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SPORTS EXTRA / SELECTION-DAY REPORT / NCAA TOURNAMENT

Duke Gets Carrawell Quickly After Losses to NBA

March 13, 2000|CHRIS DUFRESNE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

1. DUKE (27-4)

* First-round opponent: Lamar.

* Season in brief: Had three underclassmen taken in the first round of the NBA draft, started with losses to Stanford and Connecticut, but rallied to win 18 in a row and a fourthconsecutive Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title. Won 20 or more games for the 34th time, but suffered rare home losses to Maryland and St. John's.

* Player to watch: Chris Carrawell. The 6-6 forward made the transition from role player to probably ACC's best player.* Tidbit: How much has Carrawell stepped up? He had multiple 20-point games at Duke this season but never scored more than 20 in a game in three previous years.

* NCAA bio: Last year's remarkable run ended with title-game loss to Connecticut. School's 24th appearance, the 16th for Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has taken his team to the Final Four eight times, winning titles in 1991 and'92.

2. TEMPLE (26-5)

* First-round opponent: Lafayette.

* Season in brief: Stumbled to 5-3 early without injured guard Pepe Sanchez, dropped an Atlantic 10 game to St. Bonaventure, then scored an impressive three-game February sweep over Maryland, Dayton and Cincinnati. Continues to stifle opponents with matchup zone defense.

* Player to watch: Sanchez. The 6-4 senior point guard doesn't look like much, but no player in the tournament has more impact on his team.

* Tidbit: Bill Mlkvy, known in lore as "The Owl without a vowel," scored a school-record 73 points against Wilkes College in 1951, 54 in a row in one stretch.

* NCAA bio: Coach John Chaney's 16th appearance since 1984; advanced to the regional finals in 1988, '91, '93 and '99. School's 24th appearance, finished third in 1956 and '58 under Coach Harry Litwack.

3. OKLAHOMA STATE (24-6)

* First-round opponent: Hofstra.

* Season in brief: Started 10-0 before a loss to Louisiana State, won 20 games for eighth time in Coach Eddie Sutton's 10 seasons, scored 125 points against Langston, split with rival Oklahoma.

* Player to watch: Desmond Mason. The 6-5 senior forward averages 18 points and seven rebounds.

* Tidbit: Sutton is the only coach to have takenfour schools to the tournament--Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State.

* NCAA bio: School's 17th appearance. Beat Syracuse in the first round last year before losing to Auburn . Has won two titles, in 1945 and '46, under legendary coach Henry Iba.

4. ILLINOIS (21-9)

* First-round opponent: Pennsylvania.

* Season in brief: A top-25 team the first 10 weeks that dropped out of poll for six weeks, returned after winning seven consecutive games, which included a win over Indiana. Was3-4 vs. ranked opponents, losing to Duke and Maryland after missing last-second shots.

* Player to watch: Cory Bradford. The 6-3 sophomore guard is the best three-point shooter in school history (38%) and averages 15 points.

* Tidbit: The authentic costume for Chief Illiniwek, the school's controversial Native American mascot, was purchased in 1983 from Sioux Chief Frank Fools Crow, and is topped by a headdress of turkey feathers.

* NCAA bio: School's 20th appearance. Illinois has finished third three times, the last time in 1989 for coach Lou Henson.

5. FLORIDA (24-7)

* First-round opponent: Butler.

* Season in brief: Posted consecutive 20-win seasons for first time since 1987-89, 11 freshmen or sophomores on roster, set school record with 131 points against New Hampshire, won nine in a row from Nov. 29 to Jan. 5, beat LSU by 25 in the Southeastern Conference regular season but lost to Tennessee twice in overtime.

* Player to watch: Donnell Harvey. The 6-8 freshman forward is a rebounding machine, hishigh point a 15-rebound effort against High Point on Dec. 19.

* Tidbit: Coach Billy Donovan, the former Providence star, led his team to a fourth consecutive championship in the school's annual three-on-three tournament, open to all students.

* NCAA bio: Made the round of 16 last year before losing to Gonzaga. Seventh appearance overall, with Final Four appearance in 1994 under Coach Lon Kruger.

6. INDIANA (20-8)

* First-round opponent: Pepperdine.

* Season in brief: Raced to a 6-0 start before a humiliating Dec. 11 loss to Indiana State, defeated North Carolina, split with Michigan State and Purdue, suffered Big Ten losses at Minnesota and Illinois.

* Player to watch: A.J. Guyton. The 6-1 senior guard is a prime-time player, averaging 25.7 points in games against ranked opponents.

* Tidbit: Coach Bob Knight won 20 games for the 23rd time in 35 seasons, tying him for thirdall-time with Kentucky's Adolph Rupp. North Carolina's Dean Smith leads all coaches with 3020-win seasons, followed by Jerry Tarkanian with 27.

* NCAA bio: School's 29th appearance. Branch McCracken coached Hoosiers to national titles in 1940 and '53, while Knight-led teams won championships in 1976, '81 and '87. Hoosiers were second-round losers last year to St. John's.

7. OREGON (22-7)

* First-round opponent: Seton Hall.

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