News Nuggets, 04.03.05
NOTES FROM ECU AND BEYOND...
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Compiled from staff reports
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Little men come up big as Heels, Illini head to
coach beats out Herrion for Siena job ... Terps assistant
Dickerson named coach at Tulane ... 'P.H.D.' Pitino gets
life in perspective at U of L ...
capture NIT title in thrilling finish ... Coaches pushing
for more distant 3-point arc ...
in place for closed ECU scrimmage ... Texas legislature
maneuvers to reign in BCS ... NIT master Odom leads USC into
title game ...
football on the menu for Pirate fans ... Gamecocks top Terps
to reach NIT title game ... Hawks halt Memphis in NIT
semifinal battle ...
Carolina southpaw takes Conference USA honor ... Beale
Street helps Memphis star cure the blues ...
helps Heels seal the deal over Badgers ... Scintillating
finishes supercharge TV ratings ...
Illini mount monumental rallies to reach Final Four ...
Terrapins dump TCU to win Garden date with South Carolina
... Sunday preview: North Carolina vs. Wisconsin ...
State bite the dust; Heels survive ... Louisville, WVU
rumble for spot in Final Four ... Fires plague Morgantown
after tourney win ... Players nabbed for passing fake
named to powerful USA Basketball panel ... ECU fans to have
rooting interest in NIT semis ... Triangle's Sweet 16 teams
converge at RDU ... Another DUI charge embarrasses
Memphis whips Vandy to advance to Garden ... NIT: Maryland
overcomes big Davidson lead ... Big East hops on replay
win over UNLV extends Stokes' ties to USC ...
Davidson-Maryland NIT matchup set for TV ... Activists file
suit over 'Chief Illiniwek' ...
over for East Carolina football team ... Frogs in NIT
quarterfinals after overtime win ... CBS reaping ratings
bonanza from tourney ... Baseball America & Collegiate
Baseball Polls ...
straps on visor, gets down to business ... NCAA Tourney
Sweet 16 pairings & schedule ... Tournament's TV ratings up
over 2004 ...
proves it still has Bearcats' number ... Memphis zaps
Hokies, starts thinking NIT title ... Davidson tames Bears,
turns focus to Terps ... Preview: (4) Louisville vs. (5)
Georgia Tech ...
leads Wolfpack to comeback win over 49ers ... Louisville
escapes upset bid by Ragin' Cajuns ... Preview: (7)
Cincinnati vs. (2) Kentucky ... Preview: (11) UAB vs. (3)
ST. LOUIS The point guards of the
country's top two teams did what they were supposed to do and now they're
playing for a national championship.
Deron Williams' defensive effort for
Illinois will be considered one of the best ever in the Final Four.
Raymond Felton's offense helped put
North Carolina into Monday night's title game.
Williams harassed Louisville's
Francisco Garcia for 40 minutes Saturday night and the top-ranked Illini
advanced with a 72-57 victory.
Felton bounced back from a subpar first
half by getting the second-ranked Tar Heels off to a great start in the
second half in their 87-71 victory over Michigan State.
``That's the game everyone wanted,''
Felton said, referring to the first title matchup between Nos. 1 and 2 since
Felton, a 6'1" junior, had 10 points in
the opening 10 minutes of the second half as North Carolina turned a 38-33
deficit into a 67-52 lead.
Known for his passes, he took things
into his own hands, hitting two 3-pointers, a drive and another jumper as
the Tar Heels surpassed their first-half total by the 10-minute mark of the
second half. His jumper with 10:17 left gave North Carolina a 67-52 lead.
Felton didn't forget to distribute the
ball, however, finding Jawad Williams on the break with an alley-oop pass
and getting the ball to center Sean May, who made the two free throws that
gave the Tar Heels the lead for good.
``We went back to doing what we had
been doing all year,'' Felton said. ``We got it inside, we threw some lobs
and hit some outside shots. We started attacking from every point.''
Felton struggled in the first half,
making only one of five shots and turning the ball over four times, more
than his average for a game.
