Atlantic Coast Conference men's tournament

March 05, 1998|By Paul McMullen

Site: Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum

Local hopes: Maryland is relatively unnoticed on Tobacco Road, where the focus is on Duke and North Carolina, teams that expect to draw No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament, or on others who are scrambling to get into the 64-team field. Gary Williams has a veteran group that wants to make amends for last season, when it was upset in the semifinals by N.C. State. Senior forward Rodney Elliott, junior Laron Profit and senior guard Sarunas Jasikevicius pace a team that has won 11 of its past 15. If the Terps can keep winning, they wouldn't see Duke until Sunday.

Team to beat: Duke: The Blue Devils grabbed an undisputed regular-season title with a stirring comeback over North Carolina last Saturday. As freshman center Elton Brand's foot gets stronger, so does Duke's chances for a national championship.

Team to avoid: Clemson. The Tigers lost to Virginia two weeks ago, but point guard Terrell McIntrye's chronic foot injury is better and they've won five of their past seven to get on the right side of the NCAA bubble. Coach Rick Barnes' team twice took Duke, the top team on their side of the draw, to the wire.

Star quality: Here's all you need to know about Antawn Jamison: A junior forward, he averages 23.1 ppg and could become the first North Carolina player to lead the ACC in scoring since Michael Jordan in 1984. By the way, it's the first ACC tournament without Dean Smith in 36 years.

Pub Date: 3/05/98

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