Selection Sunday is 114 days away, but staff writer Don Markus gets a jump on the selection committee with his seeded predictions for the field of 64

November 13, 1998|By DON MARKUS

1. Duke

Conference: Atlantic Coast

Last year: 32-4

Tournament result: Lost to Kentucky in South final

Player to watch: Elton Brand

Skinny: The Blue Devils have the best shot to win it all since going to the final in '94.

2. Connecticut

Conference: Big East

Last year: 32-5

Tournament result: Lost to North Carolina in East final

Player to watch: Richard Hamilton

Skinny: The Huskies are rich in guards, but need to beef up frontcourt to win their first title.

3. Stanford

Conference: Pac-10

Last year: 30-5

Tournament result: Lost to Kentucky in NCAA semifinals

Player to watch: Arthur Lee

Skinny: Five returning starters could help Cardinal rule come March.

4. UCLA

Conference: Pac-10

Last year: 24-9

Tournament result: Lost to Kentucky in South semifinals

Player to watch: Baron Davis

Skinny: Baby Bruins will be all grown up by the time the tournament starts.

5. Temple

Conference: Atlantic 10

Last year: 21-9

L Tournament result: Lost to West Virginia in West first round

Player to watch: Lamont Barnes

Skinny: John Chaney finally has talent to match his team's work ethic.

6. Maryland

Conference: Atlantic Coast

Last year: 21-11

Tournament result: Lost to Arizona in West semifinals

Player to watch: Steve Francis

Skinny: New faces could put the Terps over the top in quest for first Final Four.

7. Kansas

Conference: Big 12

Last year: 35-4

Tournament result: Lost to Rhode Island in Midwest second round

Player to watch: Lester Earl

Skinny: With lower profile, Jayhawks might do better than in recent years.

8. Kentucky

Conference: Southeastern

Last year: 35-4

Tournament result: Beat Utah for national title

Player to watch: Scott Padgett

Skinny: Repeating is always difficult and Wildcats have much to replace.

9. Utah

Conference: Western Athletic

Last year: 30-4

Tournament result: Lost to Kentucky in NCAA title game

Player to watch: Andre Miller

Skinny: If point guard Miller is at the top of his game, so might the Utes.

10.Michigan State

Conference: Big Ten

Last year: 22-8

L Tournament result: Lost to North Carolina in East semifinals

Player to watch: Mateen Cleaves

Skinny: Spartans want to prove they have more than point guard Cleaves.

11. Rhode Island

Conference: Atlantic 10

Last year: 25-9

Tournament result: Lost to Stanford in Midwest final

Player to watch: Lamar Odom

Skinny: With power shifted to the frontcourt, the Rams could be tough.

12. Cincinnati

Conference: Conference USA

Last year: 27-6

Tournament result: Lost to West Virginia in West second round

Player to watch: Pete Mickeal

Skinny: Bearcats will be deep, but can they stay distraction-free?

13. North Carolina

Conference: Atlantic Coast

Last year: 34-4

Tournament result: Lost to Utah in NCAA semifinals

Player to watch: Ed Cota

Skinny: Despite inexperience, never count out Tar Heels and Bill Guthridge.

14. Tennessee

Conference: Southeastern

Last year: 20-9

Tournament result: Lost to Illinois State in West first round

Player to watch: Tony Harris

Skinny: The Vols are finally ready to give fans something other than the women to root for in March.

15. Xavier

Conference: Atlantic 10

Last year: 22-8

Tournament result: Lost to Washington in East first round

Player to watch: Gary Lumpkin

Skinny: Senior backcourt needs to lead the Musketeers.

16. Washington

Conference: Pac-10

Last year: 20-10

Tournament result: Lost to Connecticut in East semifinals

Player to watch: Todd MacCulloch

Skinny: The Other Huskies are looking to build on last year's Sweet 16.

17. Purdue

Conference: Big Ten

Last year: 28-8

Tournament result: Lost to Stanford in Midwest semifinals

Player to watch: Carson Cunningham

Skinny: The Boilermakers still need more muscle to survive in tournament.

18. Oklahoma State

Conference: Big 12

Last year: 22-7

Tournament result: Lost to Duke in South second round

Player to watch: Adrian Peterson

L Skinny: Fast Eddie Sutton has not slowed down in Stillwater.

19. Arizona

Conference: Pac-10

Last year: 30-5

Tournament result: Lost to Utah in West final

Player to watch: Jason Terry

Skinny: Wildcats must replace more than 70 points a game.

20. Coll. of Charleston

Conference: Southern

Last year: 24-6

Tournament result: Lost to Stanford in Midwest first round

Player to watch: Sedric Webber

Skinny: New league with similar results.

21. Arkansas

Conference: Southeastern

Last year: 24-9

Tournament result: Lost to Utah in West second round

Player to watch: Pat Bradley

Skinny: The short-lived dynasty is a distant memory, but Hogs will be there.

22. Syracuse

Conference: Big East

Last year: 26-9

Tournament result: Lost to Duke in South semifinals

Player to watch: Ryan Blackwell

Skinny: The second-best the Big East has to offer behind Connecticut.

23. Wake Forest

Conference: Atlantic Coast

Last year: 16-14

Tournament result: Lost to Vanderbilt in NIT second round

Player to watch: Robert O'Kelley

Skinny: Last year's NCAA tournament snub can turn into this year's motivation.

24. New Mexico

Conference: Western Athletic

Last year: 24-8

Tournament result: Lost to Syracuse in South second round

Player to watch: Kenny Thomas

Skinny: Lobos might not have the team they've had the last three years, but Thomas is still a force.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.