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Two-Round Knockout A wild week of hotly contested games produced staggering upsets, hard-earned vindication and stellar play from new faces. Here's an inside look


Is your NCAA bracket suddenly as worthless as an Enron pension?
Do you have no market for your GO STANFORD! or 'CATS ROCK!
bumper stickers? Sure, No. 1 seeds Duke and St. Joe's and a
pair of 2s, Connecticut and Oklahoma State, are still in place,
but who invited No. 9 Alabama-Birmingham and No. 10 Nevada to
St. Louis? ¶ To help sort out this confounding first week of
the NCAA tournament SI embedded writers with various teams and
players. What follows are behind-the-scenes takes on how St.
Joe's coach Phil Martelli prepared for battle with Bob Knight,
why the state of Alabama suddenly turned into hoops heaven, how
a gutty three-point bomber kept defending champ Syracuse on
track and why explosive young point guards are driving the
national title bids of Wake Forest and Georgia Tech.

Finally, senior writer Grant Wahl rethinks his Final Four--and he
loves Vanderbilt over UConn in the Sweet 16. (Just wanted to see
if you were paying attention.)

COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY MANNY MILLAN FLYING START Guard Daniel Ewing (5) and No. 1 seed Duke were all over Xavier Oliver and Alabama State in a 96-61 first-round routin Raleigh.