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News Nuggets, 03.13.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Missed free throws cost Memphis league title


03.12.05: Cards stand between Memphis and NCAA bid ... Pirates' head trainer wins statewide award ... N.C. college baseball coach reaches milestone ... More...
03.11.05: Upsets spawn unexpected C-USA semifinal pairings ... Updated Conference USA Tournament brackets ... Fla. Intl. baseball coach gets win No. 1000 ... More...
03.10.05: ECU boosters anoint new leaders ... Tournament shocker: USF ambushes Houston ... Basden, Pitino cop league's highest honors ... Marshall football coach hangs up whistle ... More...
03.09.05: 49ers' Basden, Pirates' Hammonds honored by C-USA ... Gamecocks' Thompson surrenders to police ... Holiday Bowl doles out highest all-time payout ... More...
03.08.05: ECU QB derby a focus as spring drills kick off ... Pirate pitcher recognized for taming Dogs ... 2004-05 All-Conference USA basketball team ... Cards top trio of C-USA teams in hoops poll ... More...
03.07.05: ACC membership no boon for Miami baseball ... C- USA Tournament brackets and TV lineup ... C-USA Final Regular Season Standings ... More...
03.06.05: C-USA Roundup: Cards buck trend on day of upsets ... C-USA Final Regular Season Standings ... More...
03.05.05: Last chance for Cardinals to earn an outright title ... C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... SEC football to use instant replay next season ... More...
03.04.05: ECU sprint sensation speeds to the big bucks ... Cards thump 49ers to nail down top seed ... C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... Spurrier lays down law on behavior at USC ... More...
03.03.05: Burglary rap adds to latest turmoil at South Carolina ... C-USA roundup: 49ers, Cards collide; SLU stuns Tigers ... C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... More...
03.02.05: Tulane, with an eye on ECU, faces Cincinnati ... South Carolina rushing star gets the boot ... C-USA standings, scores, schedule & TV ... More...
03.01.05: Self-recrimination mounts for iconic Temple coach ... Louisville, Charlotte, Cincy climb in hoops poll ... C-USA basketball standings, scores, schedule & TV ... More...

View final C-USA brackets & results in new window

MEMPHIS — Memphis freshman Darius Washington slumped to the court, covering his head in anguish over his two missed free throws. Nobody, not his coach, his teammates or the guy who fouled him, could console him.

Washington missed two of three free throws with no time left on the clock, allowing No. 6 Louisville to escape with a 75-74 victory and the Conference USA championship Saturday.

Even the opposing coach — Louisville coach Rick Pitino — took a moment out of his team's celebration to express compassion for Washington.

``The drama was incredible. What was at stake was enormous, and the whole team feels obviously elated that we won. We all feel bad for Darius Washington,'' Pitino said. ``They wouldn't have been in that situation if not for his spectacular play.''

Brad Gianiny hit one of two free throws with 6.7 seconds to give Louisville (29-4) a two-point lead. Washington was fouled by Francisco Garcia while shooting a 3-pointer at the buzzer. He hit the first, prompting his teammates to dance on the court, but then bounced the next two off the rim.

Memphis coach John Calipari said Washington looked at him after hitting the first one and indicated that the game was won.

``The second one went da-ding. He's probably off a quarter inch, and he was so stunned that he missed it he looked at me. 'I missed it.' The last one you think about it the pressure on him to make that shot, I mean it's amazing he hit the rim,'' Calipari said.

Washington dropped to the floor at the free-throw line, prompting the Cardinals to swing immediately from dejection to celebration.

Pitino said Washington probably would have hit all three if the players had lined the lane instead of everyone standing behind him, waiting and watching.

Cardinals forward Ellis Myles was at the scorer's table, waiting to check in for overtime, expecting Washington to hit the third free throw. He kept remembering Dec. 18, when Kentucky's Patrick Sparks hit three free throws to beat the Cardinals.

Then Washington missed the third free throw.

``It's over,'' Myles said with a grin. ``We won. Let's party.''

Louisville won its second C-USA tournament title in three years. The Cardinals will go into their 32nd NCAA tournament on their longest winning streak of the season, with victories in their last nine games and 18 of their last 19.

Garcia finished with 19 points, Taquan Dean and Juan Palacios each had 14 and Palacios had 11 rebounds. Larry O'Bannon finished with 13 for Louisville, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range.

The Cardinals shot 51 percent for the game, including 15-of-23 from 3-point range.

Washington had to be helped off the court by his teammates. He didn't speak with reporters and was being consoled by his mother and friends.

Calipari said he told his point guard that the Tigers only had a chance to win because of his play down the stretch, scoring eight points in the final 4:52.

``He wants to hear none of that right now,'' Calipari said.

Memphis (19-15) had been the only team to beat the Cardinals in the 19-game stretch, and the Tigers' best hope of playing in the NCAA tournament was winning the conference's automatic bid by winning the tourney.

They nearly pulled it off after winning three games to reach their first C-USA tournament final.

The Cardinals became only the second C-USA team to win both the regular season and tournament titles in the same season.

Pitino did his best to lobby for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

``Right now we're the sixth-ranked team in the country playing great basketball on a terrific run. No matter what we are, we're going to celebrate what we've just accomplished in terms of two championships,'' Pitino said.

View final C-USA brackets & results in new window

Marquette to host Western Michigan in NIT

Marquette will open the postseason on Monday, hosting Mid-American Conference team Western Michigan in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

The game, which will be played at the Bradley Center, will be carried by ESPN with tip-off set for 9:00 p.m.

“We are very excited to still have the opportunity to play, to be playing at home, and to have the nation through ESPN see our tremendous home crowd again,” said head coach Tom Crean.

The Golden Eagles (19-11) and Broncos (19-12) have played 28 times with MU holding a 21-7 series advantage. The last meeting between the teams occurred Dec. 4, 1999, in the opening round of Marquette's Blue & Gold Classic. The Golden Eagles won that game 76-69.

Marquette will be making its 38th postseason appearance, ninth most in Division I, and its 14th in the postseason NIT. The Golden Eagles advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT last season before falling at Iowa State, 77-69.

Western Michigan, a NCAA tournament team in 2004, will be making its third appearance in the NIT.

Tickets for the game went on sale Saturday at Ticketmaster outlets and online at Tickets will also be available at the Al McGuire Center ticket office beginning Monday. Ticket prices are $27, $17 and $9.

Tickets for Marquette students are $5 and will also go on sale Monday at the McGuire Center, with the first 500 students receiving tickets free of charge.

Compiled from a Conference USA report.

Pac-10 jumps on instant replay bandwagon

LOS ANGELES — The Pacific-10 will use instant replay in football next season, joining several other conferences that will experiment with the technology in 2005.

The Pac-10 athletic directors, meeting at the conference's basketball tournament, voted Friday to experiment with an instant replay system beginning immediately, utilizing a system similar to what the Big Ten used last year.

Other leagues that have announced plans to implement instant replay include the Southeastern Conference, the Mountain West and the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The system the Pac-10 will use differs from what the NFL does in that the coaches will not be allowed to challenge calls on the field. A replay official located in the press box will make the replay decision rather than the referee on the field.

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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