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News Nuggets, 03.16.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

It's not the Big Dance, but it's a win for DePaul


03.15.05: Handicapped Marquette makes quit exit from NIT ... New arena a factor in Virginia's firing of Gillen ... Heart attack hospitalizes Tech football coach ... Final 2004-05 college basketball poll ... More...
03.14.05: 12 current, future C- USA teams earn NCAA or NIT bids ... Finney dismissed by Tulane ... More...
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...

COLUMBIA, MO — Drake Diener scored a career-high 30 points and tied his career best with seven 3-pointers, leading DePaul to a 75-70 victory over Missouri in a first-round National Invitation Tournament game Tuesday night.

Quemont Greer added 17 points and Draelon Burns had six assists for the Blue Demons (20-10), who dropped to the NIT after losing three of the last four regular-season games. DePaul will play the winner of Clemson vs. Texas A&M in the second round.

Linas Kleiza had 23 points and Thomas Gardner 17 for Missouri (16-17), which had a losing season for the first time since it also was 16-17 in 1996-97. The Tigers have been in the postseason eight straight seasons, but the last two they've lost in the first round of the NIT.

Diener, who averages 13.6 points and is a 45 percent shooter from 3-point range, was 7-for-11 from long range and was the only DePaul player with a 3-pointer. He was at his best at the end, scoring DePaul's final seven points in the last 1:50. That included a tip-in by the 6-foot-5 guard with 20 seconds to go for a 73-70 lead.

Diener was 11-for-15 overall, topping his previous career best of 28 points against Dayton on March 18, 2004, and he hit seven 3-pointers for the second time in his career. He also had that many at Charlotte on Feb. 16.

Missouri finished 14-5 in its first season at the new Mizzou Arena. The game drew 5,997, the lowest of the season.

NCAA Round 1 preview: UAB vs. LSU

LSU earned an easy win over UAB in December 2003. Given the Blazers' impressive run in the NCAA tournament three months later, they likely would have been a much tougher opponent when the following March rolled around.

The Tigers hope to take advantage of what they learned in their first matchup with UAB, one of last season's most surprising teams, as the teams meet in the first round of the Chicago Regional.

LSU defeated the Blazers 78-62 on Dec. 27, 2003, in their first-ever meeting, but UAB went on to reach the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament after ousting top-seeded Kentucky.

Tigers coach John Brady believes his team matches up well with the Blazers.

``UAB is a pressing team and shoots a lot of 3s,'' he said. ``We have played well against pressing teams.''

LSU opened the regular season 6-5, but carried a seven-game winning streak into Saturday's SEC tournament semifinals, where it lost 79-78 in overtime.

This is LSU's first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2003, when it lost to Purdue in the first round.

UAB advanced to the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament before losing 74-67 on Friday to tourney champion Louisville, strengthening its credentials.

``We are just excited about playing in the NCAA tournament,'' UAB coach Mike Anderson said. ``Anytime you are selected as one of the top 65 teams to participate in this particular tournament you are happy. Coming off our Sweet 16 run last year, this year is another moment of excitement.''

Thursday's winner advances to face either third-seeded Arizona or No. 14 Utah State in the second round Saturday.


UAB — F Lewis (8.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg), F Eddins (12.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg), G Johnson (5.0 ppg, 4.7 apg), G Taylor (15.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.0 spg), G McDonald (10.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg).

LSU — F Bass (17.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg), F Davis (13.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.4 bpg), G Mitchell (13.5 ppg, 1.9 spg), G Minor (10.7 ppg, 4.7 apg), G Hudson (13.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg).

HOW THEY GOT HERE: UAB — At-large berth, Conference USA; LSU — At-large berth, SEC.

ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: UAB — 8-11, 11 years; LSU — 19-20, 17 years.

NCAA Round 1 preview: Cincinnati vs. Iowa

Cincinnati has struggled on the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament in recent years. A flawed performance in a Conference USA tournament loss might not bode well for its chances this time around.

