LIVE FROM PORTLAND
We’ve just seen Purdue dispatch a scrappy Northern Iowa team, 61-56, which means No. 13 seed Mississippi State (23-12) and No. 4 Washington (25-8) are up next in this West Region first-round game. The rest of today’s schedule involves a pair of South Region games: Gonzaga-Akron and Illinois-Western Kentucky.
Before we get to the basics, here’s one of those fun by-the-numbers:
1 – Jersey number of Washington’s Venoy Overton, a 5-foot-11 sophomore who was named honorable mention Pac-10 all-defensive team. He’s a reserve.
2 – Number of different lineups MSU has used this season, the lone change being Phil Turner for Kodi Augustus 10 games in.
3 – Top Pac-10 honors received by Huskies this year: Lorenzo Romar (Coach of the Year), Isaiah Thomas (Freshman of the Year) and Justin Dentmon (Most Improved).
4 – Washington’s seeding, its second-highest ever (No. 1 in 2005).
6 – Consecutive games won by MSU.
8 – Number of 20-win seasons for MSU coach Rick Stansbury.
12 – Number of times this season State has made at least 10 3-pointers in a game.
13 – Years since State last advanced past the second round of the NCAA tourney. Also, its seeding this year.
15 – Washington’s ranking in the latest AP poll (No. 14 in ESPN/USA Today poll)
19 – Number of blocks by MSU’s Jarvis Varnado over the last three games.
21 – Rebounds by State’s Turner over the last two games.
27.8 – Points per game from Washington’s bench in its last four wins.
28 – The combined 3-point shooting percentage of MSU’s last six opponents. Only Georgia (36.8) shot 30 percent or better.
30 – Average number of free throw attempts by the Bulldogs over its last five games. They’ve hit 72.7 percent of them.
58 – Career double-doubles for UW’s Jon Brockman, the NCAA’s active leader.
OK, here are the basics:
XM: Channel 199.
Series: Washington leads 1-0.
Last meeting: Washington, 82-80 on Dec. 27, 1967, in Jacksonville, Fla.
Coaches: MSU – Rick Stansbury (231-127, 11th year); Washington – Lorenzo Romar (237-168, 13th year; 144-80, seventh year at Washington).
Notes: Washington, the regular-season Pac-10 champ, is a No. 4 seed. MSU, the SEC Tournament champ, is seeded 13th. … For the third straight time, MSU opens the tournament against a Pac-10 team. … The winner plays the Northern Iowa-Purdue winner on Saturday. … This is Stansbury’s sixth NCAA appearance as a head coach. … Five of MSU’s last six opponents have shot less than 30 percent from 3-point range.
Mississippi State (23-12)
C – Jarvis Varnado 6-9 Jr. 13.1 ppg
G – Phil Turner 6-3 So. 8.5 ppg
G – Dee Bost 6-2 Fr. 11.1 ppg
G – Barry Stewart 6-3 Jr. 12.3 ppg
G – Ravern Johnson 6-7 So. 12.2 ppg
Top reserves: F Kodi Augustus, G Riley Benock, F Brian Johnson.
G – Isaiah Thomas 5-8 Fr. 15.4 ppg
G – Justin Dentmon 5-11 Sr. 15.0 ppg
F – Jon Brockman 6-7 Sr. 14.9 ppg
F – Quincy Pondexter 6-6 Jr. 11.5 ppg
F – Darnell Gant 6-8 Fr. 3.1 ppg
Top reserves: F Matthew Bryan-Amaning, G Venoy Overton, F Elston Turner.