East at a glance

March 09, 1998|By Ken Murray

Going to San Antonio: North Carolina earned the East's top seed -- and the chance to return to Greensboro for the Sweet 16 -- by winning the Tobacco Road rubber match with Duke on Sunday. After beating Navy and either sister school UNC-Charlotte or Illinois-Chicago in the Hartford subregional, the Tar Heels will enjoy a huge home-state advantage in Greensboro.

Team on the rise: UNLV was 11-10 last month when it suspended star center Keon Clark, who promptly quit the team. Since then, the Runnin' Rebels are 9-2. Coach Bill Bayno produced UNLV's first NCAA berth since 1991, when Jerry Tarkanian held the job.

Team on the decline: Michigan State hit the skids after clinching no worse than a co-championship in the Big Ten's regular season. The Spartans were shredded for 99 points in an overtime loss to Purdue in the regular-season finale.

Cinderella story: Led by 5-foot-5 wunderkind Earl Boykins, the Eastern Michigan Eagles drubbed Miami of Ohio in the Mid-American Conference championship game. Boykins was selected MVP of the MAC tournament after setting tourney record with 89 points.

Prime-time player: Antawn Jamison keeps building on his Carolina legacy. If this is his swan song before the NBA, it sounds like a symphony.

Most underrated player: James Posey doesn't even start for Xavier, but he was the Atlantic-10 tournament MVP. In a 77-63 championship game victory over George Washington, the 6-8 junior scored 23 points, took 7 rebounds and had 2 steals in 27 minutes off the bench.

Coaching edge: Backdoor Bill Carmody gets a tip of the hat for getting a fifth seed for Princeton, but the man of the hour -- and maybe the season -- is Carolina rookie Bill Guthridge, who has met every challenge so far.

Pub Date: 3/09/98

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