AT OKLAHOMA CITY
No. 16 South Carolina State (20-10, 15-3 in Mid-Eastern Athletic)
Time: 11:55 a.m. PST
Skinny: The Sooners are playing half an hour from their campus and guards Hollis Price and Quannas White, both from New Orleans, want a trip home for the Final Four. Forward Ebe Ere has a sore wrist and the defense-oriented Sooners must avoid the kind of scoring slump that nearly undid them in the Big 12 Conference final against Missouri. South Carolina State plays inside-outside with perimeter shooter Moses Malone Jr. and rugged forward Thurman Zimmerman.
No. 8 California (21-8, 13-5 in Pac-10) vs.
No. 9 North Carolina State (18-12, 9-7 in ACC)
Time: 9:25 a.m. PST
Skinny: These teams, which have never met, were modest surprises this season. Cal patched together a solid season despite losing two starters, and the Wolfpack clawed its way into the ACC tournament final before blowing a second-half lead and losing to Duke. N.C. State will be playing on the 20th anniversary of the Jim Valvano-coached championship squad. Cal, led by senior forward Joe Shipp, was a strong road team this season.