NCAA TOURNAMENT / A LOOK AT THE REGIONALS : THE EAST : Kansas Doesn't Need to Worry About Big Eight

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Kansas, which was No. 1 for much of the season, is undefeated against the rest of the country, but lost twice each to Big Eight rivals Missouri and Oklahoma. St. John's would be one of the teams to beat if the Redmen hadn't lost Jayson Williams for the season. Connecticut has been one of the surprise teams nationally. Duke is always a contender. La Salle's record is great, but its schedule makes the Explorers suspect.

Matchups--At Hartford, Conn., Thursday: Connecticut (28-5) vs. Boston University (18-11); Indiana (18-10) vs. California (21-9); Clemson (24-8) vs. BYU (21-8); La Salle (29-1) vs. Southern Mississippi (20-11). At Atlanta, Friday: St. John's (23-9) vs. Temple (20-10); Duke (24-8) vs. Richmond (22-9); UCLA (20-10) vs. Alabama Birmingham (22-8); Kansas (29-4) vs. Robert Morris (22-7).

Seedings--1. Connecticut, 2. Kansas, 3. Duke, 4. La Salle, 5. Clemson, 6. St. John's, 7. UCLA, 8. Indiana, 9. California, 10. Alabama Birmingham, 11. Temple, 12. BYU, 13. Southern Mississippi, 14. Richmond, 15. Robert Morris, 16. Boston University.

Who's hot--Connecticut, LaSalle, Temple.

The Huskies are coming off victories over Georgetown and Syracuse. LaSalle has the best record in the nation, losing only to Loyola Marymount. Temple breezed through the Atlantic 10.

Who's not--Indiana, California, Kansas.

The Hoosiers had only their second losing record in the Big Ten under Knight. Cal nearly didn't make it after two losses to Stanford. Kansas seems to have lost that early season magic.

Tournament tested--Duke, St. John's, Kansas.

The Blue Devils have been in the Final Four three of the last four seasons. St. John's missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in eight years, but won the NIT. Kansas was on probation last year, but won the NCAA title two years ago.

Time will tell--Richmond, Clemson, UCLA.

The Spiders have played well in the tournament before. Clemson won the ACC regular-season title, but still has non-believers. The Bruins must play back to early season form to have a chance.

Players to watch--Lionel Simmons (La Salle); Mark Macon (Temple); Brian Hendrick (California); Elden Campbell (Clemson); Dale Davis (Clemson); Boo Harvey (St. John's); Christian Laettner (Duke); Phil Henderson (Duke); Tate George (Connecticut); Chris Smith (Connecticut); Trevor Wilson (UCLA); Don MacLean (UCLA); Kevin Pritchard (Kansas); Rick Calloway (Kansas); Doug Overton (LaSalle); Kenny Atkinson (Richmond).

Macon has been something of a disappointment since his freshman year, but it's difficult to live up to being called "the next Oscar Robertson." Don't let Boo Harvey have the last shot at the end of a close game (he made four buzzer-beaters this season). Henderson, a four-year starter, has been through this before, and the Kansas pair knows what it's like to win the national championship. Overton broke the La Salle assist record getting the ball to the high-scoring Simmons.

Coaches to watch--Bob Knight (Indiana); Mike Krzyzewski (Duke); Lou Carnesecca (St. John's); Lou Campanelli (California); Jim Harrick (UCLA); Jim Calhoun (Connecticut); Roy Williams (Kansas);

Williams may be coach of the year for his job with the over-achieving Jayhawks. Indiana may be young, but Knight gives the Hoosiers experience. Krzyzewski and Carnesecca also know tournament pressure. Campanelli could be headed for Virginia next season.

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