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News Nuggets, 03.20.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Kentucky proves it still has Bearcats' number


03.19.05: Hodge leads Wolfpack to comeback win over 49ers ... Louisville escapes upset bid by Ragin' Cajuns ... Preview: (7) Cincinnati vs. (2) Kentucky ... Preview: (11) UAB vs. (3) Arizona ... More...
03.18.05: UAB smothers 6th- seeded LSU in Round 1 shocker ... Bearcats dump Iowa, set sights on Kentucky ... Preview: (7) Charlotte vs. (10) N.C. State ... Preview: (4) Louisville vs. (13) UL-Lafayette ... More...
03.17.05: Timeline on ECU hoops coach Ricky Stokes ... Nothing heals like an NIT win for Tigers' Washington ... Horned Frogs halt RedHawks' home streak ... Davidson rips VCU for first-ever NIT victory ... More...
03.16.05: It's not the Big Dance, but it's a win for DePaul ... NCAA preview: UAB vs. LSU ... NCAA preview: Cincinnati vs. Iowa ... CORRECTED Final AP college basketball poll ... More...
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...

INDIANAPOLIS — Cincinnati still is playing the little brother to neighboring Kentucky. The Wildcats just keep beating them up.

Second-seeded Kentucky relied on 3-point shooting to get started, then strong-armed the undersized Bearcats inside and finally wore them down late to pull away with a 69-60 second-round victory Saturday in the Austin Regional.

The bitterness between the schools, located about 90 miles apart, has been fueled by the rarity with which they play. There have been just six games since 1948, and Kentucky has won 15 straight in the series dating to 1939.

Saturday's victory meant even more, though. The Wildcats (27-5) avoided a second straight second-round upset and a third straight elimination by a Conference USA school, and now face sixth-seeded Utah, a 67-58 winner over Oklahoma.

Kentucky won this one by dominating the middle. Chuck Hayes finished with 10 points and eight rebounds and freshman Randolph Morris produced the first double-double of his career with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Azubuike had nine rebounds and another freshman, Rajon Rondo, added 16 points.

The Wildcats outscored Cincinnati 34-12 in the paint.

The game even had the elements of a family feud. A crowd of 40,331 set the one-session record for an NCAA subregional site, breaking the previous mark of 39,940 set in Indianapolis in 1990. Most of the fans were clad in Kentucky blue or Illinois orange, but as the second game started, pockets of Cincinnati red also appeared.

Fans interrupted each other's chants and one held a sign that read ``Real Cats Wear Blue and White, not Black and Red.'' Kentucky fans even booed the Bearcats' cheerleaders as they led the team onto the floor.

On the court, emotions were stronger. Cincinnati's James White had an angry expression on his face during pregame warmups and Kentucky players were chest bumping before introductions.

The coaches got involved, too. Cincinnati's Bob Huggins worked the officials hard, and Kentucky's Tubby Smith repeatedly stomped the floor and walked onto the court to make points.

It was that kind of day — and that kind of game.

``I thought our guys showed a lot of heart and a lot of toughness against a team we have a lot of respect for,'' Smith said. ``Our fans, and so were the Cincinnati fans, were just unbelievable. You could see guys raising their intensity and play from the sheer energy of the crowd.''

The seventh-seeded Bearcats (25-8) failed to reach the round of 16 for the fourth straight year. They were led by Nick Williams with 16 points and Jihad Muhammad with 14. Cincinnati's top player, Jason Maxiell finished with just nine points and four rebounds and took only four shots in the second half.

Memphis zaps Hokies, starts thinking NIT title

MEMPHIS — Sure, Memphis would rather be in the NCAA tournament. Right now, however, the Tigers simply want to keep playing.

``We're peaking at the right time,'' Memphis center Arthur Barclay said. ``We're in the NIT, and we're making the best of it. We're happy they let us in, so we're going to try and take advantage of it and win the whole thing.''

Memphis (21-15) took another step Saturday toward the semifinals in Madison Square Garden. Rodney Carney scored 17 points, leading five Memphis players in double figures helping the Tigers beat Virginia Tech 83-62 in the second round.

