Senegal will be well-represented Carolina's Ndiaye goes against Navy's Savane

Navy notebook

March 12, 1998|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Two natives of Dakar, Senegal -- North Carolina 6-foot-10 senior Makhtar Ndiaye and Navy 6-7 sophomore Sitapha Savane -- will be matching muscles under the boards when the Tar Heels and Midshipmen meet in the 1998 NCAA tournament opener today.

"We're good friends and our families know each other," said Savane, Navy's sixth man. "I've known Makhtar for five or six years.

"This summer, we both tried out for Senegal's national team at the University of Delaware. Ndiaye made it and I didn't. Quite honestly, I didn't have a good camp. But I know my game has come a long way since then."

Burning bridges

Navy-co-captain Hassan Booker was asked where he might find himself this time next season, while Tar Heels rival Antawn Jamison could be performing in the NBA.

"I'll probably be standing watch on the bridge of a ship in the Mediterranean," said the senior forward. "No one will be worrying about me getting a sprained ankle like some $3 million forward in the pros. But I'll be protecting all you people out there."

Court defender

Tar Heels coach Bill Guthridge has spent considerable time this week defending Ndiaye's showboating. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski criticized Ndiaye for taunting his Blue Devils and their fans at the end of Sunday's ACC championship game.

"Ndiaye is a demonstrative sort," Guthridge said. "If anything was out of line, we handled it internally. But we all do things we wish he hadn't done, and you have to remember these are still college kids."

Ancient history

Navy is one of only 14 schools that have a winning record (14-5) against North Carolina since the Tar Heels began playing basketball in 1910.

"I've got to break the jinx," Guthridge said. "They've beaten us the last five games."

Of course, the last meeting was 39 years ago.

Making points

Guthridge, on the biggest change he discovered in his transition from longtime assistant to Tar Heels head coach. "I spend a lot more time talking to the media. That's the best part."

Pub Date: 3/12/98

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