Location, conference: Lawrence, Kan.; Big 12.
Conference finish: First in Big 12 North Division.
NCAA tournament record: 54-25.
Coach: Roy Williams (ninth season, 244-57).
Starters: F Paul Pierce, 6-7, So., 15.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg; F Raef LaFrentz, 6-11, Jr., 19.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg; C Scot Pollard, 6-11, Sr., 10.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg; G Jacque Vaughn, 6-1, Sr., 10.2 ppg, 6.0 apg; G Jerod Haase, 6-3, Sr., 13.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg.
Scouting report: The Jayhawks are the popular pick to win it all. Kansas enters postseason play having been ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll for 14 consecutive weeks. It also owns the nation's longest current home-court winning streak at 44.
Location, conference: Durham, N.C.; Atlantic Coast Conference.
Conference finish: First
NCAA tournament record: 56-18.
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski (17th season, 399-148).
Starters: F Jeff Capel, 6-5, Sr., 11.3 ppg, 2.7 apg; F Chris Carawell, 6-6, Fr., 5.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg; F Roshown McLeod, 6-8, Jr., 11.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg; G Steve Wojciechowski, 5-11, Jr., 7.0 ppg, 5.5 apg; G Trajan Langdon, 6-3, So., 14.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg.
Scouting report: The Blue Devils became the first team in ACC history to go from outright last place to first place in a two-year span but made an early exit in the conference tournament. Duke, which has no player averaging more than 15 points, led the league in scoring offense (80.4) and allowed just 65.1 points a game.
Location, conference: Athens, Ga.; Southeastern Conference East Division.
Conference finish: Third in division.
NCAA tournament record: 6-6.
Coach: Tubby Smith (second season, 42-17).
Starters: F Michael Chadwick, 6-4, So., 13.2 ppg., 5.7 rpg.; F Jon Nordin, 6-8, So., 4.2 ppg., 2.2 rpg.; C Lorenzo Hall, 6-9, Jr., 6.0 ppg., 5.1 rpg.; G Ray Harrison, 6-3, So., 10.4 ppg., 4.2 rpg.; G G.G. Smith, 5-11, So., 9.0 ppg., 4.5 rpg.
Scouting report: The Bulldogs surprised even themselves by turning in their second 20-win season in as many years. Without star-quality players, Georgia relies on its cohesiveness and half-court defense.
Location, conference: Tuscon, Ariz.; Pac-10
Conference finish: Tied for third.
NCAA tournament record: 17-15.
Coach: Lute Olson (13th season, 335-118).
Starters: F Michael Dickerson, 6-5, Jr., 20.9 ppg., 4.8 rpg.; F Bennett Davison, 6-8, Jr., 10.3 ppg., 6.4 rpg.; C A.J. Bramlett, 6-11, So., 7.7 ppg., 6.0 rpg.; G Mike Bibby, 6-1, Fr., 13.1 ppg., 2.9 rpg.; Miles Simon, 6-5, Jr., 17.1 ppg., 3.6 rpg.
Scouting report: Without a dominant post player, the Wildcats rely heavily on perimeter shooters, especially Dickerson, the Pac-10 Player of the Year.
Location, conference: College Park; Atlantic Coast Conference.
Conference finish: Fifth
NCAA tournament record: 17-13
Coach: Gary Williams (eighth season, 143-89).
Starters: F Keith Booth, 6-6, Sr., 19.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg; C Obinna Ekezie, 6-10, So., 9.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg; G Laron Profit, 6-5, So., 13.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg; G Sarunas Jasikevicius, 6-1, Jr., 10.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg; G Terrell Stokes, 6-0, So., 8.1 ppg, 4.5 apg.
Scouting report: After storming out to a 17-2 record, the Terps have managed four wins in their last 11 games. It's the first time the Terps have made four consecutive tournament appearances since 1983-1986.
Location, conference: Champaign, Ill., Big Ten Conference.
Conference finish: Tied for fourth in the Big Ten.
NCAA tournament record: 21-18.
