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Bailey's Take on Conference USA Hoops
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From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
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By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

 

Cincinnati + Marquette = Big Early Flops

©2002 Bonesville.net

Huggins Should Be Wary of Recruiting in Morganton

It was certainly not a great NCAA Tournament for Conference USA. The league picked up seedings of 1, 5 and 9, but failed to make it past the second round.

Cincinnati was the league’s biggest flop. The Bearcats were the top seed in the West, but fell in double overtime to UCLA in that second round game.

Many in the media felt Oklahoma should have been the top seed in the West. The ‘Cats certainly didn’t do anything to undermine that opinion.

Cincinnati had tendencies all year of not coming out to play 40 minutes of basketball. We had a chance to see it first hand, when East Carolina almost upset Cincy in Greenville.

Now, Bob Huggins is a candidate for the West Virginia job. That would certainly be a recruiting challenge. I guarantee you Huggins couldn’t get the same type of player to go to Morgantown that he has successfully lured to Cincinnati.

Marquette was also a disappointment. I really thought the Golden Eagles would make a strong run in the tournament. Kentucky made it through in that bracket in the East, but I think Marquette would have given the Wildcats a good game.

I had a chance to see Charlotte in person in Greenville, SC. The 49ers looked just like the team that East Carolina saw twice this season in the first half. The second half, though, was totally dominated by a Notre Dame team that almost beat Duke in the second round.

And who would have ever thought that Louisville would be one of the last teams standing in the postseason for Conference USA? The Cardinals took on Temple in the NIT’s second round on Tuesday Night, and LOST.

Memphis lives on, and will play BYU tonight.

Tarrant High on ECU Hoops Coach

I ran into former Richmond Coach Dick Tarrant while I was covering the NCAA regional in that other Greenville.

If anyone knows anything about the tournament, it’s the former Spiders' coach.

Tarrant led Richmond to several great upsets in the NCAA Tournament. His teams beat Charles Barkley and Auburn in 1984, and they ran through both Indiana and Georgia Tech in 1988.

“I call it March Gladness,” Tarrant told me. “I’m sure glad that I had a chance to coach in the tournament.”

He asked me what it was like watching all of the Conference USA games. Then he had kind words for the Pirate coach Bill Herrion.

“Bill’s a tireless worker,” Tarrant said. “He is an outstanding coach and did a great job with that team this year. I have a lot of respect for Coach Herrion. I think the Pirate fans are lucky to have him.”

Tarant is currently doing radio for the NCAA Tournament. He loves his new job.

“It’s great. I’m still in the game, but I haven’t lost a game in some time. I’m really having a lot of fun on this side of the microphone.”

Final Four Picks

My NCAA brackets resembled many of my college exam papers after the first two rounds. There was plenty of red ink to go around.

With that said I present my Final Four picks: I like Duke in the South, Maryland in the East, Oklahoma in the West and Kansas in the Midwest.

But don’t be surprised if 8th seed UCLA or 12th seed Missouri make it to Atlanta for the National Semifinals.

It’s been that kind of tournament, hasn’t it!

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 01:22:39 AM
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