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Wolfpack, Commodores Look to Reach Sweet 16

NC State (#3 21-9) faces Vanderbilt(#6 22-9) in Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament. Game time is set for 2:40 p.m. and will be televised on CBS. <P> <a href="'','mbaskblGameTracker','toolbar=no,resizable=no,scrollbars=no,width=780,height=540'); void('');">Game Tracker</a> <P> <b>Watch it at <a href="">Woody's at City Market!</a></b>

NCAA Round 1: Vanderbilt 71 W. Michigan 58

NC State (#3 20-9) vs. Vanderbilt (#6 22-9)
T.D. Waterhouse Center (17,248 basketball seating)
2:40 p.m. CBS
Orlando, Florida
Stat Fox
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Vanderbilt Links

Vanderbilt Official Site

Vanderbilt Hustler (Student Newspaper)

Bulletin Board

"There is not a lot of respect for us. Our women's team is always very good, but the men's team usually isn't. This is our opportunity to prove ourselves." – Vanderbilt Senior Guard Scott Hundley 3/18/2004

Vanderbilt Scouting Report

Quickchart Matchup (Excluding Div II Games)
Vanderbilt Off vs.
No. Carolina St. Def
No. Carolina St. Off vs.
Vanderbilt Def
73.7 Pts F
64.8 Pts A
45.2 FG%
42.1 FG%
32.2 Reb.
30.6 Reb.
72.9 Pts F
64.5 Pts A
44.9 FG%
40.5 FG%
30.7 Reb.
30.8 Reb.

Vanderbilt Overview: Vanderbilt is a sixth seed in this year's tournament. The invite rewards the 12-member Vanderbilt squad that includes 10 returners from last year's 11-18 team and confirms the Commodores as one of the nation's top turnaround stories. VU is one win away from doubling its victory total from a year ago. Vanderbilt is led by unanimous First Team All-Southeastern Conference selection Matt Freije and his league-high 18.5 points per game average. The senior forward, who is the school's all-time leading scorer, is equally dangerous inside the paint and outside the arc. At the same time, the contributions from the supporting cast have proven immeasurable. Guards Russell Lakey and Mario Moore provide the Commodores a solid backcourt. The duo ranks first and second on the team in assists and steals. Lakey has come on strong recently and led the SEC Tournament with 19 assists. He ranks fourth in the league in assists (3.87 apg) and leads the conference with a 2.47-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. Moore ranks seventh in the SEC with a 1.44-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio while serving as one of the Commodores top three-point shooting threats (55 this season).

Vanderbilt's Top Gun Matt Freije (AP)
Game 1 Recap: Mario Moore scored 18 of his career-high 26 points in the second half to lead No. 6 seed Vanderbilt past No. 11 seed Western Michigan, 71-58, in the NCAA Tournament First Round at the TD Waterhouse Centre Friday. Moore's 26 points was a career-best which included hitting six 3-pointers, the last breaking open a close game. It was the first NCAA Tournament win for Vanderbilt since reaching the round of 16 in 1993. Vanderbilt was 11-of-19 (57.9%) from beyond the three-point arc. That is the second highest shooting percentage the Commodores have recorded this season from beyond the arc.

Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings: Kevin Stallings (206-131) has embraced the Commodores' history and tradition in his 5 years at Vanderbilt. He has done so while charting the direction he plans to take the program. Stallings' formula for success is not complicated. He believes in the time-honored values of intelligence, drive, hard work, experience and integrity. The outcome is that his teams win and his players graduate. Stallings is committed to maintaining the high academic standards of Vanderbilt University. It is not an empty promise. At Illinois State, five players achieved Academic All-American status and all but two seniors earned their degrees during his tenure. That trend has continued at Vanderbilt with all of his seniors earning their degrees. On the court, Stallings has a toughness and competitive nature that drives him and in turn drives his team when they step on the floor. Stallings cares deeply about his players. He preaches discipline and common sense in both basketball and life.

Probable Starting 5: F – #34 Matt Freije (Sr 6-10 249), 18.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg... G – #1 Mario Moore (So 5-11 176), 10.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg 3.0 apg... C – #13 Dawid Przybyszewski (Jr 7-2 253), 8.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg... G – #24 Scott Hundley (Sr 6-5 215), 6.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg... G – #33 Julian Terrell (So 6-9 244), 6.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg.

