St. Louis Regional Breakdown

This is a breakdown of the teams in the St. Louis bracket of the NCAA Tournament.

1. Kentucky
Nickname: Wildcats
Conference: SEC
Record: 26-4 (13-3)
Bid: Automatic RPI: 2
First-round: Lehigh/Florida A&M, Friday, Columbus, Ohio
Coach: Tubby Smith (314-113, 13 seasons; 190-51, 8 at Kentucky)
Best win: 67-66 at Mississippi State
Worst loss: 65-57 vs. Georgia
Key players: Gerald Fitch (15.7 ppg); Erik Daniels (14.7 ppg)
Analysis: It says something about Kentucky's balance that no Wildcat is in the SEC's top 10 in scoring. The Wildcats hold opponents to 40 percent shooting.

 2. Gonzaga
Nickname: Bulldogs
Conference: West Coast
Record: 27-2 (14-0)
Bid: Automatic RPI: 9
First-round: Valparaiso, Thursday, Seattle
Coach: Mark Few (132-31 5 seasons at Gonzaga)
Best win: 82-68 vs. Maryland
Worst loss: Take your pick - 73-66 to Saint Joseph's or 87-80 to Stanford
Key players: G Blake Stepp (14.7 ppg); F Ronny Turiaf (15.6 ppg); C Cory Violette (14.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg)
Analysis: The Bulldogs have legitimate Final Four potential but have to prove they can beat the powerhouses. They shot 52 percent from the field this season.

 3. Georgia Tech
Nickname: Yellow Jackets
Conference: ACC
Record: 23-9 (9-7)
Bid: At-large RPI: 16
First-round: Northern Iowa, Friday, Milwaukee, Wis.
Coach: Paul Hewitt (137-80, 7 years; 48-53, 4 at Georgia Tech)
Best win: 76-68 at Duke
Worst loss: 82-80 at Virginia
Key players: G B.J. Elder (16.0 ppg); C Luke Schenscher (9.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg); G Jarrett Jack (12.8 ppg, 5.9 apg)
Analysis: Made national impact with November victory against then-No. 1 Connecticut. Backcourt of Elder and Jack one of nation's best. Isma'il Muhammad brings athleticism off the bench.

 4. Kansas
Nickname: Jayhawks
Conference: Big 12
Record: 21-8 (12-4)
Bid: At-large RPI: 15
First-round: Ill.-Chicago, Friday, Kansas City, Mo.
Coach: Bill Self (228-113, 11 seasons; 1st at Kansas)
Best win: 96-77 vs. Texas Tech
Worst loss: 74-55 at Nebraska
Key players: Wayne Simien (18.1 ppg., 9.1 rpg.); Keith Langford (15.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg)
Analysis: This team depends heavily on offense; when the Jayhawks failed to score 70, they were generally cooked. They also didn't have the resolve to win on the road, normally a Kansas strength.

 5. Providence
Nickname: Friars
Conference: Big East
Record: 20-8 (11-5)
Bid: At-large RPI: 21
First-round: Pacific, Friday, Kansas City, Mo.
Coach: Tim Welsh (171-103, 9 seasons; 101-81, 6 at Providence)
Best win: 66-56 at Connecticut
Worst loss: 69-57 at Virginia Tech
Key player: F/C Ryan Gomes (18.6 ppg, 50.7 percent from the field); F Rob Sanders (11 ppg)
Analysis: Gomes is the sort of big, husky scorer who could carry a team deep into the tournament. He's been compared to Adrian Dantley and Mark Aguirre for the various ways he can light up a scoreboard.

6. Boston College
Nickname: Eagles
Conference: Big East
Record: 23-9 (10-6)
Bid: At-large RPI: 22
First-round: Utah, Friday, Milwaukee, Wis.
Coach: Al Skinner (259-220, 16 seasons; 121-94, 7 at Boston College)
Best win: 66-65 vs. N.C. State
Worst loss: 72-62 at Clemson
Key players: Craig Smith (17.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg); Jared Dudley (12.4 ppg)
Analysis: While this is a pretty good team in the low post, the Eagles tend to become infatuated with jump shots. This is also a good team to foul down the stretch; the Eagles shoot only 67 percent from the foul line.

7. Michigan State
Nickname: Spartans
Conference: Big Ten
Record: 18-11 (12-4)
Bid: At-large RPI: 39
First-round: Nevada, Thursday, Seattle
Coach: Tom Izzo (207-89, 9 seasons)
Best win: 89-81 vs. DePaul
Worst loss: 64-58 at UCLA
Key players: Paul Davis (15.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg); Chris Hill (14.2 ppg); Kelvin Torbet (10.8 ppg)
Analysis: The Spartans played a tough non-conference schedule that included Duke, Kansas and Kentucky and were 5-7 on Jan.10. They've gone 12-3 since and led the Big Ten in most offensive categories.

8. Washington
Nickname: Huskies
Conference: Pac-10
Record: 19-11 (12-6)
Bid: At-large RPI: 60
First-round: Alabama-Birmingham, Friday, Columbus, Ohio
Coach: Lorenzo Romar (122-116, 8 seasons; 29-28, 2 at Washington)
Best win: 75-62 vs. Stanford
Worst loss: 79-64 at Houston
Key players: G Brandon Roy (13.3 ppg, 3.2 apg); G Nate Robinson (12.6 ppg, 1.8 spg); G Will Conroy (12.2 ppg, 4.7 apg)
Analysis: Guard-oriented team made late-season push with upset of then-unbeaten Stanford and run to Pac-10 tournament title game. Huskies also won 12 of final 14 regular-season games.

