Friday, March 12, 1999

Xavier gets game at Gardens




BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        As it turns out, Senior Night wasn't the final appearance at the Cincinnati Gardens for Xavier's James Posey, Lenny Brown and Gary Lumpkin. The Musketeers (22-10) will play host to Wake Forest (17-13) at 7 p.m. Monday in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.

        The winner plays the Princeton-North Carolina State winner next Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Sites of third-round games have not been determined. Xavier Athletic Director Mike Bobinski said he was told by NIT officials that if XU wins, it will probably play Wednesday night, possibly on ESPN.

        Bobinski said whether Xavier gets to play host to a third-round game may depend on how many fans attend Monday night.

        “They're running a business,” he said of the NIT. “If we do well crowd-wise, I think we've got a chance.”

        Wake Forest drew only 5,348 fans to its 73-57 first-round victory over Alabama.

        So, what is it Xavier fans need to know about the Demon Deacons?

        • Youth served: Wake Forest starts almost all freshmen and sophomores, and not surprisingly is not as good on the road. Wake is 13-3 at home, but 3-8 in away games. Xavier, meanwhile, has won 15 in a row at the Gardens dating back to last season.

        “With youth comes some problems, but also there's a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” Wake Forest coach Dave Odom said. “They're rarely down for long.”

        • Tough competition: The Deacons defeated then-No. 4 Maryland 85-72 on Jan. 31 at home. Repeat: They beat the mighty Terps by 13, and went on to finish fourth in the powerful Atlantic Coast Conference at 7-9.

        Xavier's full-court pressure won't be that startling to a team that has faced Duke and Maryland twice and Arkansas.

        But Wake, which averages 66.3 points and is more of a ball-control team, will want to slow down the pace.

        “It will come down to whose style becomes dominant on that night,” Odom said.

        • Angry men: Odom is not pleased to have to play at the Gardens instead of hosting this game, and his team, like Xavier, thought it should have been selected for the NCAA Tournament.

        “They were distraught,” Odom said of his players. “They felt like they had worked hard enough and done everything I asked them to do. They were noticeably down. (But) one thing about a young team, they are forgiving or forgetful, if you will. They're excited about playing.”

        Wake Forest is the third-winningest program (87-70) in the ACC in the 1990s, behind only Duke and North Carolina.

TICKETS
        • Tickets will be available at the Xavier athletic ticket office. Prices: $18 lower level, $15 upper level, $11 end zone, $5 XU students.

        • Special ticket office hours: Today (10 a.m.-7 p.m.), Saturday (10 a.m.-5 p.m.), Sunday (Noon-5 p.m.).

        • Tickets are also available at the Cincinnati Gardens ticket office or through TicketMaster (562-4949).

        • Xavier season-ticket holders and “six-pack” ticket holders have to call the XU ticket office (745-3411) or stop by to reserve same-seat locations. Season-ticket holder locations not claimed by the end of Sunday will be released to the general public starting at 9 a.m. Monday.

MARCH MADNESS PAGE



Xavier Stories
- Xavier gets game at Gardens
National Invitation Tournament
Xavier women jump into foreign territory

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UC NOTEBOOK
Taller Ducks don't intimidate Lady Bearcats
UC image out of touch with reality
Miami needs support of full cast
MIAMI NOTEBOOK
'This time is Kentucky time'
UK NOTEBOOK
Ohio State waking up to possibilities
OHIO STATE 72, MURRAY STATE 58
INDIANA 108, GEORGE WASHINGTON 88
SPORTS ON TV-RADIO
Boys district previews
Boys district scores
Boys district schedule
Girls regional scores
Girls regional schedule
Kentucky boys state tournament
Kings takes another step toward state
McNicholas counts blessings
Bacon's last shot falls short
Highlands falls short in Sweet 16
White likely sole southpaw
REDS NOTEBOOK
Twins 5, Reds 2

SEASON IN STORIES