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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT | NOTES

UCLA Couldn't Grant the Wish

March 23, 2001|MIKE TERRY

PHILADELPHIA — At first the Trojans tried to say it didn't matter which team they played in Saturday's East Regional final.

That lasted about five seconds.

"Yeah, we'd like another chance at UCLA," Jeff Trepagnier said. "It would be another cross-town rivalry--just 3,000 miles away. And we want a little revenge. They beat us twice this year in conference."

Sam Clancy echoed the sentiment.

"It does matter a little bit," Clancy said. "The coaches told us not to say that, but I'd rather play [the Bruins]. No matter who we play, people will still write us off. That doesn't matter to me, as long as we win."

It's moot, because Duke defeated the Bruins, 76-63.

"That's all right, too,' Brandon Granvillle said. "Nobody thought we'd beat Boston College. We'll welcome the challenge and look forward to it."

*

As the Trojans predicted, the Wildcats' full-court pressure was not a serious problem for them. USC had 13 turnovers, but only four were caused directly by the press.

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If the Trojans weren't thinking too much about the Final Four this season, Coach Henry Bibby was.

"All year, as a visual reminder, Coach would walk around our practices wearing this wrinkled, old blue cap that had 'Final Four' on it," Granville said. "Nobody paid attention to it, but he always believed in us. And he's given us the confidence to go out and play."

*

USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett said the victory was probably the biggest in school history.

So is Bibby in line for a raise, even though he signed a three-year extension last summer?

Garrett chuckled. "You just answered your own question."

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