CFN: The top basketball/football powerhouses

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If you're an alum or avid fan of a particular university's football program, the odds are real good that you closely follow the hoops team as well. If that program happens to be the University of Maryland, the odds are even better that you'll be needing cosmetic surgery to remove the grin from your face. For Terp fans, it's been more than six months of big wins, big plays and lofty rankings as the faithful in College Park have had few chances to catch their breath since the football team beat UNC 23-7 on September 1. Not that they're complaining. Some campuses have had little to cheer about since the bowl season ended (see Tennessee, Nebraska and Colorado). Others couldn't wait until the football season ceased and Midnight Madness arrived (see Duke, Kansas and Arizona). Still, others have been forced to put their hopes in the hands of the women's basketball team (Baylor and Vanderbilt quickly come to mind). The focuses on those fans who've had their cake and dunked it too. They went bowling in the winter and now they're preparing for the Big Dance. Here's a glance at the best combined football-basketball programs for 2001-2002.

No. 1 Maryland

Helmets: The Terps' meteoric rise under new coach Ralph Friedgen was one of the great stories of the season. The team finished with 10 wins, an ACC title and a shocking invite to the Orange Bowl. Hoops: The dynamic duo of Juan Dixon and Lonny Baxter have led the Terrapins to 26 wins, an ACC regular season title and a No. 1 seed in the East bracket. High Point: With respect to the blowout of Duke at Cole Field House on February 17, the brightest moment may have been the come from behind win over NC State that sealed the ACC title in football. Low Point: The 4th quarter of the Florida State game at Doak Campbell Stadium. UM was outscored 21-0 and the dream of an undefeated season had dissipated.

No. 2 Oregon

Helmets: Few teams were more exciting to follow this year than the Joey Harrington-led Ducks. Their pasting of Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl led to school-best No. 2 ranking in both polls. Hoops: One of the biggest surprises in all of college basketball, the Ducks grabbed their first regular season Pac-10 title since 1939. Much like their buddies on the gridiron, the basketball team is very entertaining. High Point: Mike Belloti's kids were brilliant at the Fiesta Bowl and, at least for a day, gave Duck fans a ray of hope that they could share the national championship. Low Point: The home loss to Stanford on October 20 will go down as one the most painful in Autzen Stadium history. The Ducks had a 42-28 lead going into the 4th, but surrendered 21 unanswered points to a Cardinal team that had lost its staring quarterback.

No. 3 Miami

Helmets: Not much explanation is needed here. The Hurricanes 12-0 national championship season was capped by a dominating performance in the Rose Bowl. Hoops: A big surprise in the Big East, this balanced unit finished 24-7 and heads to the tournament as a No. 5 seed in the West. High Point: For a Hurricane fan, nothing could have been more enjoyable than the first half of the Rose Bowl. Utter perfection. Low Point: After starting the season 14-0, Perry Clark's team came back to earth by losing 6 of their next 13 games.

No. 4 Oklahoma

Helmets: Following last year's national championship, 2 losses in the last 5 games made 2001 a bit of a letdown. Still, 10 victories supported by one of the country's best defenses is a lot better than most schools could boast. Hoops: After topping Kansas in the Big 12 conference championship, Kelvin Sampson will lead the Sooners into the tournament with their highest seed since 1990. OU has won 12 of their last 13 and appear to be on a roll at the right time. High Point: The December 21 win over Maryland on the hardwood was nice, but nothing tops today's win over Roy Williams and the Kansas Jayhawks. Low Point: With a trip to the Big 12 Championship game -- and possibly the Rose Bowl -- hanging in the balance, the last minute 16-13 loss to Oklahoma State was absolutely devastating

No. 5 Illinois

Helmets: For the Illini and their faithful, 2001 was a very satisfying year. Ron Turner's team finished 10-1 and won the Big 10 title outright after Ohio State upset Michigan in the regular season finale. Who could have figured Illinois in the Sugar Bowl? Hoops: When he's motivated, Frank Williams is one of the most enjoyable players to watch in the country. His Illini team finished in a 4-way tie for the regular season conference title after getting off to a slow start. High Point: After losing at Michigan, the football team reeled off 6 straight wins, caught some breaks and won their first Big 10 title since 1990. Low Point: The Sugar Bowl blowout at the hands of LSU was only eclipsed by the basketball team's 3-game conference losing streak that began at the end of January.

No. 6 Florida

Helmets: Like Oklahoma, it's the 2 costly losses not the 10 victories that fans will remember most. The door was wide open for a Pasadena date with Miami until the Gators lost to Tennessee at Florida Field for the first time since 1971. The loss of Steve Spurrier after the Orange Bowl hasn't helped matters for last year's 3rd ranked team. Hoops: After getting as high as No. 2 in the polls this year, Billy Donovan's team has become a disappointment. They've lost 7 of their last 14, but go into the tournament as a No. 5 seed for the 3rd straight March. High Point: The November 17 24-point blowout of Florida State capped a 4-game winning streak and had the Gators in a position to control their own Rose Bowl destiny. Low Point: With so much on the line, the 34-32 home loss to Tennessee on December 1 still has plenty of Gator fans smarting.

