Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
Tournament week for Pirates means recruiting
Monday was supposed to be a travel day.
Our plan at WNCT-TV 9 was to hit the road to Louisville on
Monday. Our coverage was supposed to begin on Tuesday, with the shoot-arounds
at the Conference USA tournament. East Carolina was to play its opening game
The Pirates didn’t finish in the top twelve of the league,
though, so the ECU coaches will spend at least part of this week on the
We will now watch the C-USA tournament's first couple of
rounds on television before heading to Greensboro for the ACC Tournament.
East Carolina’s move from the CAA to its new, higher-profile
conference changed the way we cover tournaments on the television side. In
years past, the CAA event, usually held in Richmond, was played the week
before the ACC Tournament.
C-USA runs its tournament during the same week as the ACC,
but starts earlier with the large number of teams involved.
Our coverage plans are now to always follow East Carolina
for as long as they are in the Conference USA tournament, and then to head
back to the ACC event.
Had East Carolina earned an invitation to Freedom Hall for
the league tourney, just think about what kind of week would have unfolded
for the region's fans.
In Conference USA, Louisville, Marquette and Memphis are
among the nation’s top teams. In the ACC, it’s a chance to watch Duke, Wake
Forest and defending national champion Maryland.
One week, with a chance to watch six of the nation’s top
teams in a tournament-type atmosphere, makes for a great tip off of March
Packer out to lunch..?
Where has Billy Packer been this season? He's obviously been
unable to keep track of some of the nation's best teams.
The veteran CBS analyst should have gotten some heat when he
referred to Conference USA as a “mid-major” during a Sunday broadcast.
Sometimes you have to wonder what game Packer’s really watching.
Conference USA could legitimately boast that three of its
schools have a shot at the “Sweet Sixteen,” and with a little luck, that
trio of Marquette, Memphis and Louisville could comprise almost half of the
Not bad for a “mid-major.”
2003 Kelly Tires Conference USA Tournament
Freedom Hall, Louisville,
March 12 (First Round)
(10) South Florida vs. (7) DePaul
(ESPN 2) 1:00 pm
(11) Houston vs. (6) Tulane (ESPN 2) 3:30 pm
(9) UAB vs. (8) Charlotte (ESPN Plus) 7:00 pm
(12) USM vs. (5) Cincinnati (ESPN Plus) 9:30 pm
Thursday, March 13
USF/DPU vs. (2) Memphis (ESPN
Plus) 1:00 pm
HOU/TUL vs. (3) Louisville (ESPN Plus) 3:30 pm
UAB/CHA vs. (1) Marquette (ESPN Plus) 7:00 pm
USM/CIN vs. (4) Saint Louis (ESPN Plus) 9:30 pm
Friday, March 14 (Semifinals)
Semifinal No. 1 (ESPN Plus) 5:00
Semifinal No. 2 (ESPN Plus) 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 15
Championship Game (CBS) 11:40 am
Bailey's Crystal ball
The tournament opens on Wednesday, and you can never
discount surprises. Among the lower seeds that have a chance to advance, I
like South Florida to knock off DePaul. Charlotte has hobbled home a bit, so
UAB as the 9th seed looks to advance past the 49ers.
As far as the quarterfinals go, take a hard look at Tulane’s game with
Louisville. The Cards are either going to turn things around, or continue to
flounder going into the tournament. I’ll bet that Rick Pitino gets his squad
back in order going into the NCAA’s.
So, slot Memphis and Louisville into on semifinals, and put Marquette and
St. Louis in the other. As I write this I realize that these brackets never
stay true to form.
With that said, give me Louisville and Marquette in the finals, and I’ll
take the Cards to win the tournament title. Every team goes through its
share of peaks and valleys in a season. The time is now for the Cards to get
their ship in order.
I sure wish that I could pick a Pirate upset in the first round, but those
days in the Conference USA tournament are still at least a year away.
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02/23/2007 01:26:21 AM