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News Nuggets, 03.21.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Spurrier straps on visor, gets down to business


03.20.05: Kentucky proves it still has Bearcats' number ... Memphis zaps Hokies, starts thinking NIT title ... Davidson tames Bears, turns focus to Terps ... Preview: (4) Louisville vs. (5) Georgia Tech ... More...
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...

COLUMBIA — Wearing a new white Gamecocks visor, Steve Spurrier returned to the college game Saturday, hitting the practice field for the first time as South Carolina coach.

Spurrier hadn't done this since his final spring with Florida in 2001, missing the next two years as coach of the Washington Redskins and sitting out last season after his dismissal.

Afterward, Spurrier was happy to finally begin the program's revival.

``Guys were excited. Threw the ball around a little bit. Threw some interceptions, but threw a few completions here and there,'' Spurrier said. ``It was an OK start.''

About 2,500 people showed up at Williams-Brice Stadium — more than five months before South Carolina takes to the field for real — to greet their newest hero and cheer even the most routine practice moments.

They clapped when Spurrier — dressed in khaki shorts, a white shirt and black wind vest — ran into the stadium and began working with the quarterbacks. They cheered each time the Gamecocks hit a long pass — something people hadn't witnessed much under the more conservative attack of former coach Lou Holtz.

For Spurrier, there was no extra kick at returning to the game where he succeeded at Duke, then won six Southeastern Conference titles — and the 1996 national championship — with the Gators.

``It hadn't been that long. Been calling the same plays you've called for 20 years,'' Spurrier said.

Not everything went smoothly. During one stretch, quarterback Antonio Heffner had two fumbled snaps and Michael Rathe one. When practice ended, Gamecocks assistant David Reaves had the passers out practicing center exchanges.

And Cory Boyd, elevated to starter with the dismissal of leading rusher Demetris Summers, pulled his left hamstring during an individual drill and remained on the sidelines much of the practice.

Spurrier's first practice moved South Carolina's focus back to the football field and away from the police blotter. Since the end of last season, nine players have been arrested and Summers was kicked off the team.

While no one's happy with the problems, University of South Carolina President Andrew Sorensen says he's been pleased with Spurrier's strong response.

``I'm very supportive of how he's handled all this,'' said Sorensen, who spoke with the players at Spurrier's behest on Friday.

NCAA Tourney Sweet 16 pairings & schedule


Chicago Region, Allstate Arena (Rosemont, IL)

(12) UW-Milwaukee (26-5) vs. (1) Illinois (34-1) 7:25 pm
(3) Arizona (29-6) vs. (2) Oklahoma State (25-6) 9:55 pm

Albuquerque Region, University Arena (Albuquerque, NM)

(4) Louisville (30-4) vs. (1) Washington (29-5) 7:10 pm
(7) West Virginia (23-10) vs. (6) Texas Tech (22-10) 9:40 pm


Syracuse Region, Carrier Dome (Syracuse, NY)

(10) N.C. State (20-13) vs. (6) Wisconsin (23-8) 7:25 pm
(5) Villanova (23-7) vs. (1) North Carolina (28-4) 9:55 pm

Austin Region, Frank Erwin Center (Austin, TX)

(5) Michigan State (23-6) vs. (1) Duke (26-5) 7:10 pm
(6) Utah (29-5) vs. (2) Kentucky (27-5) 9:40 pm

Tournament's television ratings up over 2004

NEW YORK — The first two days of the NCAA tournament were the highest-rated since 1991, the same year CBS began full-day coverage of the games.

The network's coverage averaged an overnight rating of 5.0 with an 11 share. That's the best since 1991's 5.0 with a 12 share.

The average through days one and two were up 4 percent from last year's 4.8 with a 10 share.

The rating is the percentage of all homes with TVs, whether or not they are in use. The share is the percentage of homes with sets in use.

Overnight ratings measure the 55 largest TV markets in the United States, covering nearly 70 percent of the country.

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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