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2 Big East teams highlight Motor City’s Final Four field

March 29, 2009

School: MSU (30-6)

Location: East Lansing

Region: Midwest

Conference: Big Ten

Key players: Senior center Goran Suton (10.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game), sophomore guard Kalin Lucas (14.7 points per game, Big Ten Player of the Year), senior guard Travis Walton (third-year captain and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year).

How they got here: Defeated No. 15-seed Robert Morris 77-62, No. 10-seed Southern Cal 74-69, No. 3-seed Kansas 67-62 and No. 1-seed Louisville 64-52.

Regular season: Won the regular season Big Ten Championship, lost in their second game of the Big Ten Tournament to Ohio State.

School: Connecticut Huskies (31-4)

Location: Storrs, Conn.

Region: West

Conference: Big East

Key players: Junior center Hasheem Thabeet (13.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game), senior guard A.J. Price (14.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game) and sophomore forward Stanley Robinson (8.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game).

How they got here: Defeated No. 16-seed Chattanooga 103-47, No. 9-seed Texas A&M 92-66, No. 5-seed Purdue 72-60 and No. 3-seed Missouri 82-75.

Regular season: Finished second in the Big East with a conference record of 15-3, lost first game of the Big East Tournament 127-117 in six overtimes to Syracuse.

School: Villanova Wildcats (30-7)

Location: Villanova, Pa.

Region: East

Conference: Big East

Key players: Senior forward Dante Cunningham (16.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game), junior guard Scottie Reynolds (15.2 points and 3.3 assists per game) and sophomore guard Corey Fisher (10.7 points and 2.8 assists per game).

How they got here: Defeated No. 14-seed American 80-67, No. 6-seed UCLA 89-69, No. 2-seed Duke 77-54 and No. 1-seed Pittsburgh 78-76.

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Regular season: Finished fourth in the Big East with a conference record of 13-5; lost to fellow Big East and Final Four team Connecticut in only meeting, 89-83; lost in second game of Big East Tournament to Louisville, 69-55.

School: North Carolina Tar Heels (32-4)

Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.

Region: South

Conference: Atlantic Coast

Key players: Senior forward Tyler Hansbrough (21.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game), junior guard Ty Lawson (16.2 points per game) and junior guard Wayne Ellington (15.8 points per game).

How they got here: Defeated No. 16-seed Radford 101-58, No. 8-seed LSU 84-70, No. 4-seed Gonzaga 98-77 and No. 2-seed Oklahoma 72-60.

Regular season: Won ACC regular season title with 13-3 record. Lost in ACC Tournament semifinals to Florida State, 73-70.

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