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Counting down the Elite Eight

Originally Published: February 25, 2004
By David Aldridge | Special to ESPN.com

This is my favorite time of the regular season.

Three and a half months of play have winnowed out the contenders from pretenders. There are, to be sure, great stories in Memphis and Denver and Milwaukee and Cleveland, and those teams will likely contend for postseason berths no one thought possible at the start of the year. But now the focus starts to shift, gradually, to the big boys, the teams with the real shot at the ring. They take inventory of themselves like a guy in a hurry for a ...

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