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NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT | COLLEGE BASKETBALL
NOTES

Saint Joseph's-Wake Forest Matchup Plays Into CBS' Hands

March 23, 2004|Larry Stewart | From Staff and Wire Reports

For CBS, things couldn't have worked out much better than Wake Forest and Saint Joseph's meeting in the third round of the NCAA basketball tournament.

CBS will have Billy Packer courtside for the game Thursday night between his alma mater and the team he said didn't deserve a No. 1 seeding.

Wake Forest-Saint Joseph's, played at East Rutherford, N.J., will be the featured second game of a doubleheader on CBS Thursday. Connecticut and Vanderbilt, playing at Phoenix, will be CBS' featured first game at 4:10 p.m.

Because of staggered starting times, CBS will be able to show a considerable amount of the two other games Thursday: Oklahoma State-Pittsburgh and Syracuse-Alabama.

CBS will announce today which games will be featured Friday night on the West Coast. Most likely, it will show Alabama Birmingham-Kansas at 4:10 p.m. and Georgia Tech-Nevada at 6:40 p.m.

Jim Nantz and Packer will be the announcers for the Thursday games at East Rutherford. Dick Enberg and Matt Guokas will be announcing the Thursday games at Phoenix. The announcing teams for the Friday night games will be Gus Johnson and Len Elmore at St. Louis, and Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery at Atlanta.

On Selection Sunday, Packer said Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Texas were more deserving of a No. 1 seeding than Saint Joseph's.

Saint Joseph's Coach Phil Martelli responded by saying, "I just want to check, is Billy Packer playing for a team? We would like to play against him."

Saint Joseph's can't play against Packer, but the Hawks are facing the team Packer played for in the early 1960s. Packer was a guard on the Wake Forest team that defeated Saint Joseph's, 92-82, in the second round of the 1962 NCAA tournament. Packer made two shots in the final 18 seconds of regulation that sent the game into overtime.

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Ratings for the tournament are up 53% from last year, but that is no surprise, since the start of the 2003 tournament coincided with the start of the war in Iraq.

CBS averaged a 5.5 rating with a 13 share through the first four days of the tournament, compared with a 3.6/7 last year. In 2002, the rating average after four days was a 5.2/12. The 5.5/13 this year is the best four-day average since a 5.7/14 in 2000.

-- Larry Stewart

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In second-round National Invitational Tournament men's games:

At Fort Wayne, Ind., Notre Dame (19-12) got a career-high 39 points from Chris Thomas in its 77-66 victory over Saint Louis (19-13).

At Piscataway, N.J., Rutgers (18-12) got by Big East rival West Virginia (17-14) with a 67-64 victory led by Ricky Shields' career-high 26 points.

At Ann Arbor, Mich., Michigan (20-11) scored a 63-52 victory over Oklahoma (20-11), which started the game with eight players available and was down to seven when starter De'Angelo Alexander injured his right shoulder late in the first half.

At Hawaii, the host Rainbow Warriors (21-11) produced an 84-83 victory over Nebraska (18-13).

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Marquette assistant coach Trey Schwab, 39, left the hospital Monday, three weeks after doctors kept the double-lung transplant recipient alive through open-heart surgery. Doctors kept Schwab's pulse going through CPR for 40 minutes before removing a blood clot.

"Obviously there's something bigger than all of us at work here," said Schwab, speaking to reporters at the University of Wisconsin Hospital for the first time since both surgeries. "It's a shot at a second chance, and you just try to make the most of it."

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