Coach: Lon Kruger (first season).
Starters: F Jarrod Gee, 6-8, Jr., 6.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg; F Chris Gandy, 6-9, Sr., 10.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg; G Kiwane Garris, 6-2, Sr., 19.3 ppg, 5.5 apg; G Matt Heldman, 6-0, Jr., 10.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg; G Kevin Turner, 6-2, Jr., 9.3 ppg, 2.0 apg.
Scouting report: The Illini, who average seven three-pointers a game, won over 20 games for the first time since 1991. Illinois relies heavily on three-pointers, taking 33 percent of its shots behind the arc.
Location, conference: Milwaukee; Conference USA.
Conference finish: Second in Conference USA Blue Division; won conference tournament
NCAA tournament record: 28-21.
Coach: Mike Deane (third season, 66-28).
Starters: F Chris Crawford, 6-9, Sr., 14.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg; F Faisal Abraham, 6-7, Sr., 6.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg; C Jarrod Lovette, 6-10, So., 4.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg; G Aaron Hutchins, 5-10, Jr., 13.0 ppg, 5.8 apg; G Anthony Pieper, 6-3, Sr., 11.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg).
Scouting report: The Golden Eagles won four of their last five regular-season games and captured its tournament as the fifth seed, upsetting Cincinnati along the way. Marquette leads the nation in field-goal percentage defense at 35.8 and is allowing just 57 points per game.
Location, conference: West Lafayette, Ind., Big Ten
Conference finish: Tied for second
NCAA tournament record: 18-15
Coach: Gene Keady (19th season, 365-159)
Starters: G Chad Austin, 6-2, Jr., 16.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg; G Alan Eldridge, 6-1, So., 4.8 ppg, 2.7 apg; G Jaraan Cornell, 6-3, Fr., 11.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg; C Brad Miller, 6-11, Jr., 13.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg; F Brian Cardinal, 6-8, Fr., 10.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg.
Scouting report: Freshmen have accounted for 49 percent of the Boilermakers' scoring. Purdue also has four double-figure scorers this season.
9. Rhode Island
Location: Kingston, R.I.; Atlantic 10
Conference finish: Second in Atlantic 10 East
NCAA tournament record: 3-5.
Coach: Al Skinner, (ninth season, 136-124).
Starters: F Ibn-Hashim Bakari, 6-9, Sr., 12.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg; F Antonio Reynolds-Dean, 6-7, So., 13.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg; C Michael Andersen, 7-0, Sr., 8.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg; G Tyson Wheeler, 5-10, Jr. 11.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, ; G Cuttino Mobley, 6-4, Jr., 15.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg.
Scouting report: The Rams feature a strong inside/outside game with 7-footer Anderson and guards Bakari and Reynolds-Dean. Experience makes Rhode Island a dangerous matchup.
Location: Providence, R.I.; Big East
Conference finish: Second in Big East 7.
NCAA tournament record: 11-13
Coach: Pete Gillen (third season, 54-34)
Starters: F Derrick Brown, Sr., 6-6, 16.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg, F Austin Croshere, 6-9, Sr., 17.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg, C Ruben Garces, 6-9, Sr., 9.6 ppg,7.3 rpg, G God Shammgod, 6-0, So., 10.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, G Jamel Thomas, 6-6, So., 14.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg.
Scouting report: The Friars staggered to the finish line, and a late 11-point loss to Georgetown hurt a lot. Consistent shooting from Croshere is crucial.
11. Southern California
Location, conference: Los Angeles, Pac-10
Conference finish: Second
NCAA tournament record: 6-11
Coach: Henry Bibby (second season, 16-18)
Starters: F Stais Boseman, 6-4, Sr., 16.3 ppg., 4.1 rpg.; F Gary Williams, 6-7, Jr., 8.1 ppg., 4.3 rpg; C David Crouse, 6-11, Sr.; 9.0 ppg., 5.4 rpg; G Gary Johnson, 6-0, Jr.; 3.5 ppg. 7.1 rpg; G Elias Ayuso, 6-2, So., 9.0 ppg., 2.0 rpg.
