Stanford (29-4) vs. Rhode Island (25-8)
11:30 a.m. PST today at St. Louis
* An unlikely matchup for the Midwest Regional final, but that's not to say it won't be interesting. The teams met earlier this season, with Stanford winning, 70-69. The Cardinal is a bruising and physical team, but vulnerable against teams with quick, attacking guards. Arizona, with its great perimeter game, swept Stanford in Pac-10 play by a two-game total of 50 points, while Stanford lost to Connecticut, led by guard Khalid El-Amin, by 20.
Rhode Island has great guards in Tyson Wheeler and Cuttino Mobley, who average a combined 31 points and nine assists. Stanford should dominate Rhode Island on the boards--everybody outrebounds the Rams--but will have to shoot better than its 36% effort in Friday's victory against Purdue.
Stanford has a huge size advantage inside; Rhode Island starts no player taller than 6-foot-9 center Luther Clay. The Cardinal counters with 7-1 center Tim Young, a leads-with-his-elbows forward in Mark Madsen and a bench that is 10 deep. The best way to attack Stanford is usually to get Young in foul trouble, but that strategy didn't help Purdue. After Young picked up his third foul late in the first half, freshman Jarron Collins came off the bench to score 10 points and collect eight rebounds in seven minutes.