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In this first-round matchup, it's No. 12-seed UNLV vs. No. 21-seed San Francisco. Check the rosters, the college stats and the Page 2 takes, then place your vote.

UNLV
Starting Lineup
Pos. Player Ht. Yrs Avg.
G Greg Anthony 6-0 89-91 11.8
G Isaiah Rider 6-5 92-93 24.9
F Stacey Augmon 6-6 88-91 13.9
F Larry Johnson 6-6 90-91 21.6
F Shawn Marion 6-7 98-99 18.7
The Bench
F/C Armon Gilliam 6-9 85-87 17.3
G Reggie Theus 6-7 76-78 12.9
Photos: Johnson (Getty), Augmon (Getty), Marion (Getty)

Eric Neel predicts ...
The Committee jobs The Shark, just for sport. After UCLA, this is possibly the worst first-round matchup you can imagine for the Rebs: San Francisco comes with Russell and Cartwright in the middle, and UNLV has not so much as a Moses Scurry with which to counter. They try to run, and Greg Anthony works some alleyoops to Augmon and Marion, but it's not enough. They try to amoeba-up, and Augmon and Marion get some deflections and start some breaks, but it's not enough.

USF just keeps working the inside-out-game, KC to Bill, Bill to KC, and before you know it the amoeba is just a shriveled thing caked on the bottom of a petri dish. At one point Tark tries to sneak six on the floor, playing both Larry Johnson and Armon Gilliam at the four simultaneously on the theory that most folks really can't tell them apart anyway. Russell swats one of them (he thinks it was Gilliam) off the court, but not out of bounds (!) and Tarkanian is, of course, suspended.
Final score: USF 86, UNLV 71


 

 

San Francisco
Starting Lineup
Pos. Player Ht. Yrs Avg.
G Phil Smith 6-4 72-74 18.1
G Quintin Dailey 6-3 80-82 20.5
G K.C. Jones 6-1 56-58 8.8
F Bill Cartwright 7-1 76-79 19.1
C Bill Russell 6-10 54-56 20.7
The Bench
G/F Winford Boynes 6-6 76-78 18.9
F Kevin Restani 6-9 72-74 16.4
Photos: Russell (Univ. of San Francisco), Jones (Univ. of San Francisco), Cartwright (Univ. of San Francisco)

Scoop Jackson predicts ...
Bill Russell verses Larry Johnson in their prime. JR Rider verses QD in their prime. KC Jones and Plastic Man locking people up on both sides of the floor. I can hear Dick Vitale screaming already. From the opening tip, SF makes it obvious it is going to be a force in this tournament, never letting UNLV get a easy shot, never letting the Rebels run. The Dons' defense is swarming, causing so many turnovers that coach Tark bites through his towel!

On D, the Dons' zone is so locked in, so precise in movement, UNLV has a hard time figuring out ways to score. The height advantage of Cartwright and Russell, coupled with the fact that LV cut Freddie Banks and Anderson Hunt from the squad -- the school's only legit outside threats -- is the Rebels' death. While the Dons shoot a respectable 49 percent from the floor, it's the Rebels' 34 percent that winds up their downfall. Russell finishes with 28 rebounds and 13 blocked shots. Dailey and Rider exchange cell phone numbers.
Final score: USF 89, UNLV 78