Originally created 03/05/02

Tuesday Tipoff



Reviewing and previewing college basketball in the ACC, SEC and elsewhere:

WHO'S HOT

Kansas. The Jayhawks, whose last loss came in January at UCLA, finished 16-0 in the Big 12 with Sunday's win at Missouri.

WHO'S NOT

Minnesota. The Golden Gophers had the ball and a four-point lead with 27 seconds left before crumbling and losing, 67-66.

OVERRATED

Alabama. The Crimson Tide was looking at a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs before Sunday's collapse at Mississippi.

UNDERRATED

Marcus Taylor. The Michigan State guard has helped the Spartans to five straight wins, the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten tournament and a spot in the NCAAs.

STAT OF THE WEEK

South Carolina was 0-for-19 from 3-point range in Saturday's home loss to Mississippi State.

RANKING THE BIG FOUR

1. Georgia (21-8, 10-6 SEC, No. 12 RPI). The Bulldogs' breaks evened out in Saturday's overtime loss at Tennessee.

2. Georgia Tech (14-15, 6-9 ACC, No. 79 RPI). The Yellow Jackets should be a Top 25 team next season and a Top 10 team the next.

3. South Carolina (16-13, 6-10 SEC, No. 61 RPI). The Gamecocks haven't had a go-to scorer since Melvin Watson and BJ McKie graduated.

4. Clemson (13-16, 4-12 ACC, No. 140 RPI). The Tigers beat Florida State on Thursday night and get rewarded by playing Maryland bright and early Friday.

RANKING THE ACC, TOP AND BOTTOM

1. Maryland. The Terrapins are a Kansas loss away from earning their first No. 1 ranking ever.

9. Clemson. Will Larry Shyatt be fired this week? With spring football drills under way, do any Tiger backers really care?

RANKING THE SEC, TOP AND BOTTOM

1. Alabama. The sporadic Crimson Tide look like a good candidate for an early NCAA Tournament exit.

12. Auburn. The Tigers were the only SEC team without a regular-season road win.

RANKING THE POWER CONFERENCES, BY RPI
(previous ranking in parentheses)

1. SEC (1)

2. ACC (3)

3. Big 12 (4)

4. Pac-10 (2)

5. Big East (6)

6. Big Ten (5)

7. Mountain West (7)

8. Conference USA (9)

9. Atlantic 10 (8)

10. WAC (10)

WHAT'S NEXT

Clemson plays Florida State in the ACC Tournament play-in game at 7 p.m. Thursday; Georgia Tech plays Wake Forest at 9 p.m. Friday in the first round of the ACC Tournament; Georgia plays either Vanderbilt or LSU at 1 p.m. Friday in the SEC Tournament; South Carolina plays Mississippi at 9:45 p.m. Thursday in the SEC Tournament.

THEY SAID IT

"It's been one of the most difficult weeks of my coaching career." - South Carolina coach Dave Odom, whose team suffered narrow losses to Auburn, Georgia and Mississippi State to close out the regular season

-Larry Williams



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