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Saturday’s games

Connecticut vs. Missouri

GLENDALE – When the NCAA released its men’s basketball brackets two weeks ago, many observers relished the prospect of a West Regional final between top-seeded Connecticut and No. 2 Memphis.

Only one problem with that: Missouri. The third-seeded Tigers left Memphis gasping for air in the regional semifinals. Now they’ll turn their frenetic style on the Huskies, who outlasted Purdue in the other semifinal.

“They advertise it as the 40 fastest minutes in basketball,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun said on Friday, “And I’m a believer.”

How will the West be won?

UConn (30-4) will try to force a half-court game and pound the ball inside to 7-foot-3 center Hasheem Thabeet, who was as imposing as a saguaro cactus against Purdue.

With no starters over 6-9, Missouri (31-6) will answer with a relentless running game that dropped 102 points on Memphis, which had been conceding 57.6 points per game.

It’s the first meeting between the schools – and the winner earns a trip to the Final Four in Detroit. The team that controls the tempo is likely to win.

“We have got to somehow just disrupt what they want to do,” Missouri coach Mike Anderson said.

Pittsburgh vs. Villanova

BOSTON – Pittsburgh and Villanova endured a bruising Big East schedule to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. They arrived that much better prepared to advance to the Final Four.

But first, one of them has to get past the other.

The cross-state rivals will meet in the East Regional final at the TD Banknorth Garden on Saturday in a game that puts the Big East in the national spotlight. Though it sometimes gets competition for bragging rights from the likes of the Atlantic Coast Conference, there is no questioning the toughness of a league that once experimented with allowing a sixth foul so its bruisers could stay in the game.

“The Big East is going to be tough, no matter what,” said Pittsburgh’s DeJuan Blair, a 6-foot-7, 265-pound big man who was the conference’s co-player of the year. “The ACC – you really can’t compare them. They’re like rocks and cotton. We’re just toughness. We’re not finesse players.”

Villanova (29-7) doesn’t have a dominating inside player who can match up with Blair – but who does? – and makes up for it by sending all five players after rebounds. “We like to play ugly as well,” Wildcats forward Dwayne Anderson said. “We want guys banging for loose balls.”

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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