8S- The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 29, 1999
Duke ends Spartans'
season, 22-game streak
From fanat ks to phonies,.
tourney attracts all kinds
Continued from Page 1B
game," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski
Duke, perhaps one of the best teams
ever in college basketball, leads the
nation with an average margin of victory
of 25.9 points; it was 30 per game in the
tournament. There was the lone loss to
Cincinnati in November, but only three
teams managed to stay closer than 10
points the rest of the season.
One of those was Michigan State (33-
5), which lost to the Blue Devils 73-67 in
December in the Great Eight, but put
itself in a position to beat Duke when
Charlie Bell's two free throws with 8:33
left made it 51-48.
Brand dominated with 17 points and
14 rebounds, but he picked up his fourth
foul with 10:12 left on a charge drawn
by Mateen Cleaves in the open court.
Guards Trajan Langdon and William
Avery sandwiched 3-pointers around a
layup by Michigan State"s Morris
Peterson and then Avery's drive with
6:14 to play had Duke's lead at 59-50.
The Spartans, along with Duke and
Connecticut, were one of three No. 1
seeds to get to the Final Four. They were
within 68-62 with 17 seconds left when
Cleaves scored, rebounding his own
Corey Maggette added to Duke"s foul
shooting woes by missing two a second
later, but Cleaves' 3-point try with seven
seconds left was off and Avery dribbled
out the clock.
Brand finished with 18 points and 15
rebounds, while Avery had 14 points and
Chris Carrawell 13.
Morris Peterson led the Spartans, who
had won 22 straight games, with 15
points; Andre Hutson had 13 and
"The difference in the game was still
the first-half assault they put on us
rebounding,"' Michigan State coach
Tom Izzo said. "It was incredible. You
have to give Elton Brand credit.
"I'm pleased we battled back and
showed the character that got us here"
This is Duke's eighth Final Four
appearance under Krzyzewski and its
fifth in the '90s. The Blue Devils won it
all in 1991 and 1992. Another would
make Krzyzewski just the fourth coach
to win three or more.
This is the Spartans' first trip to the
Final Four since 1979 when they won the
title led by Magic Johnson.
At halftime this looked like another in
the long line of Duke blowouts this sea-
son with the Blue Devils up 32-20.
The lead reached 36-20 on Avery"s
breakaway dunk with 18:14 to play, but
the Spartans scored 10 straight points to
get within 36-30 and they wouldn't go
Duke's Corey Maggette, one of nine McDonald's All-Americans on the Blue Devils'
roster, was playing high school basketball a year ago. Tonight, he will play a major
role In Duke's hunt for its third national title of the 90s.
Goss denies rumors of
E be' rep
f it hasn't been said before, let
me say it now: The NCAA
Tournament and college stu-
dents make strange bedfellows.
Over a two-week span, nearly
every campus in the United States
becomes enthralled in the spectacle
that is March Madness.
As a matter a fact, so many differ-
ent people become so wrapped up in
the tourney for such a grand number
of reasons that
would have a
ly, I'm not one PRANAY
of those peo- REDDY
ple, so I'll give Reddy
it a shot. or Not
So, I offer
you a quick
rundown of the variety of fans I've
come across over the past two
weeks, not to mention the past four
THE FANATICS: Plain and simple,
these are your hard-core basketball
junkies. For these people, this is
barnone the best time of the year.
These are the guys the rest of you
see sitting in the back of your lec-
tures in the days leading up to the 1
tourney, arguing ad nauseum about
the matchup between Winthrop's 7-1
foot-something Slovakian center and
Auburn's all-world shooting guard.
Fanatics are the ones who look at1
classes as mere bumps on the road
to the Final Four - they're in front1
of the TV on the first Thursday of
the tournament rather than being in 3
front of a professor.
Analyzing Temple's matchup zone+
takes on a greater importance that
analyzing Shakespeare's sonnets.
A fanatic's physiology becomes so
warped that sitting for 12 hours and+
watching basketball is not only the +
norm, it becomes force of habit.
CBS's "One Shining Moment" musi-
cal tribute to the tourney becomes
the most emotional part of their 1
That, or the depression felt on the
Monday after the first weekend, 1
when they have to wait three whole
days for hoops.1
And for those of you who aren't in
touch with these emotions, feel
lucky you're not one of us...um, I 1
THE MONEY HUNGRY: Like flow-
ers in the spring and snow in the
winter, the annual NCAA
Tournament pool is a way of life
many of us are accustomed to.
For most, this is the overriding
reason to watch college basketball.