The Bearcats look to bounce back from being upset when they meet Iowa in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Cincinnati usually sounds confident heading into the tournament, but hasn't made it past the opening weekend in seven of the last eight years. The Bearcats' 92-68 loss to Illinois in the second round last year was their worst tournament defeat in coach Bob Huggins' 15 seasons.

A Bearcats victory over the Hawkeyes could set up a second-round game against second-seeded Kentucky, a rival they have been yearning to play, but beating Iowa may be a big task given the way Cincinnati played in its last game.

The Bearcats lost to lowly South Florida 80-68 in the first round of the C-USA tournament, leaving them with an at-large bid and a No. 7 seed for the NCAA tournament.

Huggins was disgusted with his team's effort against South Florida. He eased up in practice leading into the conference tournament, giving his players a chance to rest. Instead, they seemed soft, so Huggins is returning to intense practices this week.

``We're going to go at it again,'' Huggins said. These guys don't respond very well when we don't.''

Cincinnati hasn't played Iowa since 1980 and has little history with the Hawkeyes, leading the series 5-2.

The Bearcats are making their 14th straight NCAA tournament appearance. Iowa, meanwhile, is back in the NCAAs after three straight seasons in the NIT.

The Hawkeyes had victories over Louisville, Texas and Texas Tech early, slipped during the Big Ten season, then won five straight before losing to Wisconsin 59-56 on Saturday on a last-second 3-pointer in the conference tournament semifinals.

Iowa went 6-6 after leading scorer Pierre Pierce was dismissed from the team following legal problems. After Pierce's dismissal, the Hawkeyes went 1-5 in a stretch against Michigan State, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois and Minnesota, nearly killing their hopes for an NCAA tournament bid.

The winner advances to face second-seeded Kentucky or No. 15 Eastern Kentucky.


Iowa — F Brunner (14.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg), C Hansen (5.0 ppg, 2.7 bpg), G Haluska (14.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg), G Henderson (4.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg), G Horner (14.1 ppg, 5.6 apg).

Cincinnati — F Hicks (13.9 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.3 bpg), F Maxiell (15.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.6 bpg), F White (10.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg), G Kirkland (10.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg), G Williams (8.6 ppg, 1.8 apg).

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Iowa — At-large berth, Big Ten; Cincinnati — At-large berth, Conference USA.

ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Iowa — 27-22, 20 years; Cincinnati — 39-22, 23 years.

CORRECTED Final AP college basketball poll

The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, record, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:

(Poll released Mar. 15, 2005. Conference USA team, including future members, and Carolinas teams in bold; East Carolina opponents in red.] 

 1. Illinois 32-1 1800 1
 2. North Carolina 27-4 1676 2
 3. Duke 25-5 1671 5
 4. Louisville 29-4 1495 6
 5. Wake Forest 26-5 1457 3

 6. Oklahoma State 24-6 1393 10
 7. Kentucky 25-5 1342 4
 8. Washington 27-5 1318 14
 9. Arizona 27-6 1133 8
10. Gonzaga 25-4 1122 11
11. Syracuse 27-6 1072 16
12. Kansas 23-6 1049 9
13. Connecticut 22-7 949 12
14. Boston College 24-4 878 7
15. Michigan State 22-6 690 13
16. Florida 23-7 651 _
17. Oklahoma 24-7 605 17
18. Utah 27-5 599 15
19. Villanova 22-7 494 19
20. Wisconsin 22-8 384 23
21. Alabama 24-7 376 20
22. Pacific 26-3 349 18
23. Cincinnati 24-7 163 21
24. Texas Tech 20-10 143 _
25. Georgia Tech 19-11 132 _

Others Receiving Votes: Pittsburgh 124, Louisiana State 79, West Virginia 51, Nevada 48, Charlotte 44, Southern Illinois 28, New Mexico 22, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 16, Old Dominion 8, Creighton 7, Vermont 6, Stanford 4, Texas 3, Texas-El Paso 3, Utah State 3, Bucknell 2, Ohio 2, Winthrop 2, George Washington 1, Iowa 1, Minnesota 1, North Carolina State 1, Penn 1, Saint Mary's (CA) 1, UCLA 1.

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 12:22 PM


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