68 at Rutgers on Feb. 14.

Key player: So. C Greg Monroe (16.2 points, 9.7 rebounds) is a likely lottery pick and the next great big man in the Hoyas' great tradition.

X-factor: Jr. G Chris Wright seems to step up in big games — 27 points in a win at Pittsburgh and in the tournament upset of Syracuse.

Maryland Terrapins

Record: 23-8, 13-3 ACC

Tourney history: 37-22; champion 2002

Coach: Gary Williams (441-237 at Maryland, 648-365 overall)

Key win: 79-72 at home over Duke on March 3 to avenge earlier loss at Duke.

Key loss: 83-77 at home to a good William & Mary team on Dec. 30.

Key player: Sr. G Greivis Vasquez, the league's player of the year, is among the ACC's all-time leaders in scoring and assists, and he can carry a team.

X-factor: The Terrapins led the ACC in shooting (47.5 percent) and 3-point shooting (39.3 percent) during the regular season.

Michigan State Spartans

Record: 24-8, 14-4 Big Ten

Tourney history: 48-22; champion 1979, 2000

Coach: Tom Izzo (360-145 at MSU, overall)

Key win: 54-47 against visiting Wisconsin on Jan. 6.

Key loss: 77-74 to Florida at the Legends Classic in Atlantic City on Nov. 27, while ranked No. 2.

Key player: Jr. PG Kalin Lucas, the top scorer, showed he's more valuable than his stats suggest when he was out with an ankle injury.

X-factor: The nucleus from last year's NCAA runnerup is back, and tournament experience is usually a big plus this time of the year.

Tennessee Volunteers

Record: 25-8, 11-5 SEC

Tourney history: 13-17; Sweet 16, 1981, 2000, 2007, 2008

Coach: Bruce Pearl (123-45 at UT, 440-129 overall)

Key win: 74-65 at home on Feb. 27 over then-No. 2 Kentucky.

Key loss: 78-63 loss on the road Jan. 23 to the SEC East's worst team, Georgia.

Key player: Sr. F Wayne Chism averages 12.5 points and 6.8 rebounds, and offers solid, veteran leadership. So. G Scotty Hopson is averaging 12.5 as well.

X-factor: Tenacity and perimeter defense. They are the only team in the SEC to hold opponents to under 30 percent from 3-point range.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Record: 22-10, 9-7 Big 12

Tourney history: 38-22; champion 1945, 1946

Coach: Travis Ford (45-21 at Oklahoma State, 235-180 overall)

Key win: 85-77 over Kansas on Feb. 27 for the Cowboys' first victory over a No. 1 team in 21 years.

Key loss: 86-65 at unranked Tulsa, its first of the season.

Key player: Big 12 player of the year and Jr. G James Anderson ranks third nationally in scoring and averaged 24.1 points in conference play.

X-factor: Jr. F Matt Pilgrim came on strong late, averaging 11.4 points and nine rebounds in the final nine games. During that span he shot 79.6 percent from the field.

UNLV Runnin' Rebels

Record: 25-8, 11-5 Mountain West

Tourney history: 33-15; champion 1990

Coach: Lon Kruger (137-61 at UNLV, 455-294 overall)

Key win: 74-62 on road against eventual league regular-season champ New Mexico on Jan. 9.

Key loss: 67-56 to Southern California on Dec. 25 in the final of the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii.

Key player: Jr. G Tre'Von Willis was second in the league in scoring (17.7 point per game) and a member of the league's all-defensive team.

X-factor: Kruger knows how to get a team ready for the NCAA; he's 14-11 overall, including a Final Four with Florida (1994).

Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 27-7, 14-4 Big Ten

Tourney history: 43-24; champion 1960

Coach: Thad Matta (154-53 at Ohio State, 256-84 overall)

Key win: 74-67 road victory vs. Michigan State on Feb. 21.

Key loss: 65-43 at Wisconsin on Dec. 31.

Key player: Jr. G/F Evan Turner led the league in scoring and rebounding, was the Big Ten player of the year and might just be the national player of the year.

X-factor: Four players average double figures in scoring — Turner, G William Buford, G Jon Diebler and G/F David Lightly — making the Buckeyes offense tough to defend.

NCAA men's college basketball: Midwest Region 03/15/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 15, 2010 12:09am]

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