Scouting report: The Trojans are making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1992, having won nine of their past 11 games. Boseman is an explosive player.
12. College of Charleston
Location: Charleston, S.C.; Trans America Athletic Conference (East)
Conference finish: First in TAAC East; won conference tournament.
NCAA tournament record: 0-1
Coach: John Kresse (18th year, 440-111)
Starters: F Stacy Harris, 6-4, Sr., 11.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg; F Rodney Conner, 6-7, Sr., 12.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg; C Thaddeous Delaney, 6-8, Sr., 16.0 ppg, 9.4 rpg; G Jermel President, 6-0. So., 8.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg; G Anthony Johnson, 6-3, Sr., 13.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg.
Scouting report: TAAC Player of the Year Anthony Johnson leads the 17th-ranked Cougars into their first tourney as conference champ with the nation's longest winning streak (22).
13. South Alabama
Location, conference: Mobile, Ala.; Sun Belt Conference.
L Conference finish: Tied for first; won conference tournament
NCAA tournament record: 1-5
Coach: Bill Musselman (second season, 210-77).
Starters: F Rico Alderson 6-6, Jr. 10.1 ppg., 8.4 rpg. F Jason Hamm, 6-6, Jr., 6.5 ppg.; 7.0 rpg. C Mark Neal, 6-6, Sr., 12.1 ppg., 5.9 rpg. G Rusty Yoder, 6-1, Jr., 10.7 ppg., 2.0 rpg. G Jerome Coaxum, 6-4, Jr., 10.4 ppg., 4.4 rpg.
Scouting report: The Jaguars, who advanced by defeating Louisiana Tech, 44-43, in the conference tournament final, can play defense. They held Arkansas-Little Rock to 17 points in the first half of their semifinal matchup.
Location, conference: Chattanooga, Tenn.; Southern Conference.
Conference finish: First in the Southern Conference's South Division; won conference tournament
NCAA tournament record: 1-7.
Coach: Mack McCarthy (12th season, 241-121).
Starters: F Johnny Taylor, 6-9, Sr., 16.4 ppg., 7.4 rpg. F Isaac Conner, 6-6, So., 7.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg. C Chris Mims, 6-8, Sr., 10.8 ppg., 7.3 rpg. G Willie Young, 6-2, Sr., 13.8 ppg., 2.9 rpg. G Wes Moore, 5-11, So., 6.0 ppg., 4.0 rpg.
Scouting report: The Moccasins have won 17 of their past 20 and defeated Marshall, 71-70, in overtime to win their fourth conference tournament in five years.
15. Murray State
Location, conference: Murray, Ky.; Ohio Valley Conference.
Conference finish: Tied for first; won conference tournament.
NCAA tournament record: 1-7
Coach: Mark Gottfried (second season, 39-19)
Starters: F Vincent Rainey, 6-4, Sr., 21.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg; F Matt Harris, 6-8, Jr., 2.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg; C Arnell Hamilton, 6-7, Jr., 3.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg; G Chad Townsend, 6-1, Jr., 13.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg; G DeTeri Mayes, 6-3, Jr., 21.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg.
Scouting report: What the Racers lack in a dominating post player, they make up for with an explosive perimeter game.
16. Jackson State
Location, conference: Jackson, Miss.; Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Conference finish: Second; won conference tournament
NCAA tournament record: 0-0
Coach: Andy Stoglin (9th season, 155-138)
Starters: F Trent Pulliam, 6-8, Jr., 13.6 ppg., 8.0 rpg. G Michael Hall, 5-9, Jr.; F Robert Fairley, 6-10, Jr., 9.2 ppg., 5.1 rpg; G Decarto Draper, 6-1, Jr., 2.3 apg; G Doug Williams, 6-4, Jr., 10.5 ppg., 5.2 rpg.
Scouting report: The Tigers, one of two teams in the tournament with a losing record, make their first appearance.
Note: Individual statistics through regular-season games.
Pub Date: 3/10/97