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w -iy-vwiKlr,r" 'of 7777v 4 r-yr ; V t - I 4C THE PALM BEACH POST MONDAY, MARCH 30, 1998 College basketball m m wro m m -v'S -J ' V if i How the Palm Beach Post staff writer tonight's NCAA Championship totals (and subractions) in 10 scales tip Greg Stoda predicts the score for game will be based on point categories on a 0-to-10 scale. Utah: A i familiar scenario M -fj Utah Key Andre Miller. He scores (16.8 ppg)l He rebounds 8 (7.8 rpg)! He assists (7.1 apg)! Those are the five-game tourna The Utes have been derailed by Kentucky before, but this time it's ment averages for the Utes' point guard. : " " " Signature play Miller is dangerous every- "7 The Wildcats run where, but especially on Sheppard off an assort- slashing forays to the basket. ment of staggered screens, and he has a quick trigger on the three-point shot. Coaches Rick Maierus. He is meticu- Q 7 Tubby Smith. He has suc- A. t Kentucky player "t Jeff Sheppard. Every team needs a fearless shooter who has no conscience. This is the guy for the Wildcats. ceeded in his first season as successor to Rick Pitino, and juggled minutes with a deep bench. But is he too frenetic? burners 7 Scott Padgett. He flunked out of school as a fresh man, worked his way back to pound boards and trade elbows. "Gauze, gaaze," he shouted with' a bloodied mouth (and blackened eye) during the semifinal win over Stanford. Smith must get substantial production from eight play ers, and he runs substitutions almost constantly. heel C Point guard Wayne Turner, (tiiSri crrrrc tho hall mi ii-'h TV I lJ bVI I LI Ul J LI IV UUII II iuvi of the time, makes an inviting foul target in close games. He is for the national title. ;? By Greg Stoda Palm Beach Post Staff Writer SAN ANTONIO Utah must make a U-turn on history. That's what tonight's NCAA- Tournament title game in the Ala-, v modome comes down to for the ., Utes when they take on Kentucky. Utah has come barging into the - . championship contest from a No, , 3-seeded position in the West Rer , gion. The Utes emerged from that bracket with a demolition of de: fending champion and top-seeded Arizona, and on Saturday night . roasted this year's top-ranked , team with a cuffing of North Caro- lina. , . Now, Kentucky awaits. As has typically been the case for the Utes in recent years. , ; In 1997, Kentucky popped . 7 Utah 72-59 in a regional final in. , lous in preparation, creative in motivation and underrated as a manager of the game. Floor Drew Hansen. He took one shot in 33 minutes during a 5 semifinal victory over North Carolina. Why? Too busy doing grunt work. Bench' 4 7 Majerus asks his reserves to do little more than give the starters time to breathe for a few minutes at a time. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Louisiana Tech's Priya Gilmore (52) goes up for a rebound against Tennessee's Chamique Holds- Achilles -6 claw (23, left) and LaShonda Stephens (34, right) during Tennessee s 93-75 victory bunoay. i Holdsclaw, having done this 12-of-21 at the line through five tournament games. she will again says That bench. Tradition? What tradition? Does winning the title in 1944 count? H Rally 8 The Utes are very capable in this regard despite their deliberate style. What facilitates Utah when it trails in any game is a fierce defense capable of squeezing an opponent long enough to allow the Utes to recover on offense. The Utes are beauts. The red horde has enjoyed the 9 tournament ride, and the folks have gone apoplectic with back-to-back victories over high-profile Arizona and North Carolina programs. Let's just say they're eager for the final course. Writer's The Utes were the third-seeded team in the West 9 Region, and have produced a rollicking and entertaining show to reach the championship game. They were easy to ignore out of the Western Athletic Conference, but have been impressive throughout the tournament. 