SBD/23/Collegiate Sports

ST. PETE, ALREADY '99 FINAL FOUR HOST, MAY GET '98 SWEET 16

     St. Petersburg has been notified by the NCAA it is one of
five finalists for the Southeast regional Sweet 16 tournament in
'98.  The 1999 Final Four already has been awarded to St. Pete.
Sites are expected to be chosen as soon as next week after the
Division I men's basketball committee meets and makes its
recommendations to the NCAA executive committee.  Also making the
cut:  Atlanta, Knoxville and Lexington.  Atlanta submitted two
bids, one for the Omni and one for the GA Dome.  If St. Pete does
not get the Sweet 16 regional spot, the city and ThunderDome will
be "all but a lock" for first- and second-round games in '98.
The NCAA generally awards either of the two tournaments to a
Final Four site the year before those games as a dress rehearsal
(Bob Chick, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/23).
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