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ACC Tournament

By BRIAN LANDMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 1, 2001


WHEN: Friday-Monday.

WHERE: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.

TV: Sunshine Network (Game 3, semifinals, final).

FAVORITE: No. 4 Duke (25-3, 13-3), which won the conference tournament last season, finished atop the league standings by three games. It features two of the ACC's premier players, senior guard Georgia Schweitzer and freshman guard Alana Beard.

DARK HORSE: North Carolina, the seventh seed, was 7-9 in league play but lost those games by a combined 41 points, two in overtime. Any team with ACC-leading scorer LaQuanda Barksdale can't be overlooked.

LOCKS FOR NCAA TOURNAMENT: Duke, North Carolina State, Clemson, Virginia, Maryland.

ON THE BUBBLE: The Seminoles, who never have finished this high (tied for third, No. 4 seed) in the ACC, are bidding for their first NCAA Tournament berth in 10 years. With wins at Duke, against No. 21 North Carolina State and against Virginia and a sweep of Maryland, not to mention a hard-fought 75-72 loss at No. 12 Xavier, they appear to have the proper resume. But their RPI is 51, putting them in the dreaded "bubble territory." A win against Virginia (29 in the RPI) probably would put FSU in the field, while a loss could mean the NIT.

WHAT FSU HAS TO DO: Coach Sue Semrau has relied heavily on her seniors, particularly first-team All-ACC forward Brooke Wyckoff and center Levys Torres, as well as junior guard April Traylor. But she knows the team needs more. "We're asking that our younger players really step up to the plate," Semrau said. "We've got a very talented sophomore class that really needs to step up and play maybe a little bit better than they've been playing recently." That means forward Katelyn Vujas, guard Shinikki Whiting and guard Molly Beal. -- Compiled by BRIAN LANDMAN.

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