51 ' Rnal Tradition Fans San Jose, Calif. , ;, In 1996, the Wildcats draped a o 101-70 loss on Utah in a regional semifinal in Minneapolis. , ; And in 1993, Kentucky beat , j Utah 83-62 in a second-round ' game in Nashville, Tenn. ; It has been a coast-to-coast , ; thing. , ; ,; Michael Doleac, who was then , a sophomore and is now Utah's .; star center, holds particularly vivid , ; memories of the 1996 thumping. , "I walked into the huddle dmv ing a timeout and said, 'OK, guys, let's get it within 30,"' Doleac said. "I really said that. The bad , thing is we never did get closer-; than 30." That was then. This is now. This is a very different Utah team. The Utes are big Doleac . is 6-feet-ll, 269 pounds; Hanno ; Mottola is 6-10, 221; and Alex Jensen is 6-9, 210 across the , frontline and dangerous with An-. , dre Miller at the point. , "We're a better defensive team," m Miller said. "We look tq ; go out and keep teams under 60 s , points." ' , : The Utes have done just that 23 times, and won 22 of those games. Arizona, for example, was a 76-51 loser to Utah. North Carolina; went down 65-59. ; What's worth noting, however, is that Kentucky, which emeged from the South Region as the, second-seeded team by beating top-seeded Duke, has not been held to anything below 63 points all season. And the Wildcats man-aged to beat both Vanderbilt and LSU with that total. Not that the Wildcats don't, play some pretty good defense, too. They're 11-0 when limiting opponents to fewer than 60 points. "We believe we can create , ; some offensive opportunities," , said Kentucky coach Tubby Smith of his team's ability to pressure . the entire court. "They have to learn multiple positions." before. KANSAS CITY, Mo. This certainly wasn't going to faze Chamique Holdsclaw. The junior for the Tennessee Volunteers, who could wear Best Ever above the No. 23 on her uniform, was much too cool to yell or shriek or cry after her team won its third consecutive National Championship on Sunday. What she planned on doing was taking a shower as soon as possible. For the last seven years, Holdsclaw has ended her season with a victory and a title. It's becoming so repetitive, she even asked Vice President Al Gore when he called after the game Sunday if he was getting tired of seeing her around the White House. Too smooth. "I've been there, done that," said Holdsclaw about her subdued demeanor. She was trained for winning on the courts of the projects in Astoria, Queens. She led her high school, Christ the King, to four state championships. Not much changed once she got to Knoxville. She was the first rookie ever to start the first game of the season for Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, who was beginning her 24th year. The season ended with the Vols winning the National Championship and Holdsclaw being named All-America. '. Last season was much, much different. Holdsclaw had to take on much of the offensive burden for the team. It was a laid-back team, and though that may be Holds- Sorry, but that's no good. The tournament has been filled with tremendous games that have been ing is that this one will be, too. Writer's shot II: Utah gets a 10-poirrt bonus. Final: Kentucky 65, Utah 51. in The Wildcats might as well w schedule the Final Four as part of their season as often as they qualify (13 times) for the party. factor 10 The Wildcats can score in bunches, and often do. They depend to great extent on Sheppard's three-point shooting, but also rely on defensive pressure to create quick-score turnovers. 5 They are vocal and loyal, but mor than a little demanding. It's not enough that the Wildcats have climbed to the championship game for a third consecutive time. Kentuckians want a sixth championship, and a trophy to match the one earned in 1996. shot 9 The Wildcats were the second-seeded team in the South Region, but not far removed from the Big Four -North Carolina, Arizona, Kansas and Duke -in terms of reputation. They are resourceful and resilient. score """ "64 '" """"" ' ' in doubt to the very end. The feel - 3), 9: 18 p.m. 12, WFOR-4. FT-PTA 10-700 111-155 t-no J3 70 34 $71-73 Rot Ml 17. 