The Sweet 16

November 07, 2001

Sun staff writer Don Markus ranks the top teams, with last season's record in parentheses.

1. Duke (35-4)

The Blue Devils are the favorites to repeat and give Mike Krzyzewski his fourth national championship.

2. Florida (24-7)

Billy Donovan has put together a powerhouse in Gainesville, and losing Kwame Brown to the pros shouldn't hurt the Gators that much.

3. Illinois (27-8)

Last year's disappointing loss to Arizona in the regional final could be a motivating factor this season.

4. Maryland (25-11)

The Terrapins should be bigger and stronger than last year, and the experience of playing in the Final Four will help come March.

5. Kentucky (24-10)

With son and point guard Saul graduated, Tubby Smith can breathe easier and enjoy coaching the Wildcats a little more.

6. Kansas (26-7)

Behind Drew Gooden, the Jayhawks should end a three-year drought in the Big 12 and could make some noise in the postseason.

7. UCLA (23-9)

Despite the return of Jason Kapono and Dan Gadzuric, the Bruins will still have to replace point guard Earl Watson.

8. Syracuse (25-9)

Preston Shumpert might not be a recognizable name outside the Big East, but he averaged almost 20 points last season.

9. St. Joseph's (26-7)

Phil Martelli might have the best coach's show on cable in the country, and one of the best players in Marvin O'Connor.

10. Boston College (27-5)

The Eagles went from worst to first in the Big East last year; now they're the team to beat in the East Division.

11. Missouri (20-13)

Kareem Rush is one of the top guards in the country, as he showed with 29 points and eight boards in an NCAA tournament loss to Duke.

12. Okla. State (20-10)

A year after a tragic plane crash, the Cowboys could make a run in the Big 12.

13. Temple (24-13)

Wise old Owl John Chaney can't afford to have his team start as slowly as it did last season.

14. Indiana (21-13)

The specter of Bob Knight is receding in Bloomington, and sophomore Jared Jeffries has helped Hoosier fans forget him.

15. Georgetown (25-8)

Kevin Braswell and Mike Sweetney are back to lead a team that reached its first Sweet 16 in five years.

16. Iowa (23-12)

Having a healthy Luke Recker should help the Hawkeyes be more consistent this season.

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