That changed in the second half as he
got the Tar Heels, the nation's leading scoring team at 88 points per game,
back on the break.
``I just attacked,'' Felton said,
describing the difference in the halves. ``We just had to do it on every
possession and just play defense. That's what made that run and once we got
the lead we never gave it back.''
He finished with 16 points on 6-for-12
shooting and had seven assists and eight rebounds. Maybe the most impressive
stat was that he had a total of five turnovers, only one in playing 19
minutes in the second half.
``Felton really stepped up his game in
the second half,'' Michigan State's Maurice Ager said. ``They made the plays
As usual, it was Felton leading the way
as the Tar Heels took control.
``We weren't aggressive but they did a
great job in the first half,'' he said. ``We weren't playing the way should
have been playing. Then we were.''
It didn't seem possible that Williams,
a 6'3" junior, could top what he did in the Illini's remarkable comeback win
over Arizona in the regional finals but top it he did.
``I told Coach I wanted him (Garcia)
right after the Arizona game,'' Williams said. ``I always want the best
player on the other team.''
Garcia, a versatile player who has
driven many a defense crazy with his ability to shoot the 3, couldn't do
anything against Williams except miss shots.
``It was frustrating. I couldn't make
an easy shot,'' Garcia said. ``I just couldn't knock down my shots.''
Despite giving away 4 inches to the
6-foot-7 Garcia, Williams found a way to beat him to every spot by fighting
through screens and showing the same tenacity he did in shutting down Salim
Stoudamire of Arizona last weekend, holding him to 2-of-13 shooting.
Garcia came in averaging 16.0 points on
44 percent shooting, including 37 percent from 3-point range.
``I knew he was such a big part of
their offense that stopping him was taking a big chunk out of their
offense,'' Williams said.
Garcia had a season-low four points on
2-for-10 shooting Saturday, only the sixth time this season he scored in
single digits. In the first four games of the tournament, Garcia averaged 21
points, including 13 in a foul-plagued effort in the regional final win over
West Virginia. The other games were all over 20 points.
Not with Williams there.
The play that best summed up his effort
came with 7 1/2 minutes left.
Louisville had just called a timeout
after Luther Head's 3-pointer gave Illinois a 58-49 lead. Teams coached by
the likes of Rick Pitino always come out of a timeout with a set play that
usually results in a score, or at least a good look.
The inbounds pass was going to Garcia
right in front of the Louisville bench. Williams beat him there and tipped
the ball away for a turnover. The Illini went on to add three more points to
the lead before the Cardinals scored again.
That play may not have compared to the
steals he made in the final minutes of the win over Arizona, but it took
some more life out of Louisville and helped the Illini move into their first
national championship game.
Cops unleash tear gas on
disruptive MSU fans
EAST LANSING Police in riot gear used
tear gas to disperse a crowd of rowdy Michigan State fans and made several
arrests after the Spartans' loss in the Final Four on Saturday night.
Soon after Michigan State lost 87-71 to
North Carolina, a crowd of between 500 and 1,000 people gathered in downtown
streets and outside apartment complexes a few blocks away, police Lt. Kevin
Daley said that as of 1 a.m. Sunday,
between 12 and 24 people had been arrested on disorderly conduct charges.
Police tried to break up the crowd
before using the tear gas. There had been no violence at that point, but
Daley said tear gas is an effective way to scatter a crowd before ``it takes
on a life of its own.''
``The point is to ensure the safety of
the downtown area to prevent injury and to prevent property damage,'' Daley
A burning couch was seen near downtown,
and Daley said several trash containers had been set afire. No reports of
serious injuries had been received as of 1 a.m. Sunday, he said.
In 1999, after Michigan State lost to
Duke in the semifinals, more than 10,000 people ran through downtown East
Lansing, overturning cars, setting fires and smashing storefronts. Police
responded with tear gas and arrested 132 people, including 71 Michigan State
Eighteen people were arrested following
a disturbance during the 2003 NCAA men's tournament.
News Nuggets are
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