|The regional finals are decided|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 28 March 2008 16:48|
By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer
There was plenty of concern about shooting at the regional sites Friday night.
At both Ford Field in Detroit and Reliant Stadium in Houston, the courts were raised and taken toward the middle of the football arenas, and many expected the deeper backgrounds would affect depth perception.
After the first game at each site, only the losing teams had tough shooting nights.
In Detroit, Davidson was 26-for-52 from the field, including 12-of-24 from 3-point range, in its 73-56 victory over Wisconsin. The Badgers shot 37.8 percent (17-for-45) overall and were 8-for-23 on 3s.
In Houston, it was a similar story. Texas was just under 50 percent from the field (32-for-65), including 7-for-22 on 3s, in an 82-62 victory over Stanford. The Cardinal were 22-for-65 (33 percent) from the field and 6-for-17 from beyond the arc.
Players talked about their concerns on Thursday, the first time any of them saw the buildings that will be Final Four sites in 2009 (Detroit) and 2011 (Houston).
``There's going to be an obvious depth perception just from the goals, but nothing you can't handle,'' Texas guard A.J. Abrams said. ``Just go out and get a couple shots up and get the feel of it and that's what it's all about.''
Stephen Curry of Davidson said almost the same thing.
``Depth perception with the rims, on the field, it's kind of hard to adjust to,'' he said. ``That's what this practice is for, just to get us used to the arena and the atmosphere.''
SCORING STEPHEN: No player has had a tournament like Davidson's Stephen Curry. The sophomore guard had 33 points in the 73-56 win over Wisconsin, giving him a 34.3 average for three games. Curry's second-half total alone in the games - 77 points - would put him third on the overall scoring list.
The last player to average 30 points in an NCAA tournament also played at a mid-major school. Wally Szczerbiak of Miami, Ohio, averaged 30 points in three games in 1999.
The first player to average 30 points for a tournament was Clyde Lovellette of Kansas, at 35.3 over four games in 1952.
The record is held by Austin Carr of Notre Dame, who averaged 52.7 points over three games in 1970. He followed that by averaging 41.7 over three games the next season.
SOME COMPANY: Saturday's East Regional final will move one of the coaches into some elite company.
North Carolina's Roy Williams and Louisville's Rick Pitino have both taken five teams to the Final Four, a feat that has them tied with Bob Knight, Guy Lewis and Lute Olson.
The winner becomes the third coach to get to six Final Fours, joining Denny Crum, who coached his entire career at Louisville, and Adolph Rupp.
The only coaches with more appearances are John Wooden with 12, Dean Smith 11 and Mike Krzyzewski 10.
CONFERENCE RUN: Louisville being in the regional final means the Big East continued the longest current streak with at least one team getting that far. The conference has done it every year since 2002.
The Southeastern Conference had a run of five straight years with at least one team in the regional finals end when Tennessee lost to Louisville in the round of 16.