The Weekly Sports Report

And then there was one. As the 2003-4 regular season drew to a close, St. Jospeh's (27-0) was left as the only undefeated team in Division One. The Hawks also jumped over Stanford into the #1 spot in the A.P. Top 25 poll and are a virtual lock to be a #1 seed in the East Region. Stanford (26-1) lost their final game of the year at Washington on Saturday and fell to #2. The Cardinals still figure to get the West Region's #1 seed.

Gonzaga moved up to #3 in the A.P. poll, Mississippi State also moved up one notch to #4 while Duke fell from #3 to #5 after losing at home to Georgia Tech on Wednesday. That loss also snapped the nation's longest current home winning streak at 41 games. The final two #1 seeds will be decided by the conference tournament results in the ACC, Big East, Big Twelve, and SEC.

Gonzaga, who captured the West Coast Conference championship last night, could steal a #1 seed if the top teams in those conferences all fall by the wayside in their tournaments. I'm still predicting that Duke and Oklahoma State will be the final two #1 seeds. We'll get the whole picture on Sunday evening, after watching some great conference tournament action.

Tuesday
East - #2 St. Joseph's capped off an undefeated regular season (27-0) by crushing St. Bonaventure 82-50 before an ecstatic SRO crowd at Alumni Fieldhouse. Appropriately on Senior Night, senior PG Jameer Nelson led the way for the Hawks with 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists… #6 Pittsburgh rebounded strongly from their first home loss in 41 games to rout #12 Providence 88-61at The Dunkin' Donuts Center. Three Panthers tallied over 20 points; freshman center Chris Taft with 24, junior PF Chevon Troutman 23, and sophomore PG Carl Krauser 22… #24 Syracuse stayed alive for a 1st round bye in the Big East tournament by defeating West Virginia in Morgantown 65-52. Junior PF Hakim Warrick led the Orangemen to their sixth win in the last seven games with 25 points and 10 boards. With the victory, Syracuse improved to 20-6. Coach Jim Boeheim now has recorded 26 twenty-win seasons, the most among active coaches. Junior center D'or Fischer had a season-high 19 points for the Mountaineers, who have now lost four in a row… In another Big East contest, Miami ended a ten game losing streak by winning 59-56 at Villanova. Senior forward Darius Rice led the Hurricanes with 20 points. Sophomore SG Allen Ray scored a game-high 27 for the Wildcats, who have dropped four straight games.

South - #5 Mississippi State clinched at least a tie for the SEC crown by defeating Auburn 105-91 in Starkville. Junior SG Winsome Frazier led the Bulldogs to victory with 26 points and 7 rebounds. Junior forward Brandon Robinson scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the slumping Tigers… In the ACC, Virginia kept their flickering NCAA tournament hopes alive with an 84-82 upset of #11 Wake Forest. Junior SF Devin Smith won the game for the Cavaliers by converting a three point play with just 5.8 seconds left. Smith and soph forward Derrick Byars each scored 15 for Virginia. Sophomore Justin Gray tallied a game-high 20 points for the Demon Deacons… #14 North Carolina coasted past Clemson 69-53 in the Dean Dome. Sophomore SG Rashad McCants tallied a game-high 30 points for the Tar Heels.

Midwest - #17 Wisconsin edged Michigan State 68-64 in overtime in East Lansing. Junior SG Devin Harris and junior PF Mike Wilkinson led the way for the Badgers with 18 points each. Sophomore center Paul Davis had a huge game for the Spartans with 25 points and 10 rebounds.


Wednesday
East – Boston College got to the twenty win mark by defeating St. John's at home 68-54. Sophomore PF Craig Smith had 17 points for the Eagles. Sophomore PG Darryl Hill tallied 24 for the Red Storm… In the Atlantic 10, Fordham extended La salle's losing streak to six games with an 83-75 win over the Explorers and Temple outlasted Massachusetts 98-92 in double overtime.

