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NOTEBOOK

Heinle Had Seen It All Before, But Only in Dreams

March 13, 2001|MIKE BRESNAHAN

Chaotic as it was, the scene made perfect sense to Brian Heinle.

The Cal State Northridge senior was mobbed by friends and family at center court after the Matadors advanced to the NCAA men's basketball tournament for the first time, but Heinle wasn't surprised.

"To tell you the truth, I've been imagining that moment in my mind for the last two weeks," he said. "It was something I figured would happen."

Like Northridge (22-9), Heinle has accrued plenty of hardware recently.

He was selected the most valuable player of the Big Sky Conference and was the MVP of the conference tournament last weekend.

But Heinle said there's still work to do as the No. 13-seeded Matadors prepare to face No. 4-seeded Kansas (24-6) Friday in the first round of the Midwest Regional.

"Our job is only half done," he said. "We've got to earn some respect."

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Northridge Coach Bobby Braswell likes the fact that the NCAA tournament is single elimination.

"It's one and none," he said. "It's not like the NBA where you get seven games.

"I like our position. Nobody's going to expect us to do too much. We'll see what happens."

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