March 10, 1997

1. Kansas

Record: 32-1.

Location, conference: Lawrence, Kan.; Big 12.

Conference finish: First in Big 12 North Division.

NCAA tournament record: 54-25.

Coach: Roy Williams (ninth season, 244-57).

Starters: F Paul Pierce, 6-7, So., 15.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg; F Raef LaFrentz, 6-11, Jr., 19.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg; C Scot Pollard, 6-11, Sr., 10.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg; G Jacque Vaughn, 6-1, Sr., 10.2 ppg, 6.0 apg; G Jerod Haase, 6-3, Sr., 13.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg.

Scouting report: The Jayhawks are the popular pick to win it all. Kansas enters postseason play having been ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll for 14 consecutive weeks. It also owns the nation's longest current home-court winning streak at 44.


Record: 23-8.

Location, conference: Durham, N.C.; Atlantic Coast Conference.

Conference finish: First

NCAA tournament record: 56-18.

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski (17th season, 399-148).

Starters: F Jeff Capel, 6-5, Sr., 11.3 ppg, 2.7 apg; F Chris Carawell, 6-6, Fr., 5.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg; F Roshown McLeod, 6-8, Jr., 11.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg; G Steve Wojciechowski, 5-11, Jr., 7.0 ppg, 5.5 apg; G Trajan Langdon, 6-3, So., 14.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg.

Scouting report: The Blue Devils became the first team in ACC history to go from outright last place to first place in a two-year span but made an early exit in the conference tournament. Duke, which has no player averaging more than 15 points, led the league in scoring offense (80.4) and allowed just 65.1 points a game.

3. Georgia

Record: 24-8.

Location, conference: Athens, Ga.; Southeastern Conference East Division.

Conference finish: Third in division.

NCAA tournament record: 6-6.

Coach: Tubby Smith (second season, 42-17).

Starters: F Michael Chadwick, 6-4, So., 13.2 ppg., 5.7 rpg.; F Jon Nordin, 6-8, So., 4.2 ppg., 2.2 rpg.; C Lorenzo Hall, 6-9, Jr., 6.0 ppg., 5.1 rpg.; G Ray Harrison, 6-3, So., 10.4 ppg., 4.2 rpg.; G G.G. Smith, 5-11, So., 9.0 ppg., 4.5 rpg.

Scouting report: The Bulldogs surprised even themselves by turning in their second 20-win season in as many years. Without star-quality players, Georgia relies on its cohesiveness and half-court defense.

4. Arizona

Record: 19-9.

Location, conference: Tuscon, Ariz.; Pac-10

Conference finish: Tied for third.

NCAA tournament record: 17-15.

Coach: Lute Olson (13th season, 335-118).

Starters: F Michael Dickerson, 6-5, Jr., 20.9 ppg., 4.8 rpg.; F Bennett Davison, 6-8, Jr., 10.3 ppg., 6.4 rpg.; C A.J. Bramlett, 6-11, So., 7.7 ppg., 6.0 rpg.; G Mike Bibby, 6-1, Fr., 13.1 ppg., 2.9 rpg.; Miles Simon, 6-5, Jr., 17.1 ppg., 3.6 rpg.

Scouting report: Without a dominant post player, the Wildcats rely heavily on perimeter shooters, especially Dickerson, the Pac-10 Player of the Year.

5. Maryland

Record: 21-10.

Location, conference: College Park; Atlantic Coast Conference.

Conference finish: Fifth

NCAA tournament record: 17-13

Coach: Gary Williams (eighth season, 143-89).

Starters: F Keith Booth, 6-6, Sr., 19.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg; C Obinna Ekezie, 6-10, So., 9.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg; G Laron Profit, 6-5, So., 13.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg; G Sarunas Jasikevicius, 6-1, Jr., 10.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg; G Terrell Stokes, 6-0, So., 8.1 ppg, 4.5 apg.

Scouting report: After storming out to a 17-2 record, the Terps have managed four wins in their last 11 games. It's the first time the Terps have made four consecutive tournament appearances since 1983-1986.

6. Illinois

Record: 21-9.

Location, conference: Champaign, Ill., Big Ten Conference.

Conference finish: Tied for fourth in the Big Ten.

NCAA tournament record: 21-18.

Coach: Lon Kruger (first season).

Starters: F Jarrod Gee, 6-8, Jr., 6.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg; F Chris Gandy, 6-9, Sr., 10.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg; G Kiwane Garris, 6-2, Sr., 19.3 ppg, 5.5 apg; G Matt Heldman, 6-0, Jr., 10.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg; G Kevin Turner, 6-2, Jr., 9.3 ppg, 2.0 apg.

Scouting report: The Illini, who average seven three-pointers a game, won over 20 games for the first time since 1991. Illinois relies heavily on three-pointers, taking 33 percent of its shots behind the arc.

7. Marquette

Record: 22-8

Location, conference: Milwaukee; Conference USA.

Conference finish: Second in Conference USA Blue Division; won conference tournament

NCAA tournament record: 28-21.

Coach: Mike Deane (third season, 66-28).

Starters: F Chris Crawford, 6-9, Sr., 14.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg; F Faisal Abraham, 6-7, Sr., 6.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg; C Jarrod Lovette, 6-10, So., 4.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg; G Aaron Hutchins, 5-10, Jr., 13.0 ppg, 5.8 apg; G Anthony Pieper, 6-3, Sr., 11.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg).

Scouting report: The Golden Eagles won four of their last five regular-season games and captured its tournament as the fifth seed, upsetting Cincinnati along the way. Marquette leads the nation in field-goal percentage defense at 35.8 and is allowing just 57 points per game.

8. Purdue

Record: 17-11.

Location, conference: West Lafayette, Ind., Big Ten

Conference finish: Tied for second

NCAA tournament record: 18-15

Coach: Gene Keady (19th season, 365-159)

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