Saturday, March 17, 2001

UC trying to get past second base




By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SAN DIEGO — Call it a Golden (Flashes) opportunity. The University of Cincinnati, seeded fifth in the West Region, has only to get past 13th-seeded Kent State today to reach the Sweet 16 for the ninth time since the NCAA Tournament expanded to more than 16 teams.

        While UC is 9-1 in first-round games under coach Bob Huggins, it is 3-5 in second-round games, including four straight losses.

        That, however, is not a hot topic among the players.

        “I didn't even know,” first-year junior Jamaal Davis said.

        “A lot of guys on this team ... it's like their first NCAA Tournament,” sophomore Kenny Satterfield said. “We've just got to come out and play and try to have some fun. I've only been here one year. I guess it would mean a lot for the program to get past the sec ond round.”

        The winner of the UC-Kent game will face the winner of tonight's Stanford-St.Joseph's game, Thursday in the West Regional semifinals in Anaheim, Calif.

        Under Huggins, the Bearcats have never lost to a team seeded worse than 10th (West Virginia, 1998).

        With fourth-seeded Indiana out of the tourney, UC is favored to advance.

        “I don't even look at it like that,” junior guard Steve Logan said.

        “The reason they're playing in the second round is because they're pretty good,” Huggins said of Kent.

        Asked whether he takes the four straight second-round exits personally, Huggins said:

        “No, I think I'm kind of beyond that. All you can do is the best you can. People can say a lot of things, but I don't think they ever say that I cheated anybody in effort.”

       



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