Vanderbilt's Top Gun: All-American candidate Matt Freije (C 6-10 249) is one of the most versatile big men NC State will have faced this year. He is one of those unique college basketball players, a tall American with a European-style game — a good combination of a long-range shooter, good ball-handling skills, and an improving inside game. He is one of the best two-way threats in the country, capable of knocking down three-pointers or scoring inside.

Historically Speaking: The Commodores and Wolfpack have met twice previously. Each team has a road victory in the series. In the first meeting, Vanderbilt overcame a 33-24 halftime deficit to defeat North Carolina State (65-59) in Greensboro, N.C., on Dec. 30, 1968. One year later, playing in front of a sellout crowd in Memorial Gymnasium, Vanderbilt watched as the Wolfpack turned the tables, winning 76-70.

Fast Break Points

Series Record: Tied 1-1
Vanderbilt is playing in their first NCAA appearance since 1997.
Vanderbilt has hit a 3-point FG in every game played since the rule was implemented in 1986-87.
Ranked in AP Poll for five consecutive weeks — longest streak since the 1992-93 season.
Vanderbilt posted perfect non-conference record (11-0) for the fifth time in school history.
VU sets a school record with its 15 home wins this season.
One of Nation's Top Turnarounds: Vanderbilt is enjoying one of college basketball's top turnarounds from a year ago. The Commodores have discarded the disappointments associated with the 2002-03 season and the 11-18 record that resulted and enter the NCAA Tournament with a 21-9 overall mark.

Givin' Up The Rock: Vanderbilt enters the NCAA Tournament averaging a league-high 16.63 assists per game. The number leads the SEC and ranks fourth-best school history. The Commodores have dished out 20 or more assists eight times this year, including a season-high 29 against Tennessee Tech on Dec. 13.

The Stakes: A trip to the Sweet Sixteen and the Phoenix regional with a likely match-up versus UConn. Survive and advance.

Key Match-Up:Marcus Melvin vs. Matt Freije. The match-up of versatile big men will be a marquee match-up Sunday afternoon when NC State takes on Vanderbilt. Both ballers bring a tough challenge for most teams; however, in this case, Melvin and Freije are similar players with similar games who can score inside or out. Both seniors figure to hear their names called during the NBA draft later this year. The winner of this match-up may help his case in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Hit up the Premium Chat: Not attending the game? Chat Live in the Premium Chat Room via the "Join Live Chat" Link. This service is available for premium subscribers and follow the game play-by-play with other Wolfpack fans!

Western Michigan's Mike Williams, right, attempts to steal the ball from Vanderbilt's Corey Smith in the first half of the first round of the NCAA tournament in Orlando, Fla. on Friday, March 19, 2004.(AP Photo/Scott Audette)

No Name Pos Ht Wt Yr City (High School)
1 Mario Moore G 5-11 176   SO Nashville, TN (Antioch)
3 Jason Holwerda G 6-6 214   JR Chattanooga, TN (Chattanooga Christian)
5 LaBraun Andrews F 6-7 205   JR Memphis, TN (Colgate/The Lawrenceville School)
10 Adam Payton G 6-3 195   SO Burlington, NJ (The Lawrenceville)
11 Russell Lakey G 6-2 190   SR Los Angeles, CA (Harvard-Westlake)
13 Dawid Przybyszewski C 7-2 253   JR Torun, INT (SMS Warka)
20 Dan Cage G 6-5 206   FR Indianapolis, IN (Bishop Chatard)
24 Scott Hundley G 6-5 215   SR Georgetown, KY, (Scott County)
33 Julian Terrell F/C 6-9 244   SO Nashville, TN (Ezel-Harding)
35 Matt Freije F 6-10 249   SR Overland Park, KS (Shawnee Mission West)
42 Martin Schnedlitz F/C 6-10 258 SR Houston, TX (Episcopal)
44 Cory Smith G/F 6-6 234   JR Houston, TX (Lamar)
54 Ted Skuchas C 6-11 248   FR Audubon, PA (Germantown Academy)

Vanderbilt at the NCAA Tournament

Previous NCAA Tournament Appearances..................7

Tournament Record........................................5-8 (.385)

Total Tournament Games ..........................................13

Last Appearance ..................1997; lost 80-68 to Xavier first round of Midwest Regional

Best Finishes ......Advanced to Sweet 16 (1988, 1993)

Record vs. 2004 Field ..............................................5-6

2004 Tournament Seed ..........No. 6 in Phoenix Region

2004 Tournament Bid ......................................At-Large

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