South - #3 Duke's home winning streak was ended at 41 games as the Blue Devils dropped a 76-68 decision to #19 Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets went 7-8 from the line in the final 90 seconds to keep Duke at bay. Sophomore guard Jarrett Jack had 15 points and junior center Luke Schenscher added 14 for Georgia Tech. Sophomore SG J.J. Reddick poured in 24 for Duke in a losing cause. Duke had beaten the Yellow Jackets 15 in a row… Maryland kept their NCAA tournament hopes alive by edging #16 North Carolina State 70-69 in College Park. Sophomore PG John Gilchrist paced the Terrapins with 21 points. Junior SG Julius Hodge led all scorers with 27 for the Wolfpack… #9 Kentucky scored a big road win, thumping South Carolina 84-65. Senior PG Cliff Hawkins had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats... Elsewhere in the SEC, Florida defeated Georgia 63-55, LSU dumped Mississippi 58-45, and Vanderbilt edged Tennessee 61-58… #20 Memphis blasted TCU 83-56 at the Pyramid. Sophomore SF Rodney Carney led the Tigers with 22 points… In other CUSA contests, Southern Mississippi topped Tulane 70-60 and UAB won at South Florida 61-59… In the Big East, Rutgers lost at Virginia Tech 71-70 on a last-second tip in by freshman SF Coleman Collins. Senior forward Bryant Matthews tallied a game-high 22 points for the Hokies.

Midwest - #18 Illinois edged Purdue 81-79 in overtime in West Lafayette. Junior SG Luther Head paved the way for the Illini with 19 points. Senior guard Kenneth Lowe scored a game-high 23 for the Boilermakers… Elsewhere in the Big 10, Indiana topped Michigan 61-56, Northwestern nipped Iowa 51-49, and Ohio State bested Penn State 71-64. #21 Kansas defeated Nebraska 78-67 at Allen Fieldhouse. Junior PF Wayne Siemien scored 22 points for the Jayhawks… In another Big 12 contest, Iowa State took care of Colorado 83-77… #25 Louisville scored a big road win at St. Louis, 75-48. Sophomore SF Francisco Garcia led the Cardinals with 17 points… Also in CUSA, Marquette slipped past East Carolina 77-73… In the Atlantic 10, Xavier thumped George Washington 83-66.

Southwest – Alabama kept their NCAA chances alive by defeating Arkansas 72-68 in overtime. The Crimson Tide rallied from a 15 point deficit at the half… In the Big 12, Texas Tech defeated Missouri 87-76, Oklahoma blasted Texas A&M 86-60, and Kansas State nipped Baylor 64-62… In CUSA, Charlotte won big at Houston 82-61.


Thursday
Midwest – Notre Dame parlayed a big game from their backcourt and a stifling defense to defeat Georgetown 61-48. Junior Chris Thomas tallied 19 points for the Irish and sophomore Chris Quinn added 18 more. Notre Dame set a team record for the least points allowed in a Big East game as they sent the Hoyas to their 7th consecutive defeat.

West - #1 Stanford began their sojourn to the Apple State in Pullman. The Cardinal needed another miracle finish to remain undefeated. Stanford trailed 61-60 when the Cougars failed to inbound the ball with 17.2 seconds remaining. With only a few ticks left, a loose ball was grabbed by Cardinal senior SG Matt Lottich. He passed to reserve forward Nick Robinson. Robinson, whose long 3 pointer at the buzzer defeated Arizona earlier this year, gave the ball back to Lottich. Lottich launched a desperation three point shot just before the buzzer and it swished through. Final score, Stanford 63 Washington St. 61. Lottich led all Stanford scorers with 15 points. Junior center Rob Little added 14 points and junior SF Josh Childress contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds… In other PAC 10 games, Oregon defeated USC 75-70, Oregon State topped UCLA 65-56, and Washington remained red hot with a 76-58 trouncing of California… In the Big West, surprising Pacific won at home over Fullerton St. 78-62.


Friday
Midwest – St. Louis rebounded from their trouncing earlier in the week by Louisville to edge Houston 72-69 in overtime. The Billikens are likely headed to the NIT unless they win the CUSA tournament.

West - #23 Utah State improved to 25-2 with a 64-60 road win at Idaho. The Aggies shot an amazing 70% from the field in the 2nd half as they clinched at least a tie for the Big West title. Sophomore PF Nate Harris led Utah St. with 13 points and 7 rebounds.


