Stretch drive

May 08, 1999|By Jamison Hensley

What to expect for the NCAA Division I tournament bracket heading into today's final regular-season games. Pairings will be announced tomorrow:

Eight seeded teams: Loyola, Johns Hopkins, Virginia, Duke, Princeton, Syracuse, Georgetown, Delaware.

Locks for at-large bids: Hofstra, Maryland.

Automatic Midwest bid front-runner: Notre Dame.

Bubble teams for final spot: UMBC, Penn State and Navy.

Teams that could make noise today:

Syracuse (9-3): At Georgetown. A win over the Hoyas probably would move the Orangemen to the No. 5 seed or as high as No. 4 for a first-round bye. A loss could drop them to as low as No. 7.

Georgetown (10-2): Vs. Syracuse. A victory over the Orangemen likely would elevate the Hoyas to No. 5. A defeat probably would lower them to No. 7.

UMBC (10-3): At Maryland. The Retrievers desperately need a win today to make the second tournament appearance in school history, as well as overshadow a regular-season loss to Penn State. A loss to Maryland probably would pave the way for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State (8-4): Idle. The Nittany Lions, who beat UMBC this season, need the Retrievers to lose and thereby edge UMBC for the final spot as a result of winning the head-to-head matchup.

Navy (7-6): Idle. The Midshipmen, who lost to UMBC in February, will be rooting for Maryland and Georgetown today. Although six losses are holding Navy back, the Midshipmen have the best quality win among the fringe tournament teams -- an overtime victory over Georgetown. If the Hoyas win, Navy could use a regular-season victory over the No. 5 seed to sneak into the tournament.

Pub Date: 5/08/99

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