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College Hoops in the Carolinas
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Al Myatt's

State Line Hoops Report©

JUMP TO THE STATE LINE HOOPS REPORT© CAPSULE ON EAST CAROLINA...
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State Line Hoops Report© — 03/11/02

THE TOP TEN

1. Duke ... The Blue Devils (29-3) ran through the Big Four to win an unprecedented fourth straight ACC Tournament championship. Duke survived North Carolina’s delay game 60-48 in the quarterfinals, ousted Wake Forest 79-64 in the semifinals and rolled past N.C. State 91-61 in the final. The Blue Devils returned to No. 1 in the coaches poll with Maryland and Kansas getting beat. Duke was seeded No. 1 in the South regional of the NCAA Tournament. Winthrop is their first round opponent on Thursday in Greenville, S.C.

2. N.C. State ... The Wolfpack’s 86-82 win over Maryland in the ACC Tournament semifinals helped move State into the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll at No. 25. But the Pack’s gas tank looked to be empty in a 91-61 loss to Duke in the championship game in Charlotte. The Pack (22-10) has until Friday to regroup. That’s when State, a No. 7 seed, will play Michigan State in the first round of the NCAAs in Washington, D.C. Post defense has to be a concern after Carlos Boozer of Duke went 11 of 12 from the field in the ACC final.

3. Wake Forest ... The Deacons (20-12) reached the prestigious 20-win plateau with a 92-83 first round ACC Tournament win over Georgia Tech which kept the Yellow Jackets (15-16) from possibly making the NIT field with a winning record. A slow start, a subpar game by Josh Howard (5 points) and foul trouble for Darius Songaila were factors in the semifinal loss to Duke. Wake is headed for Sacramento, Cal. as a No. 7 seed to play Pepperdine (22-8) in a first round NCAA game on Thursday.

4. Charlotte ... The 49ers (18-11) have an interesting bracket as they make a short trip to Greenville, S.C. for a first round matchup with Notre Dame (21-10) on Thursday. That winner advances to play the Duke-Winthrop winner on Saturday. Charlotte beat Tulane 78-69 in the C-USA Tournament before losing to eventual champion Cincinnati 71-55 in the semifinals. Jobey Thomas leads Coach Bobby Lutz’s club with a 19.0 scoring average. Cam Stephens is averaging 13.4 points and 9.4 rebounds.

5. South Carolina ... The Gamecocks (18-14)will play at Virginia on Wednesday night (ESPN 2) in an interesting matchup in the first round of the NIT. USC coach Dave Odom was an assistant for the Cavaliers from 1982-89 after he stepped down as head coach at ECU. Odom had a 17-11 record against Virginia while head coach at Wake Forest, including 6-6 in Charlottesville. South Carolina made a nice run in the SEC Tournament with wins over Ole Miss (69-67) and Kentucky (70-57) before falling to Alabama (65-57) in the semifinals.

6. UNC Wilmington ... The Seahawks got the Colonial Athletic Association’s automatic berth with their 66-51 win over Virginia Commonwealth in the league tournament on March 4 in Richmond as Brett Blizzard, who is averaging a team-high 17.5 points, had 22 points. UNCW (22-9), a No. 13 seed, plays Southern Cal (22-9) in Sacramento on Thursday with the winner advancing to play the Indiana-Utah winner on Saturday. Craig Callahan averages 13.1 point and 5-2 rebounds for the Seahawks.

7. Davidson ... The Wildcats (21-9) also got into the NCAA field as a No. 13 seed, gaining entry automatically by winning the Southern Conference Tournament. Davidson will play in the West regional in Albuquerque, N.M. on Thursday against Ohio State (23-7), which is coming off its Big Ten Tournament championship. Emeka Erege averages 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds for the Wildcats.

8. College of Charleston ... No NIT bid for the Cougars, who finished 21-9 with a 44-43 loss to Furman in the Southern Conference Tournament. Jeff Bolton averaged 18.2 points for his senior season, hitting 80.7 percent of his free throws. Leighton Bowie, a 6-6 junior, projects as the top returning player for next year after averaging 12.1 points and a team-high 7.0 rebounds this season.

9. UNC Greensboro ... The Spartans (20-10) got a phone call from the NIT and will play at Memphis in the first round. James Maye is averaging 14.1 points for Coach Fran McCaffery, who was in Greenville scouting the Eastern 3-A regional championship between Winston-Salem Parkland and Greensboro Dudley on Saturday night. He was likely looking at Parkland guard Ray Bristow who scored 34 points as the Mustangs advanced to the state title game with an 81-78 win on a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Javon Scipio.

10. Clemson ... There is speculation that Larry Shyatt may not lose his job immediately if at all because the Tigers are involved in a search for an athletic director, who won’t officially be in place until June 30. The Tigers may wait on the new AD to define the coaching situation. Renovations to Littlejohn Coliseum will probably mean that home games will be played in Greenville, S.C., a circumstance that isn’t the best for bringing in a new coach. The Tigers were 13-17 with a 91-84 loss to Florida State in the play-in game of the ACC Tournament.


THE NOT-SO-SWEET 17

11. The Citadel
12. North Carolina
13. Furman
14. Gardner-Webb

15. East Carolina ... Sophomore Erroyl Bing led ECU (12-18) in scoring (12.6) and rebounding (8.7). Gabe Mikulas averaged 11.8 points and 6.1 rebounds after missing the first 13 games due to an NCAA sanction. Kenyatta Brown, who averaged 11.4 points, tops the group of seniors. Junior Travis Holcomb-Faye averaged 4.0 assists. Guards Brandon Hawkins and Bryan Foxx also leave the program. ECU needs to improve its shooting, 38.8 percent for the season. Foul shooting was at 69.0 percent and the Pirates made just 31.0 percent of their 3-point tries. ECU finished at 64.4 points per game as a team. ECU finished eighth in the league in scoring defense, allowing 70.3 points per game, but were last in the league in opponent’s field goal percentage at 45 percent. The bottom line for the Pirates is good. A lot of veterans coming back and five league wins means the program is two years ahead of where many analysts thought it was.

16. Winthrop
17. Appalachian State
18. Wofford
19. Western Carolina
20. South Carolina State
21. UNC Asheville
22. N.C. A&T
23. Elon
24. Charleston Southern
25. Campbell
26. High Point
27. Coastal Carolina

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02/23/2007 12:58:49 AM
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