Saturday
East - #6 Pittsburgh clinched the top seed in the Big East tournament with a 59-45 win over Villanova. As has often been the case this season, the Panthers struggled at the start. That's really putting it mildly. Pitt trailed 17-3 past the midway point of the first half! The Panthers' relentless defensive pressure finally wore down the Wildcats as Pitt pulled away in the 2nd half. With their guards struggling, Pitt looked for their points inside. Junior PF Chevon Troutman scored 17 points and freshman center Chris Taft added 16 and 11 rebounds. Sophomore SG Allen Ray scored a game-high 24 for Villanova, who lost their 5th straight game… Boston College upset #12 Providence 63-54 at The Dunkin' Donuts Center. Freshman SF Jared Dudley led the Eagles with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Boston College held Providence to only 15 points in the first half... In other Big East games, all the road teams emerged with victories. West Virginia defeated Miami 58-53, Virginia Tech sent Georgetown to their eighth straight loss 60-55, and Notre Dame destroyed St. John's 89-62… In Atlantic 10 action, Dayton won at Duquesne 73-69, George Washington defeated La Salle 87-72, St. Bonaventure upended Fordham 81-75, and Xavier nipped Temple 70-69… Princeton clinched the Ivy League title and an NCAA bid with a 64-59 win at Dartmouth.

South - #3 Duke rebounded from their upset at the hands of Georgia Tech on Wednesday to defeat North Carolina 70-65 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Freshman forward Luol Deng poured in 25 points for the Blue Devils… #16 North Carolina State scored a big upset win on the road over #11 Wake Forest. Junior SG Julius Hodge led the Wolfpack with 17 points. Sophomore SG Justin Gray led all scorers with 23 for the Demon Deacons… #19 Georgia Tech defeated Florida State 63-60. Sophomore guard Jarrett Jack had a big game for the Yellow Jackets with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists and senior guard Marvin Lewis tallied a game-high 21 points… #5Mississippi State came back from a 16 point halftime deficit to edge Alabama 82-81 in overtime in Tuscaloosa. The victory clinched the SEC title for the Bulldogs. Senior guard Timmy Bowers hit a last-second shot that sent the game into overtime and then hit the game winning shot on a baseline drive. Bowers finished with 20 points and 8 assists. Junior SG Earnest Shelton scored 25 points and added 9 rebounds for the Crimson Tide… Elsewhere in the SEC, Auburn topped LSU 78-66, Georgia upended Vanderbilt 71-61, Mississippi defeated Arkansas 55-45, and Tennessee overcame South Carolina 63-56… In an Atlantic 10 contest, Richmond edged Massachusetts 69-65… In the Big East, sophomore center Kevin Pittsnogle and junior PF D'or Fischer each tallied 19 points to lead West Virginia to a 58-53 win at Miami… In CUSA, DePaul caused a five-way tie for first place (along with Cincinnati, Charlotte, Memphis, and UAB) by winning at South Florida 78-66. DePaul will get the #1 seed in the CUSA tournament on tie breakers… Earlier in the day, Charlotte beat Tulane 79-65, East Carolina scored a 63-50 upset win at Southern Mississippi, and UAB drubbed TCU 87-62… Four automatic NCAA tournament bids were finalized. UCF defeated Troy St. 60-55 to win the Atlantic Sun championship. Liberty demolished High Point 89-44 to capture the Big South Conference. East Tennessee topped Chattanooga for the championship of the Southern Conference. Finally, Murray State overcame Austin Peay 66-60 to take the Ohio Valley crown.

Midwest - #10 Texas was upset 58-48 by Kansas State. The Wildcats came back after trailing by five points at the half. Junior PF Jeremiah Massey led Kansas State with 14 points and 10 boards. Junior SG Kenny Taylor scored 11 for the Longhorns, who shot just 30% from the field… #13 Cincinnati earned a hard-fought 83-79 win over #20 Memphis. The victory gave the Bearcats a share of the CUSA title. Senior SG Tony Bobbitt led Cincinnati with 20 points, including a three pointer and two free throws in the final 36 seconds to clinch the victory. Freshman SF Sean Banks scored a game-high 28 points for the Tigers… Also in CUSA, Marquette nipped #25 Louisville 81-80. Sophomore SF Steve Novak paced the Golden Eagles with 20 points. Soph SF Francisco Garcia tallied a game-high 23 for the Cardinals, who have dropped seven of their last ten games… #17 Wisconsin won at Indiana 70-52. Junior SG Devin Harris had 26 points to lead the Badgers… In other Big 10 games, Iowa upset Purdue 63-62 in West Lafayette, Michigan scored a 63-56 road win over Northwestern, and Minnesota pounded Penn St. 78-62.