Anthony Rice added 16 and Jeremy Hunt scored 15 for the Tigers, who held a double-digit lead throughout the second half. Darius Washington had 14 points and five assists.

Virginia Tech (16-14) shot poorly late in the first half to give Memphis the lead for good. The Hokies also struggled from the foul line, hitting only 16 of 29 in the game.

``Their defense is good,'' Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. ``They're long. They're strong, and they are very quick to help. They contest well.''

``We just played the fourth-place ACC team, and we were up 25 points,'' Memphis coach John Calipari said. ``We're a pretty good team also.''

Jamon Gordon led the Hokies with 16 points while Carlos Dixon scored 13. Zabian Dowdell, Virginia Tech's leading scorer, managed only eight points on 3-of-10 shooting.

The Tigers dominated the boards 47-35.

Davidson tames Bears, turns focus to Terps

SPRINGFIELD, MO — Brendan Winters scored 22 points to help Davidson beat Southwest Missouri State 82-71 on Saturday night to advance to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.

It was Davidson's second win in the 2005 NIT, both on the road. The Wildcats defeated Virginia Commonwealth in a play-in game on Wednesday in Richmond.

Winters was 6-of-8 from 3-point range, and Jason Morton added 19 points for Davidson (23-8), which will play at Maryland on Wednesday night.

Deke Thompson led Southwest Missouri (19-13) with 15 points, Anthony Shavies had 14 and Kellen Easley 13.

Winters hit a 3-pointer with 1:40 left to give Davidson a 74-68 lead.

Southwest Missouri led 32-28 at halftime, but Davidson opened the second half with a 17-8 run to take a 45-40 lead.

Davidson's back-to-back victories this week are the only NIT wins in the school's basketball history.

Preview: (4) Louisville vs. (5) Georgia Tech

Before they got through the first round, some of Georgia Tech's players were already gearing up for Louisville. After breezing through their opener, the Yellow Jackets now have their chance to upset Rick Pitino's Cardinals when the teams meet Sunday in the second round of the Albuquerque Regional (4:35 p.m.)

The Yellow Jackets, before topping George Washington 80-68 on Friday to advance, had scanned the bracket prior to the tournament and realized Louisville could be an early opponent.

``We'd love to play a great team like that,'' Georgia Tech senior Luke Schenscher said.

Jarrett Jack, Will Bynum and B.J. Elder combined to score on six straight possessions in the second half Friday as the Yellow Jackets enjoyed the most lopsided win of the opening games at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. Last year, the Yellow Jackets never won by more than eight points during their march to the championship game.

Georgia Tech returned almost its entire team from last season, but the Yellow Jackets were far from certain to make this year's tournament until the last week of the regular season. They finished strong, beating Clemson in their regular-season finale and stunning North Carolina to reach the championship of the ACC tournament, where they lost to Duke in the title game.

Louisville, meanwhile, had a far different experience in the first round, escaping with a 68-63 win over No. 13 Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday. Francisco Garcia went 7-for-7 from the foul line in the final 1:57, finishing with 27 points to help Louisville reach the second round for the second time in three years under Pitino, who's 28-9 in the NCAA tournament.

Pitino said he had tried to warn his Cardinals that the Ragin' Cajuns were the toughest first-round opponent he had seen in 10 tournament appearances. There were eight lead changes in the second half before Louisville finally went ahead for good, 56-55 on two free throws by Larry O'Bannon with 3:43 to go.

Sunday's winner will take on top-seeded Washington or No. 8 seed Pacific in the regional semifinals Thursday.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Georgia Tech - F McHenry (4.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg), C Schenscher (10.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg), G Elder (13.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg), G Jack (15.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg), G Bynum (12.5 ppg, 2.5 apg). Louisville - F Palacios (9.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg), F Garcia (15.7 ppg, 3.9 apg), F Myles (10.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg), G Dean (14.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg), G O'Bannon (14.9, 3.4 rpg).

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Georgia Tech, At-large berth, ACC; beat No. 12 seed George Washington 80-68, first round. Louisville - Automatic bid, Conference USA tournament champion; beat No. 13 seed Louisiana-Lafayette 68-62, first round.

ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Georgia Tech, 22-13, 14 years. Louisville - 50-33, 32 years.

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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