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News Nuggets, 04.01.04

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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Pirates' taste for baseball revenge all wet


03.31.04: Big Easy bowl hooks up with title sponsor... .. Crackdown on sleazy recruiting looms... .. TV viewership up for women's tourney... .. More...
03.30.04: Autumn in Greenville means football and engineering... .. Holtz a casualty in Gamecocks' scrimmage... .. College baseball polls... .. Big Dance still fueling CBS ratings bonanza... .. Saint Joe's coach honored with Naismith Award... .. More...
03.29.04: C-USA baseball standings... .. Spring dawns on new era of Army football... .. 49ers' Withers named 3rd-team All-America... .. Dukies bump off Cinderella to round out Final Four field... .. Maryland to crack down on boorish fans... .. More...
03.28.04: Xavier not figuring on being Duke's cupcake... .. Memphis phenom named to National All-Freshman Team... .. Tulane, LSU aim to reclaim attendance mark... .. Horned Frogs placekicker nails postgrad grant... .. More...
03.27.04: Tubbs succeeds fired ECU alum Dement at SMU... .. Jayhawks put out fire in UAB's '40 Minutes of Hell' ... .. Viewers flock to CBS tournament coverage... .. More...
03.26.04: Humble Eustachy seizes new chance at USM... .. NCAA seeks protection for whistleblowers... .. Cincy catcher named to Bench watch list... .. More...
03.25.04: Eustachy resurfacing at Southern Miss... .. Towe gains security at New Orleans... .. Calipari cops regional coaching award... .. Glantz-Culver lines for NCAA & NIT games... USC, LSU cross paths at last — at the White House... .. More...
03.24.04: Marquette breaks Broncos to advance in NIT... .. UAB coach brushes off Auburn speculation... .. Penders envisions return to glory for Houston... .. Women parallel men in TV ratings surge... AP All-America Team... .. More...
03.23.04: NCAA to take over policing of grad rates... .. Tournament TV ratings skyrocket... .. Irish reduce C-USA to one NIT survivor... .. Pirates still anchored in baseball polls... .. More...
03.22.04: 'Forty minutes of hell' takes UAB to Sweet 16 ... .. All-talk, no-walk Bearcats sent packing by Illini... .. Cowboys lasso Tigers early and cruise to Regionals... .. Late Vandy flurry extends State's round-of-16 drought... .. More...

No. 18 East Carolina's appetite for payback on the diamond against beach rival UNC Wilmington will linger for awhile. The Pirates' scheduled Wednesday road game against the Seahawks was cancelled because of rainy weather and no make-up date has been established.

ECU, which last season lost both of its games with UNCW, will now turn its attention to a three-game weekend series at in-state Conference USA opponent Charlotte.

The Pirates and 49ers are set to meet at 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday, with all three games to be broadcast by Pirate Radio 1250 and streamed live by

View this season's broadcast/Internet audio schedule.

Sooners upgrade schedule with visit by Ducks

NORMAN — After prolonged negotiations between the two schools, Oregon and Oklahoma have agreed to play Sept. 18 in Norman.

Oregon replaces Florida A&M, a Division I-AA school, on the Sooners' schedule, while Oklahoma replaces Nevada on the Ducks' schedule.

The Ducks will play Nevada in Reno at a later date.

"This has been an unusual and complicated process due in part to the lateness of negotiations and the sensitivity to the University of Nevada," said Bill Moos, Oregon's athletic director. "It was important to me that they received a replacement on their schedule before we signed off on a deal. I also wanted to assure them that Oregon would play at their place at a later date."

As part of the agreement, Oklahoma will play in Eugene during the 2008 season. The two programs will exchange $300,000 guarantees to the visiting school.

The Oregon deal meets Oklahoma's goal of trying to play better non-conference opponents. There was concern that a weak non-conference schedule, as measured by the Bowl Championship Series formula, might hurt OU's chances to play for the national championship.

Victories against I-AA schools do not count in the BCS' strength-of-schedule component.

If OU was in a three-way race for the BCS title game, a weak strength of schedule might leave the Sooners in third place in the BCS rankings.

Last season, USC missed the Sugar Bowl by 0.16 of a point. In 2000, Miami was narrowly edged by Florida State for the second slot in the Orange Bowl. The Hurricanes' strength of schedule was damaged by a win over I-AA McNeese State.

Oregon finished last season with an 8-5 record after a 31-30 loss to Minnesota in the Sun Bowl.

LSU won the BCS title last season with a 21-14 victory over Oklahoma (12-2) in the Sugar Bowl. USC finished No. 1 in The AP Poll, with LSU second and Oklahoma third.

"Oregon football is now at a level where we can compete with the best programs in the country," Moos said. "Certainly the University of Oklahoma is one of them."

Patriots reward Larranaga for record-setting season

Winning begets security in Fairfax, VA, the home of the George Mason Patriots.

Patriots basketball coach Jim Larranaga, fresh off the winningest season in the school's history, has been granted a two-year contract extension through the 2008-09 season, GMU vice president and athletic directory Tom O'Connor announced on Wednesday.

This past season, the Patriots (23-10) won a school-record 23 games, breaking the team's 1983-84 mark of 21 games, and won back-to-back postseason contests for the first time in school history, beating Tennessee 58-55 and Austin Peay 66-60 in the NIT.

GMU lost to the Oregon Ducks 68-54 in the NIT's version of the Sweet 16.

Among George Mason's regular season wins in 2003-04 was a double-digit home victory over East Carolina.

Prior to their selection for the NIT, the Patriots were a basket away from winning the Colonial Athletic Association tournament and an automatic berth into the NCAA, losing to Virginia Commonwealth 55-54.

The Patriots have experienced four post-season appearances in Coach Larranaga's seven years as head coach. In 1999, his second season, Mason earned its first NCAA bid in 10 years. Two years later, the Patriots won the CAA tournament and an automatic bid in the 2001 NCAA Tournament.

GMU lost in the first round of both those tournaments, 72-48 to Cincinnati (1999) and an 83-80 thriller to cross-town foe Maryland (2001).

The following season, the Patriots placed second in the CAA and earned an NIT bid, hosting a first-round game and losing 73-64 to St. Joseph's at the Patriot Center.

Larranaga took over a program in 1997 that hadn't had a winning season in seven years and a postseason appearance since 1989. He has compiled a 123-84 record in his seven years at George Mason, including a 114-63 mark overall and a 72-30 in CAA record over the last six years.

Larranaga and his wife, Liz, have two children. Jay, 28, plays professional basketball in Spain, and Jon, 23, was a member of his father's George Mason teams from 1999-00 to 2002-03 and also plays professional basketball in Spain.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically from staff, ECU, Conference USA and its member schools, and from Associated Press and other reports. Copyright 2004 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Page Updated: 02/23/2007

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