A desire to be ranked nationally isn't the only incentive Georgetown's basketball team has this season. The Hoyas also are striving to become the top seed in the southern region of the postseason ECAC basketball tournament.

Their reward for being No. 1 in the South would be a home game in the first round of the ECAC divisional playoff, which this year includes teams both from the South Upper New York regions. And if they win that contest, they automatically would host the final game under the revised ECAC format.

Georgetown has won the ECAC southern division tournament the last two years, both times in Morgantown, W.Va. And then GU was shipped to Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Tempe, Ariz., for first-round play in the NCAA tournament, much to the displeasure of coach John Thompson.

Georgetown, which is expected to finish with at least a 20-5 record, will receive its stiffest competition for the top seeding from ECAC newcomer Old Dominion, Navy also has an outside shot because of its strong schedule. The top seed in the upper New York area, and the team Georgetown most likely will have to beat to get another NCAA spot, is tough Syracuse.

The Orangemen would look a lot easier to handle if they had to play at friendly McDonough Gym.