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Friday, March 24, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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UConn vs. UW: Who has the edge?

Seattle Times staff reporter

Point guard

Justin Dentmon vs. Marcus Williams

Washington freshman Dentmon has been phenomenal in the tournament, averaging 12 points and committing no turnovers in 62 minutes. But he could have a tough matchup here against Williams, whose 8.5 assists per game would lead the nation if he hadn't missed the first 11 games while suspended. Bobby Jones could get the primary assignment guarding Williams. Edge: UConn.

Shooting guard

Brandon Roy vs. Denham Brown

With his performance in the first two tournament games, Roy is proving to the nation that he deserves to be called one of the best players in college basketball. Brown, whom Lorenzo Romar called UConn's most mentally tough player, became the starter here eight games ago. And while not a great shooter, he is a solid all-around player. Brown figures to guard Roy, though UW could use Dentmon on Brown. Edge: UW.

Small forward

Bobby Jones vs. Rudy Gay

A matchup of two players who are small forwards in name only. UW's Jones plays everywhere on the perimeter and could again be used to defend a point guard, as he did last week with his lock-down defensive effort on Illinois' Dee Brown. At 6 feet 9, UConn's Gay is one of the bigger small forwards in the country. Regarded as supremely talented, intensity and focus have sometimes been issues for Gay. Edge: UConn.

Power forward

Jon Brockman vs. Josh Boone

Brockman has struggled in the tournament, going scoreless and taking just two shots and grabbing six rebounds in 37 minutes. He needs to have something positive happen early. UConn's Boone is an erratic offensive player but a solid defender and the team's leading rebounder. Edge: UConn.

Forward-Center

Mike Jensen vs. Hilton Armstrong

The ability of Jensen to shoot three-pointers and draw out the defense will be more important than ever as UW has to find a way to open up the middle against UConn's stout big men. UConn's Armstrong is a good outsider shooter himself, and at 6-11 clogs up the middle, averaging 3.2 blocks. He was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year. Edge: UConn.

First off the bench

Jamaal Williams vs. Rashad Anderson

Each team has some instant offense off the bench. Williams is UW's second-leading scorer in the tournament at 12.5 points per game but could have a tough time tonight scoring inside. UConn's Rashad Anderson is the school's all-time leader in three-pointers made and attempted and the team's second-leading scorer for the season at 12.8. Edge: UConn.

Coach

Lorenzo Romar vs. Jim Calhoun

Another week when giving the edge to the opponent is taking nothing away from the amazing job Lorenzo Romar has done at Washington, which is in the Sweet 16 for consecutive seasons for the first time. But UConn's Jim Calhoun is one of the giants of the game, already a member of the basketball Hall of Fame and winner of two national titles (1999, 2004). Edge: UConn.

Prediction

Washington will have to play its best game of the year to have a chance. Even then, it might not be enough. UConn 78-75.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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