1 Ast M I7J 77 77 00 74 45 W II 0 I I I I A Ml 14 1 13 4 06 SO 41 14 11 71 14 II I I 1 1 7 00 70 I SI I lot 770 741 730 0.30 013 771 515 774 Oil 500 467 133 67 000 .770 J II SOI 467 400 711 100 117 SOS 00 01 71 17 3 4 I I D' SMI rr-PTA so-II? m KM 07 04 l 71 JS 15 O S 7 ok a Alt Ml 74 I 14 II 7 M 74 51 IS 7 I I V AO 13 0 17 I II 4 04 04 7 S I 41 10 IS 11 1 1 06 01 07 05? 7 75 644 S1 600 514 6S 009 500 .071 SOS 4A 437 r 337 137 1 70 71 t" Is H ! 60S. '46 SSS1 SOO.SSMrOjOS-!' Junior year of college was ahead of her, but after that, Hoiasciaw wasn't sure. She'd accomplished everything she could. She proved she could dominate the college game and be a standout at the next level. What if. Holdsclaw pondered, my junior year was my last? What if I became the first woman to leave school earlv for the pro leagues If anyone could make that kind of iumo. Holdsclaw could. Her game is that good, and she proved it against Louisiana 1 ech. bne can dribble, she can drive, she can pull up and knock them down. She has the kind of on-court charisma that inspires her teammates and any one who is lucky enough to be watching. Holdsclaw is fire tempered by erace. No one has ever done it better. She's got the right game, she's from the right city, and, when the braces come off her teeth, she u have the right smile to complete the package that is sure to make her a huee star. But there is the small matter of her degree, which is more important her grandmother than any paycheck. Fear of a career-ending injury before graduation is lightened by an insurance policy which would pay her if that happened. Holdsclaw reiterated Sunday she planned on being back in her orange and white uniform next season, playing for Summitt and watching the other two Meeks grow. She still has room for another ring. And maybe getting Even Better. joined her as the fans chanted, ''T'rZt? "You know what?" Holdsclaw said. "Next year's team will be the best ever." 0- T H 1- S 5- 10 0-1 0-4 04 0-0 1- l 6-0 LA TECH Wilson Burrst Smlworth Jackson M-A 0-0 M IS M 0-0 17 MI 4 IMS 04 IS 0-0 7 3 JJTJ Cochrtn Scnoppfnanit IS Gilmort I Bowman 7 7-1 0-1 ToUU TOO S-H 10-7 wtMtaaoi: FG Ut. FT S00 TltrM-MHlf Mh: 0-lt, m ( JocHKMi 4-17. Mwoll 1-1 Sclxoomonn I-7. S'Morli0-l) Tun rf unite S. Blocked Kw's: 7 I Burros I Bowmon I oll. Jockson. Oil-morol. Turnovers: 70 (Stollworlh S. rtckson 4. -wU X Wtlton X Burros 7. Schoppmonn 7. Bowmon) Stools: It (W.lson 1, Mowoll 7. Burros I Stollwortk 7. Jockson I) Tocslntcol foots: Mono. fo rr TINM Hoiosclow Cotcftinos Stophons Joiir RondoM Bus Eirr ftft'llioon Groono Lovton Gor Tools Mia M-A 1 IMS M H 0-7 14 7 10 14 4-0 I l-l I 0-1 I 4 I 04 0- T 4- 1- 7 M 0- 4 14 1- l I- 4 II- 11 I 04 IS 1-4 M l-l 0-1 01 7-7 4 l-l 70S K-4 IO-7S 1 1-41 IS II t : FO Ml FT 700 TKros oi fools: 444 ijo 4-S. Co'cnmns 0-4) Too roos: 0 OMcstoSI shots: S IGotor 4 Jolty Toroot-pre X (Conning 4. RotOON 4. Clomoitt - o6ow X Joiir 1 S'opoons. e Leon. &r) Stools: II iCoTKisl 4 Jo", 1 IH4U 7, MoXtclow. botor, T9Cttto4sT4l fWtft' Cpft 'SI Ol ItoT. 4 6,0 0 tiS4 46s Hi S STasOiS 4SS iH A3. 40S iirtl Another title raises question: '97-98 Lady Vols the best ever? Cheryl Rosenberg claw's personality off the court, when she's in the game, it was like trying to run through water. The current turned this season with the arrival of freshmen Se-meka Randall and Tamika Catch-ings. Together with Holdsclaw, they soon became known as the Meeks. Randall and Catchings didn't realize it, the rest of the country probably couldn't believe it, but Holdslaw, who is known as the female Michael Jordan, actually improved with their presence. The Best got Better. "This year's team has helped my game and taken it to another level," said Holdsclaw, who won this year's Naismith award. "If I played on a team like last year's, I'd probably be gone." Gone? Holdsclaw was ready to take her game to either the WNBA or ABL, to the world of designer sneakers and shampoo and whatever else will make her some money a sure attraction for someone who didn't grow up with much and a nice thank-you to June, the grandmother who raised her. She returned to Tennessee this fall after playing with USA Basketball and the top professional women's players in the world. mmhbbbmhhm 7 wasn't in shock as much as mv