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Insights and Observations

Henry's Highlights
Monday, March 20, 2006

By Henry Hinton

Hollands have rooting interests in Sweet 16


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Terry Holland certainly must have been watching the George Mason win over North Carolina on Sunday in the NCAA tournament with some pride. A friend and protégé, Jim Larranaga, is the head coach at Mason.

Larranaga spent seven years with Holland at the University of Virginia before he started his head coaching career at Bowling Green. After 11 years there he took over the job in Fairfax, VA, at GMU six years ago.

Sunday’s win over the Tar Heels must have been reminiscent of the UVa glory days for both Larranaga and Holland. It was also arguably one of the most important victories ever by a Colonial Athletic Association team. The Patriots will be one of the darlings in this coming weekend’s Sweet 16.

By the way, Ann Holland, the ECU AD's wife, is picking Memphis from Conference USA to win it all. She admits that emotion plays a big role in her picks. That’s probably why she picked Davidson (Terry’s alma mater) to upset Ohio State in the first round. Of course that didn’t happen, but her Memphis pick is starting to make some sense.

The Tigers advanced with relative ease on Sunday, dispatching Bucknell.

Baseball has big weekend

The Pirates had some March Madness of their own this weekend on the diamond. ECU got a sweep over Marist with wins of 9-5 on Friday, 7-0 on Saturday and 5-2 on Sunday.

The Pirates, now 16-6 on the season, have a huge home game on Wednesday evening when UNC-Wilmington comes to Clark-LeClair Stadium for a 7 p.m. game.

ECU has already beaten the Seahawks twice this season. The two teams' first meeting this season came in the Keith LeClair Classic on February 25 with ECU winning 11-2.

The Pirates also defeated Wilmington 4-0 last Wednesday on the road.

This Wednesday's game will be the last warm-up for conference action as ECU heads southwest to face Rice for the first time. The Owls were the 2003 national champions.

The Rice series marks the second time in two weeks the Pirates will face a national champion program from the last few years. ECU was swept by Cal-State Fullerton, the 2004 national champs, last weekend.

Drew-Skip update

We announced in this column a few weeks back that Coach Skip Holtz has launched his own golf tournament to honor longtime ECU fan and now Pirate football staff member Drew Steele.

The Drew Steele-Skip Holtz classic will take place at Ironwood Country Club June 4-5 in Greenville. One hundred per cent of the funds raised will go to programs supporting special populations of Pitt County.

This week the golf tournament web site was launched at thanks to Inspire Creative Studios in Wilmington. Minges Maniacs founder Jonathan Medford is part of the Inspire team and offered the services of his group to create the site.

Interested golfers can now sign up on line through the site. The dinner on Sunday evening at the Murphy Center will also be open to the public for $75.

The Greenville community has responded in an amazing fashion to Coach Holtz’s request for cooperation on this event. If you want to be a part of the tournament, better hurry.

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This page updated 04/21/08 07:02 PM.

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