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March 27, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Thursday, March 27th, 2003

by Brian Seymour

There was a time when a postseason matchup between Georgetown and North Carolina would have been cause to disregard everything and tune in to whatever network was lucky enough to carry the contest.

My, how times have changed.

Still, Wednesday night’s NIT quarterfinal meeting between the Hoyas and Tar Heels — a rematch of the 1982 NCAA title game — was not without excitement.

Georgetown’s Drew Hall hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left to give the Hoyas (18-14) a 73-70 lead and they held on for a 79-74 win over the Tar Heels, who finish the year at 19-16.

Georgetown earns a spot in next week’s NIT semifinals with the win, its third straight on the road in the tournament. Mike Sweetney scored 22 points for the Hoyas.

Rashad McCants scored 26 points for the Tar Heels, who saw a once-promising season — one that started with a preseason NIT championship — come to an end.

In Wednesday’s other quarterfinal, Texas Tech reached 20 wins for the season with a 80-72 home win over Georgia Tech, keyed by Andre Emmett’s 29 points.

The Red Raiders (20-12) went on a 13-1 run to break open a tie game with 12:45 left. The Yellow Jackets (16-14) battled back to cut the lead to six with 1:15 left, but were never able to close the gap. Barry Elder led Georgia Tech with 26 points.

The NIT’s two other quarterfinals — St. John’s at UAB and Temple at Minnesota — are tonight.

Side Dishes

Former Wisconsin coach heads to WSU: Former Wisconsin coach Dick Bennett has agreed to become coach at Washington State University, according to ESPN.com. The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, as it was assumed that Bennett would remain retired after he had resigned as Badger coach in November 2000, months after leading the team to the Final Four. Bennett’s son Tony, an assistant coach with the Badgers, would likely accompany his father as an assistant according to the report, though official details of the contract or other specifics aren’t known. A press conference is tentatively scheduled for Saturday.

Younger Sutton interviews with Clemson: Sean Sutton, an associate head coach at Oklahoma State and son of head coaching legend Eddie Sutton, has interviewed for the vacant coaching position at Clemson. The 34-year-old has been an assistant at OSU since 1994.

Tonight’s Menu

The Big Dance gets back into swing tonight with some pretty compelling matchups and one likely blowout.

• The night’s premier matchup is a West Regional contest in Anaheim, CA between No. 2 Kansas and No. 3 Duke, two schools with a combined five national championships and thousands of victories between them. That game is scheduled for a 9:50 p.m. (Eastern) tipoff.

• The other West Regional game finds No. 5 Notre Dame looking to shock No. 1 Arizona, who may or may not suffer a hangover from its epic win over Gonzaga last weekend. Tipoff is 7:27 p.m. (Eastern).

• The likely candidate for blowout of the night is the Midwest Regional game in Minneapolis between No. 1 Kentucky and No. 5 Wisconsin at 7:10 p.m. (Eastern). If the Badgers can keep the contest within 10 points it’ll be somewhat of a surprise.

• Finally, the nightcap in Minneapolis should be a good one — No. 2 Pittsburgh vs. No. 3 Marquette, scheduled to tipoff at 9:30 p.m. (Eastern). The Panthers and Golden Eagles have both been among the most impressive teams in the tournament who don’t have “Wildcats” for a nickname.

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