Southwest - #8 Oklahoma State crushed Texas A&M 70-41 to clinch the Big 12 title, the first for coach Eddie Sutton. Guard John Lucas, a transfer from Baylor, led the Cowboys with 20 points. Texas A&M failed to win a conference game this season (0-16)… Oklahoma topped Baylor 46-41 and Texas Tech topped Iowa State 72-58 in other Big 12 games. Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight recorded his 830th career win, tied with the retired Jimmy Phelan for 3rd highest in Division One history.

West - #1 Stanford finally suffered their first loss of the season. The Cardinal fell to 26-1 after their 75-62 loss to sizzling Washington in Seattle. The Huskies improved to 17-10 and finished in 2nd place in the PAC 10. The win likely insured an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament. Junior SG Tre Simmons led the Huskies with 16 points. Washington's final 15 points all came from free throws. Sophomore PG Chris Hernandez scored a game-high 21 points for Stanford… Elsewhere in PAC 10 play, Oregon nipped UCLA 60-59, USC upset Oregon St. 63-60 in Corvallis, and Washington State toppled California 70-58… In the Big 12, Colorado edged Nebraska 78-75. In the Mountain West, Air Force bounced back from a nine point halftime deficit to defeat Wyoming 52-47 in Laramie. Senior center Rafael Araujo hit a layup at the buzzer to give BYU an 89-88 victory at UNLV… Pacific tied Utah State for the Big West title by pounding Cal. State-Riverside 92-57. It was the 13th consecutive win for the Tigers.


Sunday
East - #24 Syracuse earned the 4th seed and a first round bye in the Big East tournament by defeating #7 Connecticut 67-56 in the Carrier Dome. Sophomore PG Gerry McNamara paced the Orangemen with 24 points and senior center Craig Forth added 14. Junior center Emeka Okafor, suffering from back spasms, scored only two points in 32 minutes and his status is questionable for the Big East tournament and the NCAA tournament. Freshman forward Charlie Villanueva led the Huskies with 13 points… Also in the Big East, Seton Hall hung on to edge Rutgers 66-64 at the RAC. Junior SG John Allen scored 17 points for the Pirates, junior SF Andre Sweet had 16, and soph center Kelly Whitney added 13 along with 10 rebounds. Freshman PG Marquis Webb and junior SG Ricky Shields both missed three pointers in the final seconds that would have given the Scarlet Knights the victory. Freshman SG Quincy Douby led Rutgers with 15 points. The win locked up an at-large NCAA tournament berth for Seton Hall. Rutgers suffered only their 2nd home loss of the season, but their awful road record will relegate them to the NIT... # 9 Kentucky drubbed Florida 82-62 at Rupp Arena. Appropriately on Senior Day, senior SG Gerald Fitch scored 21 points and senior SF Erik Daniels contributed 15 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists. It was Kentucky's 6th straight win over the troubled Gators… In what many considered the equivalent of a "play-in" game for an at-large NCAA berth, Maryland topped Virginia 70-61 in College Park. Sophomore SG Chris McCray helped the Terrapins overcome a double-digit deficit by scoring 15 of his career-high 20 points in the final twenty minutes. Junior PF Elton Brown tallied 16 points for the Cavaliers, whose three-game winning streak was snapped.

Midwest - #21 Kansas got a tie-breaking basket from freshman center David Padgett with just two seconds remaining to upset Missouri 84-82 in Columbia. The loss almost certainly will keep the Tigers from receiving an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament. Junior PF Wayne Siemien scored 22 for the Jayhawks. Senior center Arthur Johnson, in his final home game, tallied a career-high 37 points and added 8 rebounds in a losing effort. #18 Illinois won the Big Ten title by edging Ohio St. 64-63 in Columbus. Sophomore PG Dee Brown led the Illini with 18 points. Sophomore PF Terrence Dials tallied 22 for the Buckeyes, whose second half comeback just fell short… In the Missouri Valley Conference semi-finals in St. Louis, #15 Southern Illinois was upset 80-74 by Southwest Missouri State. Senior PG Merrill Andrews led the Bears to victory with 16 points. Junior guard Darren Brooks scored 15 for the Salukis. Southwest Missouri St. will face Northern Iowa in the finals on Monday. The Panthers topped Wichita St. 63-56.

