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News Nuggets, 02.06.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

No. 9 Louisville escapes close call at UAB


02.05.05: BCS bowl payouts to start escalating in 2006 ... NCAA baseball calendar changes still in limbo ... Doherty eager for opportunity to coach again ... More...
02.04.05: Talks underway about revamped BCS bowl deals ... No more potty language, admonishes coach ... More...
02.03.05: 'Bama booster convicted in Means recruiting scandal ... Bug rolling through Tar Heel hoops roster ... Cards gain control of first place from Bearcats ... More...
02.02.05: C-USA lead at stake as Cincinnati, Louisville collide ... UNC-Chapel Hill assistant caught up in Memphis trial ... Houston-Oregon football game set for national TV ... More...
02.01.05: Big week culminates in recognition for Badiane ... Means recruiting scandal trial draws in Scherer ... Associated Press basketball poll ... More...
01.31.05: C-USA scoreboard, standings & schedule ... Bearcats dancers repeat as national champions ... More...
01.30.05: Signing day blowout looms for recruiting fanatics ... No. 12 Cardinals attack Tulane in waves ... No. 21 Cincinnati dismantles Houston ... More...
01.29.05: Wolfpack turns to NFL for offensive coordinator ... High-flying Cards eye Tulane as next victim ... Smothering Cincinnati defense awaits Cougs ... More...
01.28.05: Six C-USA, Carolinas teams on baseball Top 35 list ... Bearcats get little resistance from Bulls ... DePaul winning streak ends in Memphis ... More...
01.27.05: Wall-to-wall radio coverage set for ECU baseball ... C-USA basketball scoreboard, standings & schedule ... USM announces lineup of football opponents ... More...
01.26.05: TCU cheerleaders market calendar with a cause ... Louisville hawking used helmets for $150 ... Green Wave wideout lands spot in Senior Bowl ... More...
01.25.05: Spurrier's South Carolina debut scheduled for prime-time ... Associated Press basketball poll ... More...

BIRMINGHAM, AL — It was Rick Pitino's kind of win.

No. 9 Louisville brushed off UAB's pressure defense, overcame foul trouble and got big plays in the end from its top players to come away with a 77-73 win over the Blazers on Saturday night.

``This is one of my favorite wins of the year,'' said Pitino, whose team had won its last eight games by an average of nearly 30 points. ``UAB is a very tough-minded team, and this environment was difficult for us.

``I'm very proud that we could withstand all this.''

Francisco Garcia and Juan Palacios both hit two free throws in the final 34 seconds for the Cardinals (20-3, 8-1 Conference USA) and Garcia also had a key block.

Louisville stayed atop the league standings this week with wins over two of its top challengers, Cincinnati and the Blazers.

Demario Eddins gave UAB (16-6, 6-3) a 71-70 lead by making one of two free throws with 1:44 left, then Louisville's stars took over.

Larry O'Bannon hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key and finished with 21 points. Then Garcia was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit two of three from the line with 34 seconds left for a 75-73 lead.

He blocked a shot by Eddins on the other end and a long scramble for the ball ended with a jump ball that gave Louisville possession. Palacios put the game away with two free throws with 8 seconds left.

``The game was there to be taken, but we couldn't finish it off,'' Blazers coach Mike Anderson said. ``I think the whole nation got a chance to see what UAB basketball is all about.''

Garcia had 19 points and played the final 3:25 with four fouls. Palacios added 10 points and the Cardinals made 19 of 21 free throws.

Charlotte bids stinging farewell to Bearcats

CHARLOTTE — With his shoulders slumped and his voice thick with disappointment, Bob Huggins looked like the one man at Halton Arena glad to see the series between Cincinnati and Charlotte come to an end.

Despite being the most dominating team in Conference USA history, the 18th-ranked Bearcats have always struggled with Charlotte. So it was fitting that the final regular-season meeting between the two rivals came down to a final shot at the buzzer.

Cincinnati missed it and Charlotte came away with a 91-90 upset over the Bearcats.

Peppered with questions about the future of the series — Cincinnati heads to the Big East next year while Charlotte goes to the Atlantic 10 — and the Bearcats' upcoming schedule, Huggins let out a long sigh.

``Is it all right if I just feel bad about this one for a while?'' he asked.

Brendan Plavich scored all but two of his 26 points on 3-pointers to lead Charlotte.

The streak shooter made 8-of-17 3-pointers to lead the 49ers (15-4, 6-2 C-USA) in scoring. But his miss with under a minute to play and the game tied at 89 made it tight for Charlotte.

Curtis Withers got the rebound off of Plavich's miss and was fouled by Nick Williams. Withers made both his free throws to give Charlotte a 91-89 lead.

Before the Bearcats (17-5, 6-3) could even run a play, Eric Hicks was fouled under the basket and sent to the line with a chance to tie it. But Hicks made just one of his free throws.

Mitchell Baldwin missed for Charlotte, giving Cincinnati one last chance to win the game. The Bearcats took a timeout, and inbounded the ball with 13.8 seconds to play. The ball ended up in Armein Kirkland's hands and his jumper fell short at the buzzer.

Omaha secures CWS through end of decade

OMAHA — The College World Series is staying in Omaha through at least 2010 after the NCAA and the city signed a five-year contract extension Thursday.

The Division I baseball championship has been held in Omaha every year since 1950.

``An agreement may be for three years if the championship has been at one site for a long time, but it's unheard of to have a five-year agreement,'' NCAA managing director of baseball and football Dennis Poppe said.

``The fact we have this agreement is an indication of our confidence in the people of Omaha to provide the best possible experience for the student-athletes and fans and to make sure that we measure up with other major sporting events.''

Also, the NCAA nixed a proposal that would have pushed the College World Series into July some years.

The NCAA's new agreement with Omaha goes into effect in 2006 and contains several improvements to Rosenblatt Stadium. Among them are a new video board and scoreboard, protective fencing in front of each dugout, laser grading of the field and enhanced media facilities and umpire locker rooms.

Mayor Mike Fahey said the city would spend about $2.2 million on the improvements over the next three or four years.

The contract gives Omaha the first right to negotiate another contract extension in 2009.

Last year attendance was 257,730 for the 10-day CWS, with a record average of 23,339 per game.

A study by Creighton University professor Ernie Goss found that 48.5 percent of the fans are from out of state, and the economic impact on the Omaha area is $33.8 million.

Poppe said the CWS would continue to end the last week of June for the foreseeable future.

The Division I Baseball Issues Committee proposed last month that the NCAA tournament and CWS begin a week later to accommodate a uniform season starting date of March 1.

Some teams in the South now begin their seasons the first week of February, while most in the North are unable to play games until March. That puts northern teams at a competitive disadvantage, proponents of a uniform starting date have said.

Poppe said the Division I board supports a uniform start date, but would rather have teams play fewer games than extend the season. The maximum number of regular-season games is 56.

College officials in favor of keeping the CWS dates the same said it would be too expensive to house and feed players into July and that it would increase the time commitment required of players.

Poppe said if a uniform starting date is adopted, it probably would go into effect in 2008.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:21 PM


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