No. 7 Texas

Helmets: I realize we've already said this a few times, but for Texas, 2001 was a case of what might have been. After seeing No. 2 Florida lose to Tennessee, the No. 3 Longhorns couldn't capitalize in the Big 12 Championship game on December 1. In the end, it a case of another 2 loss team feeling like they could have achieved more. Finished No. 5 in both major polls. Hoops: After losing their top player Chris Owens to injury, the Longhorns recovered well, notched 20 victories and earned a No. 6 seed in the tournament. High Point: For Longhorn fans, nothing may have been more gratifying than the comeback win in the Holiday Bowl that was engineered by favorite son Major Applewhite. Low Point: The loss of Owens, a Naismith Award candidate, was a major blow to the basketball team. However, the low point for Horn followers was the aforementioned 2-point loss to Colorado in the Big 12 Championship game.

No. 8 Georgia

Helmets: In the first year under head coach Mark Richt, Georgia fans enjoyed an 8-win season and a trip to the Music City Bowl. Of greatest significance was the development of redshirt freshman QB David Greene. Hoops: Jim Harrick's team was the biggest surprise in the SEC, winning 21 games, tying Florida and Kentucky in the SEC East and nabbing a No. 3 seed in the tourney.

High Point: After the defense lets Travis Stephens go down the sidelines for 62 yards, David Greene leads the Dawgs down the Neyland Stadium field and finds Verron Haynes for a 5-yard score with just 5 ticks left on the clock. One of the most exciting games of the season. Low Point: Back to back losses to Florida and Georgia ended the football team's chances of winning the SEC East title. The Auburn loss concluded with Richt calling a running play at the Tiger doorstep with just seconds remaining.

No. 9 Ohio State

Helmets: Beneath the surface of a 7-5 season was a buzz that had been lacking of late in Columbus. New coach Jim Tressel took the Buckeyes to a New Year's Day bowl game and has done a great job recruiting thus far. Oh yeah, that upset of Michigan was sweet too. Hoops: Can Jim O'Brien coach or what? He's taken a smallish team with good talent and turned it into a great season. The Buckeyes tied for the regular season conference title and then defeated Iowa on Sunday to capture the conference tournament and the No. 4 seed in the West. High Point: It doesn't get much better than upsetting the hated Wolverines in Ann Arbor and denying them the Big 10 title and a BCS bowl berth. That's exactly what happened last November 24. Low Point: Not many clunkers for either team so I'll go with the football team's 20-17 home loss to Wisconsin on October 13. The Buckeyes had a 17-0 lead at one point and had no right losing that game, particularly on their own turf.

No. 10 Stanford

Helmets: With few expectations, the Cardinal put forth a high scoring, competitive squad every Saturday. The 9-win season was the best for Stanford during coach Tyrone Willingham's 7-year tenure.

Hoops: We've grown used to more talent out of Mike Montgomery's teams, but it's awfully hard to complain with what he's built in Palo Alto. When he can get his shot down, Casey Jacobsen can still be fun to watch.

High Point: The football team's come from behind win in Eugene was one of the biggest wins for a Cardinal team in recent memory. It stamped Stanford as a bonafide conference contender and ended the nation's longest home winning streak.

Low Point: Three hoops losses to USC, including a humbling 25-point defeat in the opening game of the conference tournament.

No. 11 Texas Tech

Helmets: I realize 7-5 isn't much to crow about, but it does appear that Mike Leach has begun to build something good in Lubbock. The bowl games in consecutive seasons hasn't happened at Texas Tech since 1996. Hoops: Love him or hate him, there's no denying that bringing Bob Knight aboard has been a good thing for the folks in Lubbock. All Knight did was take a 9 win team in 2000-2001 to a 20-win season and an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament this year. High Point: In a 5-week stretch, the Red Raider football team pounded Kansas State, nearly upset Nebraska and disposed of Texas A&M, Baylor and Oklahoma State. At 6-3, Mike Leach had people talking. Low Point: It's a toss up, but both involve Kansas. The basketball team was drubbed by the Jayhawks by 40 points in the conference tournament. The football team should never have lost to Kansas at home 34-31. Tough call.

No. 12 Hawaii

Helmets: The only team on our list not to play in a bowl game, Hawaii finished with a flurry and denied BYU a perfect season on December 8. They finished 8-1, scored more than 50 points in each of their last 3 games and deserved a much better bowl fate. Hoops: Yeah, this has been a sensational year to be a Warrior fan. Hawaii's melting pot squad boasts 27 wins, a conference title and players from 7 countries outside the U.S. High Point: By a hair, I'll take the football team's 72-45 demolition of previously unbeaten BYU over the hoops team's upset win over Tulsa in the WAC conference final. Low Point: After seeing what they were capable of, June Jones' boys should never have lost consecutive games to Nevada and Rice. Those losses cost them a shot at the WAC title and a guaranteed bowl berth.
Tagged: Oregon, Stanford, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Duke, Florida State, Maryland, LSU, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Texas, Colorado, Kansas State, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Campbell, Hawaii, Tulsa, Nevada, Duke, Florida State, Wake Forest, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Ohio, Arizona, Stanford, Oregon, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, LSU, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Tulsa, Hawaii, Nevada, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas State, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Verron Haynes, Roy Williams

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