Tribune Wire Services


No. 3 Marquette (23-5, 14-2 in Conference USA) vs.

No. 14 Holy Cross (26-4, 13-1 in Patriot League)

Time: 9:20 a.m. PST


Skinny: The Golden Eagles are led by guard Dwyane Wade, a player-of-the-year candidate who led them in scoring with 21.5 points and steals with 2.2, and was second in rebounds, 6.3, and blocked shots, 1.25. Holy Cross, in its last two tournament appearances, played tough against Kentucky, losing by four in 2001, and Kansas, losing by 11 last year. Four seniors, including leading scorer Patrick Whearty, remain from that team.

No. 6 Missouri (21-10, 9-7 in Big 12) vs.

No. 11 So. Illinois (24-6, 16-2 in Missouri Valley)

Time: 11:50 a.m. PST

Skinny: The Salukis feature guard Kent Williams and forward Jermaine Dearman, who pushed them to the Sweet 16 last spring. The Tigers’ keys are guards Rickey Paulding and Ricky Clemons and their collective mind set, which has been inscrutable. They lost to average teams such as Iowa State and Texas A&M;, but beat highly regarded Kansas and Oklahoma.



No. 5 Wisconsin (22-7, 12-4 Big 10) vs.


No. 12 Weber State (26-5, 14-0 Big Sky)

Time: 4:25 p.m. PST.

Skinny: Wisconsin, the outright Big 10 regular-season champion for the first time since 1947, relies on guards Kirk Penney and Devin Harris. Weber State has the nation’s second longest winning streak (17).

No. 4 Dayton (24-5, 14-2 Atlantic 10) vs.


No. 13 Tulsa (22-9, 12-6 Western Athletic)

Time: 6:55 p.m. PST.

Skinny: Dayton has won 10 of 11 games decided by five points or less. The Golden Hurricane relies on guards Jason Parker (15.1 points) and Dante Swanson.