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March 23, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments




Saturday, March 23rd, 2002

by Dan Hauptman

News and Notes
According to CBS SportsLine’s Dan Wetzel, Bob Huggins has decided to leave Cincinnati to coach at his alma mater, West Virginia. However, Huggins told Cincinnati’s WCPO-TV on Friday, “I have not made a decision.”

Louisville coach Rick Pitino announced on Friday that guard Carlos Hurt was dismissed from the team. In a statement released by the school, the coach said that the freshman violated team rules. Hurt played 14 games for the Cardinals and had 8.1 ppg and 3.4 apg this past season.

John Pelphrey was named head coach at South Alabama on Friday. The 33-year-old played at Kentucky under Eddie Sutton and Rick Pitino and was the top assistant to Billy Donovan at Florida the past six seasons.

The NCAA Division I Basketball Committee will meet next week in Atlanta to discuss the post-game altercation between Duke’s Matt Christensen and referee Bruce Benedict. After Duke lost on Thursday to Indiana, the 6-foot-10 senior blocked Benedict from leaving the court. Christensen had to be pulled back by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. The NCAA released a statement on Friday saying it was aware of the confrontation and that it would not comment until its investigation had finished.

In Saturday’s West Regional Final, two key players will be hampered by injuries. Missouri’s Clarence Gilbert dislocated his left ring finger in the opening seconds of the Tigers’ win vs. UCLA and Oklahoma’s Hollis Price hurt his right ankle in the 1st half of the Sooners’ win vs. Arizona. Both are expected to play on Saturday.

Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson’s father, John, remained in intensive care Friday. The elder Sampson, known as “Ned”, remains at a San Jose hospital after emergency surgery to drain blood from his brain.

The No. 2 seeds are 10-1 through the first three rounds. Three No. 2 seeds have advanced to the Regional Finals (Oregon, Oklahoma and Connecticut). The other No. 2 seed, Alabama, lost in the 2nd round.

The Big 12 is 11-3 overall. In the West Regional Final, two Big 12 teams (Missouri and Oklahoma) will play for a chance to go to the Final 4. The Sooners beat the Tigers 84-71 on January 21st in Norman, Oklahoma.

The SEC is out of the tournament, as the conference finished 5-6. For the second straight year, the SEC will not be represented in the Regional Finals.

In the South Regional Final, Kent State will play Indiana. In the first round of last year’s Tournament, No. 13 Kent State defeated No. 4 Indiana 77-73.

In the East Regional Final, Maryland will play Connecticut. On December 3rd in the BB&T Classic in Washington D.C., the Terrapins beat the Huskies 77-65.

No. 12 Missouri becomes the lowest seed ever to advance to the Regional Finals.

On Thursday, three of the four lower seeds won (No. 2 Oklahoma was the only higher seed to advance). On Friday, all four higher seeds won, with two No. 2 seeds (Oregon and Connecticut) and two No. 1 seeds (Maryland and Kansas) advancing to the Regional Finals.

Five coaches advanced to their first Regional Final appearance as a head coach: Ernie Kent (Oregon), Kelvin Sampson (Oklahoma), Stan Heath (Kent State), Mike Davis (Indiana), Quin Snyder (Missouri). Gary Williams, Roy Williams and Jim Calhoun all are heading back to the Regional Finals.

Maryland is the only team from last year’s Regional Finals that returned to the final 8 in this Tournament.

Conference Breakdown
Big 12 (11-3): 3rd round Win – Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas. 3rd round Loss – Texas.
Pac-10 (9-5): 3rd round Win – Oregon. 3rd round Loss – Arizona, UCLA.
ACC (7-3): 3rd round Win – Maryland. 3rd round Loss – Duke.
Big Ten (7-4): 3rd round Win – Indiana. 3rd round Loss – Illinois.
Big East (6-5): 3rd round Win – Connecticut. 3rd round Loss – Pittsburgh.
SEC (5-6): 3rd round Loss – Kentucky. DONE after 3rd round.
MAC (3-0): 3rd round Win – Kent State.
MVC (3-2): 3rd round Loss – Southern Illinois. DONE after 3rd round.
A10 (1-1): DONE after 2nd round.
WAC (1-2): DONE after 2nd round.
CUSA (1-3): DONE after 2nd round.
MWC (1-3): DONE after 2nd round.

Seeds Breakdown
2 (10-1): 3rd round Win – Oklahoma, Connecticut, Oregon.
3 (6-4): 3rd round Loss – Arizona, Pittsburgh. DONE after 3rd round
4 (5-4): 3rd round Loss – Kentucky, Illinois. DONE after 3rd round
5 (3-3): 3rd round Win – Indiana.
6 (3-4): 3rd round Loss – Texas. DONE after 3rd round
7 (3-4): DONE after 2nd round
8 (5-4): 3rd round Loss – UCLA. DONE after 3rd round
9 (0-4): DONE after 1st round
10 (3-3): 3rd round Win – Kent State.
11 (3-4): 3rd round Loss – Southern Illinois. DONE after 3rd round.
12 (5-3): 3rd round Win – Missouri.
13 (1-4): DONE after 2nd round
14 (0-4): DONE after 1st round
15 (0-4): DONE after 1st round
16 (0-4): DONE after 1st round

UConn: First Regional Final since 1999 (the Huskies won the title that year). 3rd appearance in last 5 years.

Indiana: First Regional Final since 1993.

Kansas: First Regional Final since 1996.

Kent State: First ever Regional Final.

Maryland: Second straight Regional Final.

Missouri: First Regional Final since 1994 (the appearance was later vacated).

Oklahoma: First Regional Final since 1988

Oregon: First time the Ducks won three games in the same tournament since 1939 (Oregon won that title).

Friday’s Heroes
Caron Butler, UConn: 19 points (6/16 FGs) and 4 rebounds in win vs. Southern Illinois.

Rolan Roberts, Southern Illinois: 24 points (11/16 FGs) and 8 rebounds in loss vs. Connecticut.

Luke Ridnour, Oregon: 20 points (4/9 3-pt FGs) and 5 assists in win vs. Texas.

Luke Jackson, Oregon: 25 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists in win vs. Texas.

Drew Gooden, Kansas: 15 points and 13 rebounds in win vs. Illinois.

Juan Dixon, Maryland: 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in win vs. Kentucky.

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