South1. Duke (29-3)Location, conference: Durham, N.C...

March 09, 1998


1. Duke (29-3)

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

Conference finish: First in regular season; runner-up in tournament

NCAA tournament record: 57-19 in 21 seasons

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski

Last 10: 9-1

Top scorers: Trajan Langdon 15.3; Roshown McLeod 14.7; Elton Brand 14.1

Top rebounders: Elton Brand 7.1; Shane Battier 6.6; Roshown McLeod 5.5

Scouting report: A team that goes so deep that it runs lesser teams out of the arena, but a team that relies so much on three-point shooting that it's hard to predict just how far it will go.

2. Kentucky (29-4)

Location, conference: Lexington, Ky.; Southeastern

Conference finish: First in East Division; won conference tournament

NCAA tournament record: 77-35 in 39 seasons

Coach: Tubby Smith

Last 10: 9-1

Top scorers: Jeff Sheppard 13.2; Nazr Mohammed 11.9; Scott Padgett 11.2

Top rebounders: Nazr Mohammed 7.6; Scott Padgett 6.8; Heshimu Evans 5.4; Jamal Magloire 4.5

Scouting report: The Wildcats are such a well-rounded team that the lack of publicity for one player has led to the lack of notoriety for the team. They are deep and know how to win on the road. When they shoot better than 50 percent, they are 14-0. A good chance at the Final Four, possibly not good quite enough to win the title.

3. Michigan (24-8)

Location, conference: Ann Arbor, Mich.; Big Ten

Conference finish: Fourth in regular season; won conference tournament

NCAA tournament record: 40-18 in 19 seasons

Coach: Brian Ellerbe

Last 10: 8-2

Top scorers: Louis Bullock 17.2; Robert Traylor 16.0; Jerod Ward 13.1; Maceo Baston 12.8

Top rebounders: Robert Traylor 10.0; Maceo Baston 7.6; Jerod Ward 5.9

Scouting report: A yo-yo team with talent. Bullock (Laurel Baptist) plays an important role: When he scores well, the Wolverines are tough to deal with.

4. New Mexico (23-7)

Location, conference: Albuquerque, N.M.; Western Athletic

Conference finish: Second in Mountain Division

NCAA tournament record: 4-9 in eight seasons

Coach: Dave Bliss

Last 10: 6-4

Top scorers: Kenny Thomas 17.5; Clayton Shields 16.9; Royce Olney 14.8; Lamont Long 14.0

Top rebounders: Kenny Thomas 9.3; Clayton Shields 6.7; Lamont Long 5.9

Scouting report: The Lobos aren't exceptionally tall but they've been getting outstanding inside play from Thomas, Shields and Long. They lost the conference's top three-point shooter, guard Royce Olney, to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Feb. 21.

5. Syracuse (24-8)

Location, conference: Syracuse, N.Y.; Big East

Conference finish: Won Big East 7 Division

NCAA tournament record: 35-24 in 23 seasons

Coach: Jim Boeheim

Last 10: 6-4

Top scorers: Todd Burgan 17.5; Ryan Blackwell 12.9; Etan Thomas 11.7; Jason Hart 10.1; Marius Janulis 9.7

Top rebounders: Ryan Blackwell 8.1; Todd Burgan 6.9; Etan Thomas 6.4

Scouting report: The Orangemen's road success bodes well for tournament chances. Balance of five double-figure averages plus the ability to play matchup physically inside gives Syracuse options.

6. UCLA (22-8)

Location, conference: Los Angeles; Pac-10

Conference finish: Third

NCAA tournament record: 77-26 in 33 seasons

Coach: Steve Lavin

Last 10: 5-5

Top scorers: J.R. Henderson 19.2; Kris Johnson 18.7; Toby Bailey 17.8; Baron Davis 11.8

Top rebounders: J.R. Henderson 7.9; Toby Bailey 5.6; Kris Johnson 5.0

Scouting report: The Bruins lack the muscle to go very far, but are capable of one big game. Get a look at Baron Davis. He's the best freshman in the country.

7. Massachusetts (21-10)

Location, conference: Amherst, Mass.; Atlantic 10

Conference finish: Third in East Division

NCAA tournament record: 11-7 in seven seasons

Coach: James Flint

Last 10: 5-5

Top scorers: Lari Ketner 15.4; Monty Mack 14.0; Charlton Clarke 12.8; Tyrone Weeks 10.3

Top rebounders: Tyrone Weeks 8.6; Lari Ketner 7.6; Ajmal Basit 5.6

Scouting report: The Minutemen play strong defense, led by Ketner and Weeks, but down the stretch, the team's perimeter )) shooting has been weak, a killer in the NCAA tournament.

8. Oklahoma State (21-6)

Location, conference: Stillwater, Okla.; Big 12

Conference finish: Second

NCAA tournament record: 25-13 in 14 seasons

Coach: Eddie Sutton

Last 10: 7-3

Top scorers: Adrian Peterson 17.6; Brett Robisch 15.4; Desmond Mason 14.9; Joe Adkins 12.2

Top rebounders: Brett Robisch 8.2

Scouting report: Shooting guard Peterson has had a nice year, but he needs to have a huge tournament if the Cowboys hope to get anywhere.

9. George Washington (24-8)

Location, conference: Washington; Atlantic 10

Conference finish: Second in West Division

NCAA tournament record: 3-5 in five seasons

Coach: Mike Jarvis

Last 10: 5-5

Top scorers: Shawnta Rogers 14.6; Mike King 13.3; Yegor Mescheriakov 12.8; Alexander Koul 12.3

Top rebounders: Alexander Koul 6.8; Antxon Iturbe 5.7; Yegor Mescheriakov 4.9; Shawnta Rogers 4.4; Pat Ngongba 4.4

Scouting report: If big, strong, nasty basketball is your thing, the Colonials are your team. To have a chance, they need to use that power and get top-notch games from Rogers and King, both of Lake Clifton.

10. Saint Louis (21-10)

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