East Carolina Pirates NCAA Bid
RICHMOND, Va. - Five weeks ago, East Carolina was stumbling, losing seven in a row and 11 of 13. Today, the Pirates are bound for the NCAA Tournament.
"We knew if we hung in there and kept working hard, something good would come out of all the bad times," Curley Young said.
Young scored 15 points last night, including four of the Pirates' final eight, as East Carolina, seeded seventh in the eight-team Colonial Athletic Association tournament, shocked top-seeded James Madison 54-49.
East Carolina (13-16), making its first NCAA appearance since 1972, is the eighth team in the history of the NCAAs to get in with a losing record. The Pirates are the first team to do it since Montana State, 14-16 in 1986.
-- MANHATTAN 68, NIAGARA 67 - Chris Williams' free throw with 2.6 seconds left gave the Jaspers victory in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament, and their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1958, in a game played in Albany, N.Y. Keith Bullock's 30 points led Manhattan (23-6). Rob Robinson's 19 paced the Purple Eagles (23-6). -- SANTA CLARA 73, PEPPERDINE 63 - Freshman Steve Nash scored 20 of his career-high 23 points in the second half as the Broncos upset the Waves to win the West Coast Conference tournament in San Francisco. Mark Schmitz and Pete Eisenrich added 18 apiece for Santa Clara (18-11), which hit a school-record 13 three-pointers. Damin Lopez's 20 paced Pepperdine (22-7). -- SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 70, ILLINOIS ST. 59 - Tournament MVP Ashraf Amaya and Marcus Timmons each had 11 points and 13 rebounds as the Salukis (23-9) won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in St. Louis and earned their first NCAA berth since 1977. Mike VandeGarde scored 16 for the Redbirds (19-10).
Top 25 men
-- WESTERN KENTUCKY 72, NO. 13 NEW ORLEANS 63 - Darnell Mee scored 18 points as the Hilltoppers upset the Privateers to win the Sun Belt Conference tournament in Biloxi, Miss. Darrin Horn added 15 for Western Kentucky (24-5), which will make its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1987. Ervin Johnson's 22 led New Orleans (26-3), which had won 13 straight. -- AT NO. 17 IOWA 56, NORTHWESTERN 50 - The Hawkeyes broke a two-game Big Ten losing streak despite hitting just eight of 33 field-goal attempts in the first half. -- NO. 20 MASSACHUSETTS 76, RHODE ISLAND 50 - Lou Roe's 24 points and nine rebounds led the Minutemen in an Atlantic 10 semifinal in Philadelphia. Harper Williams added 13 points and 11 rebounds as UMass outrebounded the Rams 51-25. The Minutemen (22-6) will host Temple Thursday for the Atlantic 10 championship.
Top 25 women
-- NO. 1 VANDERBILT 78, NO. 23 GEORGIA 64 - Misty Lamb scored 22 points and tournament MVP Mara Cunningham added 20 as the Commodores (27-2) won the Southeastern Conference tournament, in Chattanooga, Tenn., for the first time. -- NO. 10 VIRGINIA 106, NO. 12 MARYLAND 103 (3 OT) - Jeffra Gausepohl sank six foul shots in the last 43 seconds of the third overtime, lifting the Cavaliers in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game in Rock Hill, S.C. Gausepohl, a freshman, scored 14 of her career-high 15 points in the three overtimes as Virginia won its third ACC tournament in four years. Heather Burge scored 22 points and tournament MVP Dena Evans added 19 for the Cavaliers (24-5). -- KANSAS 64, NO. 20 NEBRASKA 60 - Tournament MVP Angela Aycock's 25 points and 10 rebounds led the Jayhawks (21-8) to the Big Eight tournament title in Salina, Kan. Nafeesah Brown's 20 points led the Huskers (22-7). -- NO. 24 MIAMI 77, AT PROVIDENCE 56 - Holly Rilinger scored 18 of her 24 points in the second half as the Hurricanes (23-6) won the Big East tournament title.
-- Jim Livengood, Washington State athletic director, expects Cougar Coach Kelvin Sampson to receive a coaching-search call from South Carolina soon. Livengood told The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C., that the Gamecocks' athletic director, Mike McGee, has been trying to reach him, and he thinks McGee wants permission to talk to Sampson. Livengood said he would grant permission. -- UCLA Coach Jim Harrick was given a three-year contract extension today. -- Michigan president James Duderstadt has ordered an investigation into reports that Wolverine starter Jalen Rose was ticketed during a drug raid in Detroit. The citation accuses Rose of "loitering where drugs are kept or stored," a misdemeanor. The Detroit Free Press reported that three searches of court records failed to find the citation. The Detroit News said the ticket was not lost, as first reported, but rather that investigators chose not to pursue the charge against Rose. -- Wyoming Coach Benny Dees, who resigned after six years in Laramie, will take over at Western Carolina. -- Oklahoma State assistant Bill Self was named head coach at Oral Roberts, replacing Ken Trickey.
---------------------------------------------------. Lucky 13.
Thirteen schools have received automatic bids to the 64-team field in the NCAA men's basketball tournament:. . . School Conference Rec.. . Arizona Pac-10 22-3. . Coastal Carolina Big South 22-9. . Coppin State Mid-Eastern Athletic 22-8. . East Carolina Colonial Athletic 13-16. . Indiana Big Ten 26-3. . Manhattan Metro Atlantic 23-6. . NE Louisiana Southland 26-4. . Pennsylvania Ivy League 21-4. . Santa Clara West Coast 18-11. . Southern Illinois Missouri Valley 23-9. . Tenn.-Chattanooga Southern 26-6. . Tennessee State Ohio Valley 19-9. . Western Kentucky Sun Belt 24-5.
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