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News Nuggets, 03.14.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

12 current, future C-USA teams earn NCAA or NIT bids


03.13.05: Missed free throws cost Memphis league title ... Marquette to host Western Michigan in NIT ... Pac-10 jumps on instant replay bandwagon ... More...
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...

Louisville headlines a contingent of four Conference USA teams and two future league members invited to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, while five C-USA schools and one incoming member are headed to the National Invitation Tournament.

The Cardinals, C-USA's regular season and conference tournament champions, will be joined in the field of 65 by fellow league members Charlotte, Cincinnati and UAB.

Atlantic Sun champion Central Florida and Western Athletic Conference title winner Texas-El Paso, both of which will move to C-USA in 2005-06, also earned invitations to the Big Dance.

In addition to C-USA, the other leading conferences in terms of NCAA bids received were the Big East (6), Big 12 (6), Big Ten (5), Atlantic Coast (5) and Pac-10 (4).

Seedings and first round pairings of current and future C-USA schools in the NCAA Tournament:

  • Louisville (29-4), a No. 4 seed, will face No. 13 seed Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday in Nashville, TN.

  • Charlotte (21-7), a No. 7 seed, will face in-state rival North Carolina State, a 10th seed, Friday in Worcester, MA.

  • Cincinnati (24-7), also a No. 7 seed, is paired with 10th-seeded Iowa in Indianapolis on Thursday.

  • UAB (21-10), seeded 11th, will play No. 6 seed LSU on Thursday in Boise, ID.

  • UTEP (27-7), seeded 11th, is pitted against No. 6 seed Utah in Austin, TX, on Thursday.

  • UCF (24-8), a No. 15 seed, will go up against 2nd-seeded Connecticut on Friday in Syracuse.

Including Charlotte and N.C. State, the Carolinas will be sending a total of six teams to the NCAA Tournament.

Duke and North Carolina are No. 1 seeds, the Blue Devils in Austin and the Tar Heels in Syracuse.

Wake Forest, a No. 2 seed, and 14th-seeded Winthrop are being shipped off to Albuquerque.

C-USA teams DePaul, Houston, Marquette, Memphis and Texas Christian and future league member Rice, currently in the WAC, have accepted invitations to the NIT.

Compiled from staff, wire and Conference USA reports.

Finney dismissed as Tulane basketball coach

NEW ORLEANS — Shawn Finney was fired Sunday after five seasons as basketball coach at Tulane.

Finney was 60-86 with the Green Wave, including 10-18 this season. He had one winning season and failed to take Tulane to postseason play.

``We are certainly appreciative of the hard work Shawn and his staff have done,'' athletic director Rick Dickson said in a statement. ``He started with only seven scholarship players his first year and has built the program back to full strength.''

Finney, 42, was an assistant at Kentucky when he was hired in 2000 to replace Perry Clark, who moved on to Miami, FL. He was signed to a 5-year deal.

``I have had a great experience, met some wonderful people and made some great friends,'' Finney said in a statement issued by the college. ``I wish Tulane the best of luck; now I am looking forward to my next coaching opportunity.''

Dickson praised Finney for improving the academic performance of players.

``Shawn has gone about this the right way, yet ultimately the program did not move forward enough in the areas of competitive success and support,'' Dickson said.

Finney's most successful team, which had five seniors, finished 16-15 in 2002-03 and had its best showing in Conference USA, going 8-8 and finishing in a tie for second with Alabama-Birmingham in the National Division. Under Finney, Tulane had a 24-56 record in conference play.

The Green Wave barely made the cut to join C-USA's postseason tournament field this season, taking the final spot in the tourney from East Carolina by defeating the Pirates on the final day of the regular season. The 14-team league issued only 12 invitations.

Tulane said it would immediately begin looking for a new coach.

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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