At Chicago

* Clemson (18-13) vs. Western Michigan (20-7): Clemson is the classic case of an Atlantic Coast Conference team that had its record battered by Duke and North Carolina, despite close games. Five of the Tigers' 13 losses were to those teams--three to Duke by a total of seven points and two to North Carolina by three and nine points. Despite Western Michigan's early-season upset of Michigan, most people think Ball State should have gone to the tournament instead from the Mid-American Conference.

* Stanford (26-4) vs. College of Charleston (24-5): Stanford can't have forgotten Charleston, which upset the Cardinal last season in the Great Alaska Shootout, 82-78. The Cougars also made noise in the NCAA tournament, upsetting Maryland and throwing a scare into Arizona. But Charleston lost the core of that team, and the seemingly insurmountable problem for the Cougars against Stanford will be lack of size. Charleston center Sedric Webber is 6-6. Stanford counters with 7-foot Tim Young.

* St. John's (22-9) vs. Detroit (24-5): This is being picked as a close game, a matchup of city teams that St. John's Coach Fran Fraschilla is comparing to a summer-league AAU game between New York and Detroit. St. John's is making its first tournament appearance since 1993, with Felipe Lopez and Zendon Hamilton finally fulfilling some of their potential as seniors. Detroit defeated Michigan State and lost to Michigan by only a point early in the season.

* Purdue (26-7) vs. Delaware (20-9): The Boilermakers were seeded second in the Midwest and awarded a return to the United Center, site of the Big Ten tournament, despite having won neither the conference's regular-season title nor its tournament. Delaware probably lacks the frontcourt size and depth to contend with Purdue's 6-11 center Brad Miller.

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