Matchup

Posted: March 23, 2007

Oregon vs. UNLV

NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal

When: Tonight, 9:40.

Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta.

TV/Radio: CBS-3/WPEN (950-AM).

Records: Oregon 28-7; UNLV 30-6.

History: This is just the third meeting between the two schools. Oregon won the first meeting, 94-77, in 1975, and UNLV the second, 78-67, in 1977.

How they got here: No. 3 Oregon defeated No. 14 Miami (Ohio), 58-56, and No. 11 Winthrop, 75-61. 1 No. 7 UNLV defeated No. 10 Georgia Tech, 67-63, and No. 2 Wisconsin, 74-68.

Coaches: Ernie Kent is 192-119 in his 10th year at Oregon and 282-199 in 16 seasons overall. Lon Kruger is 64-33 in three seasons at UNLV and 382-266 in 20 years overall.

Three things Oregon must do:

1. Not get sloppy. UNLV has forced four more turnovers than it has committed on average this season. As much as Oregon likes to play fast, fast can't equate to messy or it could spell disaster.

2. Rebound. Never a great team on the boards, the Ducks can not afford to allow UNLV to get easy buckets.

3. Defend the arc. It's well-known UNLV has a ton of shooters and Oregon can't sleep on anyone.

Three things UNLV must do:

1. Not try to be the running Runnin' Rebels. UNLV can score with the best of them but it can't keep pace with Oregon. If the Rebels get in a track meet, they lose.

2. Command the paint. Oregon isn't a great interior team, so UNLV needs shot-blocker extraordinaire Joel Anthony to make his presence known inside.

3. Don't be fooled by Tajuan Porter. The rookie is only 5-6 but he can sink threes like nobody's business and has been the difference in games when opponents think only about Aaron Brooks.

What to expect: Though hardly Jerry Tarkanian's UNLV, these Rebels aren't afraid to run, which means that this score could get up there. Oregon, though, has more firepower and also plays better defense, which will be the real difference in this one.

- Dana Pennett O'Neil

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