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East Tennessee St. Gets First Berth

March 07, 2004|From Associated Press

East Tennessee State earned the NCAA tournament's first automatic berth Saturday, defeating Tennessee Chattanooga, 78-62, for the second straight year to win the Southern Conference tournament at North Charleston, S.C.

It is East Tennessee State's sixth NCAA berth, all since 1989. The Bucs' most memorable and successful tournament appearance came in 1992 when they upset Arizona.

Tim Smith scored 25 points to lead the Bucs (27-5), who have won 19 of their last 20. The Mocs (19-11) have lost four in a row to their state rival, including a 97-90 defeat in last season's championship game.

It's the second NCAA tournament appearance for first-year Coach Murry Bartow, the other coming with Alabama Birmingham in 1999.



Liberty (18-14) took control from the opening tip and won the Big South Conference tournament title with an 89-44 victory over High Point at Lynchburg, Va. The top-seeded Flames, who played all three of their tournament games at home under the league's new format, beat the Panthers (19-11) for the third time and earned their second automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. High Point shot 25% and never recovered after missing 13 of its first 14 shots and trailing, 20-7, after eight minutes.... Central Florida won the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament and earned its third NCAA tournament berth with a 60-55 victory over Troy State (24-6) at Nashville. The Golden Knights (25-5) made seven free throws in the final 58.4 seconds.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday March 09, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 50 words Type of Material: Correction
Murray State coach -- In a Sports article Sunday about the Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball tournament, it was incorrectly reported that former UCLA assistant Mark Gottfried is the coach of Murray State. Mike Cronin is the coach of Murray State. Gottfried, the Alabama coach, coached Murray State from 1995-97.

Murray State, coached by former UCLA assistant Mark Gottfried, beat Austin Peay, 66-60, at Nashville to win the Ohio Valley Conference tournament title. The second-seeded Racers (28-5) earned their fifth NCAA berth in the last eight years by handing regular-season champion Austin Peay (21-9) its first loss to a league opponent this season.... Princeton (19-7, 12-1) won the Ivy League title and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament with a 64-59 victory over Dartmouth (3-25, 1-13) at Hanover, N.H. Judson Wallace made eight free throws in the final two minutes to clinch the victory.

Texas Tech (21-9, 9-7 Big 12) closed its regular season with a 72-58 victory over Iowa State (16-11, 7-9) at Lubbock, Texas. The victory gave Coach Bob Knight his 830th career win, tying Jimmy Phelan, who retired from Mount St. Mary's last year after 49 seasons. Knight, in his 38th season, trails only Dean Smith of North Carolina (879) and Adolph Rupp of Kentucky (876) among Division I male coaches.... Nick Welch scored four points in the last 23 seconds to lift Air Force (22-5, 12-2 WAC) to a 52-47 victory over Wyoming (11-16, 4-10) at Laramie, Wyo.

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