West - #22 Arizona blasted Arizona State 106-81 in Tucson. Junior guard Salim Stoudamire and sophomore swingman Hassan Adams each scored 21 points for the Wildcats. Junior center Channing Frye and sophomore guard Chris Rodgers each tallied 20. Sophomore center Ike Diogu had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Sun Devils… In the West Coast Conference semi-finals, #4 Gonzaga just got past Santa Clara 63-62. The tournament is being played on Santa Clara's home court. Senior center Cory Violette scored 22 points and added 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs. Junior guard Doron Perkins had 26 points and 8 boards for the Broncos. Gonzaga will face St. Mary's in the finals on Monday. The Gaels topped Pepperdine 79-74.


Monday
East – Manhattan won their 2nd consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship by holding off Niagara 62-61 in Albany. Senior forward Dave Holmes scored 16 points and senior SG Luis Flores added 14 to lead the Jaspers. Niagara fell behind 50-36 with nine minutes remaining before their late rally just fell short. Junior PF Juan Mendez tallied a game-high 26 points for the Purple Eagles.

South – The Colonial Athletic Association final was a real thriller. Virginia Commonwealth edged George Mason 55-54 on a free throw by Jesse Pellot-Rosa with just 1.6 seconds on the clock.

Midwest – In another conference final cliffhanger, Northern Iowa captured the Missouri Valley championship with a 79-74 double overtime win over Southwest Missouri State. Sophomore SG Ben Jacobson scored 29 points to lead the Panthers to victory.

West - #4 Gonzaga recovered from their narrow escape in the semi-finals to defeat St. Mary's 84-71for the West Coast Conference championship. Junior PF Ronny Turiaf had a monster game for the Bulldogs with 29 points and 14 rebounds. Senior SG Blake Stepp added 19 points. The Gaels hung in for most of the game and trailed by only four points at 70-66 with 5:01 remaining before Gonzaga put the game on ice with a final 14-5 run.


Basketball News & Notes
LSU's leading scorer and rebounder senior PF Jaime Lloreda will probably miss the remainder of the season due to an injury to his left foot. The Tigers have faltered badly since Lloreda's been sidelined.

Next season's schedule may include a November doubleheader played on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Talks are reportedly ongoing between ESPN and North Carolina, Michigan State, Navy, and Air Force.

The troubled St. John's program took another hit. Suspended senior center Abraham Keita contended that he was given $300 almost every month by a team staffer. Interim coach Kevin Clark and senior forward Kyle Cuffe both denied knowledge of any wrongdoing. Keita's attorney also announced a federal civil rights lawsuit would be filed against St. John's as a result of his suspension. His attorney characterized it as "racially disparate disciplinary treatment."

Louisville gave coach Rick Pitino a contract extension through the 2009-10 season.

Southern Mississippi announced the resignation of coach James Green. Assistant Jeff Norwood was named interim coach. Green was in his eighth season in Hattiesburg.

James Madison coach Sherman Dillard announced his resignation.

Houston coach Ray McCallum was reassigned to athletic department fund raising. McCallum was at the Cougars' helm for four years.


Football News & Notes
Offensive Coordinator Ed Foley was promoted to the head coaching position at Fordham. He's the brother of former Boston College and New York Jets quarterback Glenn Foley.

St. Mary's, a Division 1AA Independent, announced the termination of their football program.

Louisville gave head coach Bobby Petrino a contract extension through 2010.

Colorado announced major changes to their recruiting methods, including prohibiting recruits from visiting bars and private parties and increasing supervision of recruiting by the coaching staff. Better late than never, I guess!

Texas running back Cedric Benson will return for his senior season. He decided to give up a possible baseball career. Benson was drafted by the Dodgers in 2001.

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