team. Barmore said. "They were so in shock is was hard for them to get over it. ' LEON BARMORE Louisiana Tech coach Louisiana Tech kept pushing. With 8:08 remaining, Tamicha Jackson's three made it 79-62, the closest margin since it was 30-13 with 11:28 left in the first half. Alisa Burris then missed two free throws for La Tech, but Jackson's pull up jumper during a fast break cut the lead to 15. But the Vols scored the next six points, and the Techsters never got closer. Jolly, who scored a career-high 20 points, exited the court with 2:10 left, her arms outstretched with a finger on each hand pointed to the sky. One finger quickly became three. She danced, she bounced from foot to foot, she cheered on her teammates still left on the floor. With 39 seconds left, the starters Al OiO A4 61 OSS H 4. illUlO Men's national championship That s because bmith runs a shuttle system off the bench, and ; substitutions create many differ- . ent lineup combinations. Light 1 players drew at least 14 minutes of ; playing time during Kentucky's semifinal victory against Stanford. The Wildcats offense de- , pends, in considerable measure, to ; three-point shooting. The problem Utah presents in that circum-. stance North Carolina was 3-of- 23, for example, is that the Utes are aggressive with their size in contesting perimeter shots. "Were confident, Doleac said. "We know we can get some things done. We can't stop everr ythig they 11 do, but well stop enough." Utah isn t a secret anymore. The Utes are 30-4 with con secutive high-profile victories, and now draw an opponent making its : third title-game appearance in three seasons. But can they make a U-tum on history by making a U-turn on Kentucky? Updates and scores Cafl 511 and enter the codes below for frequent up dates and final results Cll tor the college basket- ball tournaments. 50 for up to 5 mm. See 2A for more details. FINAL FOUR 3038 Men 309 Women On the net For the latest scores, games. contests and polls, go to Palm Beach Interact rve: www.CoPBI-xo'TV'SportsTown IsnniA Oil A-ffltTri6 4M0in.nfr itrni TENNESSEE From 1C The taller Vols double and triple-teamed the guards, and Louisiana Tech couldn't see over the outstretched arms in order to exploit its inside game. Tennessee kept up with the opponent's guards, widely considered the fastest in the country. And every time the Techsters tried to make a run, Tennessee had the answer usually, Holdsclaw, who scored 18 of her 25 points in the first half, or Catchings, who finished with a team-high 27. "I wasn't in shock as much as my team," Barmore said. "They were so in shock is was hard for them to get over it" Tennessee took a 55-32 lead into the locker rom at half time, an NCAA final record for points in a half. The Lady Techsters opened with a 6-0 run, before they were outscored 10-0. Jamie Scheppman made a three pointer and Melshika Bowman followed with a layup to pull the Techsters to within 72-54 with 1 1 minutes, 45 seconds left Tennessee's Kellie Jolly then cooly sank two consecutive threes of her own. WHO: Kentucky (34-4) vs. Utah (30 WHEN: Today, 9:18 p.m. TV: WPEC Utah statistics Plovtr . .11 . 33 . 33 . 33 . 31 . 33 . .11 . 70 . H . JO . IS . 17 . 1 . J . 1 . .3) . .33 Mill 77 7 II S 71 I 77 7 Ml 14 14 I wo 10 0 Ml 7 1 54 10 I 7 II FS-FCA 10-174 147 300 IM 31) TO ISO 55-177 40-00 W4I 7353 70-77 70-40 II JS IJ 10 II 07 01 70S-MM 010-1077 Pet 401 .557 42 44 451 465 470 434 101 Mi JOS OS' .500 000 000 .001 .in Dowoc . MOIIWO Honsen . . Colon . . . Jockson . . Jonnsen . . McTovisft Cortislf . . Borro . . Atmoff . . . Doiton . . . Vuoo Gooclt . . . UTAH . . . Kentucky statistics 17 31 a JS 31 17 V 31 II II MM 77 0 71 7 771 74 S 75 4 704 147 II 1 114 7 1 01 II I 7 Pe-PCA 170 404 tOSJOf I5S377 liS 70 177 7'7 137 701 7H5S SI 173 D 04 49 75- ! 7- 7 SOPOOrO Sr.onoTm) 447 m 474 407 Pooorft Twrnor EflNoorSH Eos AOO'O' .s 41$ 10 4 3 ?S Wn sVootor Ao,S' Hoeon PtH. 'I0 OI10 RE TUCK Y lio-ua .on us - 0j M wilt Ml Hi liss. ill 6 OH fcjs Mi 60 A 6S 1 mi Qi I - fm 740 7014 1777 17 7! 71 44 0- 11 1- l 73 04 04V421 7 i 5 47- 57 4. 71- I- 7 - H3S4ml61SSSiw0"4O4fc 4.- SSiSi.