Southeast at a glance

March 10, 1997|By Don Markus

Going to Indianapolis: Kansas. The Jayhawks have been No. 1 for most of the season, have survived injuries to two starters and have kept on winning. The only things in their way are the memories from recent NCAA tournament disasters.

Team on the rise: College of Charleston. The Cougars have the nation's longest Division I winning streak, the last two Trans America players of the year in Anthony Johnson and Thaddeous Delaney, and a terrific veteran coach in John Kresse.

Team on the decline: Duke. It would be easy to pick Maryland, loser in eight of 12, or Providence, which has dropped four of six. But the No. 2-seeded Blue Devils have lost their momentum since winning seven straight last month.

Cinderella story: With Maryland's glass slipper lost during the last month, it may be Georgia. After losing all five starters from last year's Sweet 16 team, Tubby Smith is working miracles in Athens. That Smith has coached his last three teams to Sweet 16 appearances may be the reason for the No. 3 seed.

Prime-time player: How many Kansas Jayhawks can qualify? The top-ranked team in the country has a roster full of them, from point guard Jacque Vaughn to swingman Paul Pierce to power forward Raef LaFrentz. Oh yes, and Scot Pollard. Is that enough?

Most underrated player: Georgia guard G. G. Smith. Tubby's son was supposed to be there to keep his mom happy, but has turned into a productive player. The sophomore guard had 22 points on 8-for-8 shooting in Saturday's upset of South Carolina.

Coaching edge: There are a lot of good coaches in this region, a couple of future Hall of Famers. But the edge usually goes to the ones with the best players, and Kansas' Roy Williams has plenty of them.

Pub Date: 3/10/97

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