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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports
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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
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By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Longest Day coming for Williams Arena

Replay Monday's BRIAN BAILEY SHOW, which aired on WCZI 98.3 FM.  Listen...

ESPN Radio

Tune in to the JASON O. BOYD SHOW today on ESPN Radio 1250 AM (Greenville), 97.9 FM (New Bern) and 910 AM (Jacksonville.) BRIAN BAILEY will be Jason's guest at 4:40 p.m.

©2003 Bonesville.net

Bill Herrion only thought he had some long days this season.

Saturday will be like no other day in the history of Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

The day will begin with a late morning contest between East Carolina and Saint Louis.

The Pirates had hoped this would be their last chance to make it into the Conference USA post-season tournament. Unfortunately, the game will have to serve as a pride-check for the Pirates, who have already been eliminated from post-season consideration.

The ECU marketing department worked overtime to try and make this game a little more fan friendly. It’s the final game of the season, and the students will be on break. This will be a much different atmosphere then we’ve seen at many of the Conference USA games this season.

After the Pirates game, the arena staff will be hard at work trying to gear up for FOUR more games on Saturday, as ECU hosts the N.C. High School Athletics Association's Eastern Regional finals for boys.

Games are scheduled to run consecutively beginning at 3:00 in the afternoon. They are scheduled in two-hour blocks, with the last game scheduled for 9:00 p.m. If there are any “long” games, or overtime affairs, that last game might not start until close to 11:00 p.m.

It’s an unbelievable day of hoops. It’s also a great opportunity to see some of the state’s top talent on the Williams Arena hardwoods.

Minges Coliseum has played host to an array of stars over the years in the regionals. Jerry Stackhouse played in the regionals. Just last year Duke star Shavlik Randolph was one of the stars to watch.

East Carolina Athletic Director Mike Hamrick welcomed all of the coaches to town at the Monday luncheon.

“We are thrilled to have this event at East Carolina,” Hamrick told the crowd. “We hope you enjoy our outstanding facilities and we hope you enjoy the week.”

Perhaps Hamrick’s increased role in the pre-tournament luncheon was a means of extending an olive branch towards the NCHSAA, which was caught off guard and reacted angrily last year when ECU, Conference USA and ESPN announced they had rescheduled a Pirates football game for a Friday night.

There isn’t a Friday night game on ECU's recently released football schedule for 2003, so maybe Hamrick and NCHSAA executive director Charlie Adams can get together and have better lines of communication in the future.

East Carolina officials are asking for fans to join in and come together as a family, especially in football. Maybe this is another step in clearing the air with the high schools of North Carolina, a step that will encourage them to be a part of that Pirate family.

If you’re coming to town for Saturday morning's ECU-St. Louis game, plan on making a day out of it and watching some top-notch high school hoops. Several area teams are in the regionals, which really add to the excitement of the event.

Be a part of history at East Carolina. Ten years from now, there won’t be many of us who can say we sat through five games in one day at Williams Arena.

Make it a challenge, and we’ll see you on Saturday!

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

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

02/23/2007 01:26:19 AM
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