The possibility of a winning a cash
pot turns prettyboys into prognosti-
cators and sorority girls into sooth-
Yet despite the greed motivating
their interest, the money hungry
nevertheless impress me with their
avid, albeit sudden, interest in col-
Take a close friend of mine. A
week before the start of the NCAA
tournament, the pick-and-roll could
have been a new fast-food joint on
South U. For all she knew, Dean
Smith headed the School of
But after putting a blank tourna-
ment bracket in her face, her hunger
for basketball knowledge became
ravenous. To watch her growing bas-
ketball interest was exciting, espe-
cially as she threw out basketball
trivia like a poor man's Alex Trbek%
"Did you guys know that John
Stockton went to Gonzaga?"
Thanks for the newsflash, sweet-
heart. Of course, her nivete was
rewarded with a pat on the head and
a shrug of disbelief. Because her
excitement was linked to money and
not the tourney. But what else can
you respect from the money hungry?
THE DRUNK GUY: Arguably the
most annoying of the bunch, this is
the guy that is just looking for a rea-
son any reason to have a beer. And
what better occasion for a bar crawl
than the tourney?
Sixty-three games in two weeks
can make for a lot of drinking, and
this is the guy who takes full advan-
tage of that.
Fanatic: "This Florida A & M-
Duke game is gonna suck - it'll be
Drunk Guy: "Dude, let's go to theo
bar and watch it!"
Fanatic: "Man, I got Southwest
Missouri State upsetting Wisconsin."
Drunk Guy: "Dude, let's get a
Fanatic: "God, I wish Michigan
was in the tournament."
Drunk Guy: "Dude, let's take
Fanatic: "Will you shut the @#$%
up! You're annoying the @#$& out
And so on until said Drunk Guy
passes out due to a mind-numbing
combination of tequila, Twizzlers,
beer and pizza, all before the tipoff
of the day's second game.
THE UNINTERESTED: These peo-
ple have no souls. Period. Though I
can't hate these people (because
hate is just such a strong word), I
tend to loathe them.
And since I have a column and
they don't, let me take the time to
sentence these heartless fools to a
24-hour marathon of E!'s coverage
of the pre-, post-, pre-post and post-
pre Oscar parties. But the sad irony
of my punishment is the fact that
these people consider Joan Rivers
and her Oscar coverage to be stir-
Oh well, I guess even the tourne@i
can't save everybody.
- Pranay Reddy can be reached via
e-mail at email@example.com.
Connecticut's Khalid El-Amin carries a lot of the weight, literally and figuratively,
for this year's Connecticut team. E-Amin and the Huskies face Duke tonight in the
NCAA championship game.
UConn stops Bucks
From staff reports
The Athletic Department has issued
a statement refuting recent reports that
men's basketball coach Brian Ellerbe
was to be fired and replaced with for-
mer New Jersey Nets and University of
Massachusetts coach John Calipari.
In the wake of such reports by news-
papers, radio and television stations,
Athletic Director Tom Goss maintained
that Ellerbe will remain Michigan's
coach and lashed out at the source of
the rumors, which he said have disrupt-
ed the program's recruiting process.
"Brian Ellerbe is our coach and will
remain our coach;" Goss said. "I am
extremely disappointed that tactics like
these are being used. False reports such
as these are based solely because of the
recruiting process, and it is upsetting to
see such rumors come to light and
damage other people's lives and a pro-
Ellerbe led Michigan to the inaugur-
al Big Ten Tournament title in his first
season as an interim head coach. After
being rewarded with the full-time posi-
tion following his first year, Ellerbe
guided the Wolverines to seven victo-
ries over top 25 teams last season.
Nevertheless, rumors circulated after
Michigan finished 10th in the Big Ten
with a 11-18 record and failed to reach
a postseason tournament for the first
time in 16 seasons.
"How he can be judged to the point
that he has not done enough at this
University is unfair," Goss added.
"During the fall signing period, he
signed one of the top recruiting classes
in the country, which could possibly
improve even more after the early April
In the early signing period, Ellerbe
was able to secure letters of intent from
guards Gavin Groninger and Kevin
Gaines, swingman Jamal Crawford and
forward/center Leland Anderson.
In the late signing period, which
begins April 7, Ellerbe is hoping to add
McDonald's All-American LaVell
Blanchard and possibly Jason Parker, a
6-8 forward from Charlotte, N.C.
Given the intense competition for
Blanchard, from nearby Ann Arbor
Pioneer High School, rumors of
Ellerbe's firing could potentially dam-
age Michigan's chances of landing the
Blanchard's Pioneer team won the
Class A state championship on
Saturday. The recruit had said he
would not announce his college deci-
sion until the end of the high school
"When we are trying to build sports-
manship and improve young men's
lives it is disappointing to have tactics
like this used," Goss said in the state-
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - In
their first trip to the national semifinals,
the Huskies and Richard Hamilton
stopped Ohio State's amazing run of
upsets and held off a late run by the
Buckeyes for a 64-58 victory Saturday.
