Maryland goes west, Navy gets Carolina Terps matched up with Utah State in NCAA tournament

March 09, 1998|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

If the University of Maryland basketball team is going to reach San Antonio, Texas, it will have to get out of California first.

When the NCAA announced its 64-team men's tournament field last night, the Terrapins found themselves shipped across the country to Sacramento, Calif., where they will face Utah State in the first round Thursday.

As a reward for winning its conference and the automatic NCAA bid that goes with it, the Naval Academy takes on North Carolina, No. 1 seed in the East and the Atlantic Coast Conference champion.

"We've got to play somebody; it might as well be the best," said Navy junior guard Skip Victor. "We're looking forward to the job."

Should Maryland advance through two rounds to the NCAA's Sweet 16, the Terps could find themselves matched against the West's top seed, defending national champion Arizona. Not that they're thinking ahead.

"I think the last two years we may have looked ahead and sort of took those teams for granted," said Rodney Elliott, a senior forward from Baltimore's Dunbar High, referring to Maryland's consecutive first-round losses. "This time, we have to play each game as if it's our last -- and it will be my last game at Maryland if we lose."

Maryland made the NCAAs for the fifth straight year, a school first.

"That says something for where we've taken the program," Terps coach Gary Williams said.

The NCAA title game is March 30 in San Antonio.

NCAA tourney

First-round matchups

Maryland vs. Utah State, Thursday, at Sacramento, Calif.

Navy vs. North Carolina, Thursday, at Hartford, Conn.

(Times to be announced. All games on Channel 13.)

NCAA section

Maryland: Terps face Big West champ.1d

Rosenthal: North Carolina will win.1d

Eisenberg: No margin of error for Terps.1d

Navy: Midshipmen take on top seed.2d

ACC: Carolina beats Duke for title.6d

Pub Date: 3/09/98

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