 9. Ala.-Birmingham
Nickname: Blazers
Conference: Conference USA
Record: 20-9 (12-4)
Bid: At-large RPI: 33
First-round: Washington, Friday, Columbus, Ohio
Coach: Mike Anderson (41-22, 2 seasons)
Best win: 69-62 at Charlotte
Worst loss: 76-69 at Tulane
Key players: G Mo Finley (13.3 ppg); G Carldell Johnson (4.0 apg, 2.2 spg); F Gabe Kennedy (11.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg)
Analysis: The Blazers aren't well known but are tough to handle. Their smothering pressure defense disarms opponents. Could be a surprise.

10. Nevada
Nickname: Wolf Pack
Conference: Western Athletic
Record: 23-8 (13-5)
Bid: Automatic RPI: 29
First-round: Michigan State, Thursday, Seattle
Coach: Trent Johnson (77-73, 5 seasons)
Best win: 75-61 vs. Kansas
Worst loss: 71-70 at So. Methodist
Key players: G Kirk Snyder (19 ppg, 3.4 apg); F Nick Fazekas (12.9 ppg)
Analysis: Wolf Pack's bid to the tournament was probably never in question, thanks to wins against strong competition. The versatile Snyder is the league's top player.

11. Utah
Nickname: Utes
Conference: Mountain West
Record: 24-8 (9-5)
Bid: Automatic RPI: 36
First-round: Boston College, Friday, Milwaukee, Wis.
Coach: Kerry Rupp, interim (9-3 since taking job Jan.28)
Best win: 64-56 vs. Brigham Young
Worst loss: 76-44 vs. Connecticut
Key players: G/F Nick Jacobson (16.6 ppg); F/C Andrew Bogut (12.2 ppg, 9.8 rpg)
Analysis: Rupp replaces veteran coach Rick Majerus, who stepped down for health reasons. The Utes won their first four games under Rupp, then finished the regular season 2-3.

12. Pacific
Nickname: Tigers
Conference: Big West
Record: 24-7 (17-1)
Bid: Automatic RPI: 65
First-round: Providence, Friday, Kansas City, Mo.
Coach: Bob Thomason (246-192, 16 seasons)
Best win: 64-60 vs. Utah State
Worst loss: 62-59 vs. Canisius
Key players: G Miah Davis (14.9 ppg, 3.0 apg); Christian Maraker (13.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg)
Analysis: The Tigers, who played second-fiddle to Utah State all season in the Big West, won 20 of their final 21 games to reach the NCAAs for the first time in seven seasons.

13. Illinois-Chicago
Nickname: Flames
Conference: Horizon League
Record: 24-7 (12-4)
Bid: Automatic RPI: 87
First-round: Kansas, Friday, Kansas City, Mo.
Coach: Jimmy Collins (131-108, 8 seasons at UIC)
Best win: 90-71 vs. Northwestern
Worst loss: 54-53 vs. No. Illinois
Key players: G Cedric Banks (18.5 ppg); F Armond Williams (11.8 ppg); G Aaron Carr (10.1 ppg)
Analysis: Don't let the Flames' 12-game winning streak fool you. They barely defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee to get to the tournament, and their stay won't last more than a day.

14. Northern Iowa
Nickname: Panthers
Conference: Missouri Valley
Record: 21-9 (12-6)
Bid: Automatic RPI: 59
First-round: Georgia Tech, Friday, Milwaukee, Wis.
Coach: Greg McDermott (177-105, 10 seasons; 46-41, 3 at Northern Iowa)
Best win: 68-52 vs. So. Illinois
Worst loss: 82-65 at Wichita State
Key players: G Ben Jacobson (14.1 ppg); C David Gruber (11.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
Analysis: The second-seeded Panthers beat Southwest Missouri State, which had eliminated favorite Southern Illinois, to win the MVC tournament. They have 10 victories in past 11 games.

15. Valparaiso
Nickname: Crusaders
Conference: Mid-Continent
Record: 18-12 (11-5)
Bid: Automatic RPI: 139
First-round: Gonzaga, Thursday, Seattle
Coach: Homer Drew (523-318, 27 seasons; 254-196, 15 at Valparaiso)
Best win: 90-78 vs. IUPUI in conference tournament semifinal
Worst loss: 76-69 vs. Loyola Chicago
Key players: F Dan Oppland (15.9 ppg); F Joaquim Gomes (13.1 ppg); G Miguel Ali Berdiel (11.5 ppg)
Analysis: Drew's return to the bench after a yearhas the Crusaders back in the tournament after a 4-9 start. A 97-63 loss at Duke might have shown vulnerabilities.

16a. Lehigh
Nickname: Mountain Hawks
Conference: Patriot
Record: 20-10 (10-4)
Bid: Automatic RPI: 194
Coach: Billy Taylor (36-22, 2 seasons)
Key player: G Austen Rowland (15.8 ppg, 5.0 apg, 1.9 spg)

16b. Florida A&M
Nickname: Rattlers
Conference: MEAC
Record: 14-16 (10-8)
Bid: Automatic RPI: 262
Coach: Mike Gillespie Sr. (561-287, 30 seasons; 54-63, 3 at Florida A&M)
Key player: G Terrance Woods (20.4 ppg)


First Round
Kentucky 83
Lehigh 60

Washington 84

Providence 76
Pacific 64

Kansas 80
Illinois-Chicago 73

Boston College 75
Utah 63

Georgia Tech 88
Northern Iowa 73

Michigan State 62
Nevada 55

Gonzaga 79
Valparaiso 68

Second Round
Kentucky 80
UAB 71

Providence 70
Kansas 65

Georgia Tech 75
Boston College 70

Gonzaga 66
Michigan State 59

Sweet Sixteen Participants

Kentucky vs Providence
Gonzaga vs. Georgia Tech.

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