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When Selection Sunday comes around next March, Shea Seals (left)
and Tulsa should be sitting pretty as they gain entry to the
NCAAs along with the rest of these conference winners and
at-large invitees. Here's how the balance of the tournament
field should shape up:

Rank School Conference Skinny

17 Tulsa WAC Now in tougher conference but should
make fourth straight NCAAs

18 Clemson ACC Return of Merl Code and Iker Iturbe
from injuries gives Tigers depth

19 Massachusetts Atlantic 10 Backcourt of Carmelo Travieso
and Edgar Padilla has no peer

20 Boston College Big East Thirteen players, including star
Danya Abrams, back from 19-11 team

21 Arkansas SEC Sophomore Kareem Reid already owns school
mark for assists in a season

22 Penn State Big Ten Lions need 6'11" soph Calvin Booth
(101 blocks) to develop on offense

23 Marquette Conference USA Point guard Aaron Hutchins
led conference in assists (6.9 per game)

24 Illinois Big Ten New coach Lon Kruger will rely
heavily on versatile guard Kiwane Garris

25 Arizona Pac-10 Point guard Mike Bibby leads one
of nation's best freshman classes

26 Minnesota Big Ten All five starters are back; keep an
eye on 6'6" swingman Sam Jacobson

27 Louisville Conference USA Cards were 10-2 when guard
DeJuan Wheat scored 20 or more points

28 South Carolina SEC Larry Davis, BJ McKie, Melvin Watson
form potent scoring trio

29 Texas Big 12 Guard Reggie Freeman averaged 22.4 points,
6.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists

30 Temple Atlantic 10 Owls will go as far as 6'10" center
Marc Jackson carries them

31 Auburn SEC Guard Wes Flanigan's return from cancer should
spur the Tigers

32 Indiana Big Ten Seven-footer Jason Collier and guard
A.J. Guyton start as freshmen

33 Florida State ACC Guard James Collins (18.3 ppg) is
third among ACC's top returning scorers

34 Coll. of Charleston Trans America Five starters return,
including 6'8" Thaddeous Delaney, Shaq of the TAAC

35 Eastern Michigan Mid-American Coach Ben Braun left for
Cal, but speedy guard Earl Boykins stayed

36 Rhode Island Atlantic 10 Have fun watching 5'10" blur
Tyson Wheeler (6.0 assists per game)

37 Oklahoma State Big 12 Cowboys counting on emergence of
6'4" soph Adrian Peterson

38 St. John's Big East New coach Fran Fraschilla needs to see
progress from Felipe Lopez

39 Old Dominion Colonial Still class of league, but will
miss star Joe Bunn, who was kicked off team

40 Texas Tech Big 12 Last year 6'4" Cory Carr averaged 16.1
ppg and started only three games

41 Virginia ACC Curtis Staples must improve three-point
shooting, down almost 10% in '95-96

42 Syracuse Big East Orange should make NCAAs despite loss
of freshman Winfred Walton

43 Boston University America East Forward Tunji Awojobi and
center Joey Beard give BU league's best frontcourt

44 Princeton Ivy Pete Carril didn't leave the cupboard bare
for new coach Bill Carmody

45 Long Beach State Big West Bring back 6'5" James Cotton
and wait for his brother Schea next year

46 Tulane Conference USA Forward Jerald Honeycutt will
shine, though without redshirt Rayshard Allen

47 Northeast Louisiana Southland Indians should make sixth
NCAA appearance in the last 10 years

48 Liberty Big South Senior center Peter Aluma is league's
alltime shot blocker

49 Ark.-Little Rock Sun Belt Heartbreaker in conference
tournament kept 23-7 Trojans out of NCAAs

50 Fairfield Metro Atlantic MAAC co-champs count on seniors
Shannon Bowman and Greg Francis

51 Illinois State Missouri Valley Dan Muller (11.1 ppg) is
top scorer on a roster without any seniors

52 Portland West Coast Pilots went to NCAAs for first time
since '59 and have four starters back

53 Northern Illinois Midwestern Coll. Huskies have MCC's best
center in 6'8" sophomore T.J. Lux

54 Tenn.-Chattanooga Southern Moccasins should find sure
footing with every starter back

55 Miami (Ohio) Mid-American Dreadlocked forward Devin Davis
will challenge for MAC MVP

56 Iona Metro Atlantic Gaels are strong enough to help the
MAAC get two bids

57 Gonzaga West Coast Aussie 7-footer Paul Rogers (15.2 ppg,
8.0 rpg) leads the Bulldogs

58 Monmouth Northeast Hawks' No. 13 seed in '96 NCAA
tournament was NEC's highest ever

59 Montana State Big Sky 21-9 mark gave Wildcats first
back-to-back 20-win seasons in 44 years

60 Austin Peay Ohio Valley Bubba Wells, nation's top
returning scorer, will miss four to six weeks

61 Colgate Patriot Adonal Foyle was third in nation in
rebounds (12.6), second in blocks (5.7)

62 Southern SWAC Vandale Thomas and Derrick Kidd make up
dangerous backcourt

63 Valparaiso Mid-Continent Junior guard Bryce Drew stars
for his dad, Homer, the Crusaders' coach

64 Coppin State Mid-Eastern Athletic Eagles bring back 6'8"
senior Terquin Mott, last year's league MVP