Hamilton had 24 points in one of the
best games of his career, including a
hanging, double-clutch jumper that
stopped the Buckeyes' comeback
attempt in the final two minutes.
Ohio State point guard Scoonie Penn,
hounded by defensive specialist Ricky
Moore, was 3-for-13 with 11 points.
Michael Redd had 15 points for the
Connecticut point guard Khalid El-
Amin recovered from his 0-for-12 game
against Gonzaga with 18 points and six
assists. But it was Hamilton, who gave
Calhoun the kind of performance he's
dreamed of in the Final Four.
Hamilton's biggest basket came just
as the Buckeyes were trying to' cut
Connecticut's lead to less than six
points. Alone on the perimeter with
Redd, Hamilton drove to the foul line
and sank a sensational, double-clutch
jumper than went it as the shot clock
The Buckeyes, who successfully
erased a 10-point deficit in the first half,
scrambled to do it again. But after Penn
hit two-of-three free throws, Hamilton
blocked Penn's 3-point shot. Redd
missed a 3-pointer, and Penn threw up a
desperation airball as the Huskies main-
tained a 63-58 lead with 25 seconds left.
Ohio State cut the game to 59-55 on a
free throw by Penn with 2:53 left. But
the Buckeyes, whose 27-9 record is one
of the biggest turnarounds in the sport's
history, were crushed by Hamilton's
Using their frantic defense to run out
on fastbreaks, the Huskies stunned Ohio
State with a dizzying 14-3 run to take a
32-22 lead with 7:19 left in the second
half. Hamilton had nine points during
the sprint, but the most sensational play
came from El-Amin.
After stealing the ball, El-Amin
pushed it ahead and split two defenders
near halfcourt. As he approached the
foul line, he whipped a laser-like pass
behind his back to Kevin Freeman for a
layup and three-point play.
The Buckeyes went 3 1/2 minutes
without a point after Penn hit his second
straight 3-pointer, but the Buckeyes
weren't ready to get blown out. They
went on an 11-0 run, including a dunk
by Redd and layups by Brian Brown on
a sensational pass from Redd and a layin
by Singleton off the Buckeyes' second
Fisher lands at SDSU.,
acupuncture I.V. THERAPY
By Andy Latack
Daily Sports Editor
Former Michigan men's basketball
coach Steve Fisher, who guided the
Wolverines to their first and only
national championship in 1989, has
returned to the ranks of college basket-
ball. Fisher was hired as the head coach
at San Diego State this weekend, taking
over a program that was just 4-22 last
Fisher, who had been an assistant
coach with the NBA's Sacramento
Kings before accepting the job with the
Aztecs, assumes his first head coaching
position since being fired by Michigan
on October 10, 1997. Fisher was fired
after a law firm hired by the University
reported NCAA infractions involving
complimentary tickets for program
Fisher was excited about taking the
reignsfor the Aztecs, who have had just
two winning seasons in the last 14 years.
"I am thrilled to be the new basketball
coach, ready to get started, knowing
there will be a tremendous amount of
work that needs to be done," Fisher told
the San Diego Union-Tribune at the
news conference announcing his hiring
San Diego State Athletic Director
Rick Bay, who wrestled and played foot-
ball at Michigan, ended a lengthy search
for a new coach with Fisher's hiring.
"I have the best guy for this job," Bay
Bay's attempt to replace former coach
last season, was exhaustive. Utah coach
Rick Majerus turned:down the universi-
ty's offer earlier in the week, and
Gonzaga coach Dan Monson and for-
mer St. John's coach Fran Fraschilla also
reportedly took themselves out of the
running for the position.
But Bay doesn't feel that he is settlin
for Fisher, whose six-year deal with thk
Aztecs will reportedly pay him
"In terms of success, (Fisher) has
more of it than Majerus," Bay told the
Union-Tribune. "Majerus is a great
coach, but Steve is a better fit for our
Fisher took over as Michigan's inter-
im coach in 1989 just days before the
NCAA Tournament, when Bill Frieder
accepted the head coaching position
Arizona State. Michigan's improbab
run to the title culminated in a thrilling
80-79 overtime victory over Seton Hall
in the championship game, making
Fisher the only interim coach ever to
win a national championship.
In just more than eight seasons at
Michigan, Fisher compiled a 184-82
record, giving him the third-highest vic-
tory total in Michigan coaching history.
Fisher also brought in the Wolverine*
"Fab Five" recruiting class, guiding
them to the NCAA title game in 1991-
92 and 1992-93.
Fisher will stay with the Kings
through tomorrow, and is expected to
begin at San Diego State on Wednesday.
- The Associated Press
Stevce Fisher, who led Michigan to the NCAA title in 1989, was hired as the head
coach at San Diego State University this weekend.