Saturday, March 20, 1999
Xavier getting taste of ACC
BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. The other final four the one involving Xavier is set.
The semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament are Tuesday night in New York, and the Musketeers (24-10) go prime time again in a nationally televised 9 p.m. matchup with Clemson.
Until Monday, XU never had defeated a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Now it has to do it twice in nine days; the Musketeers beat Wake Forest on Monday night.
The other NIT semifinal matches California and Oregon, two Pacific 10 Conference teams meeting for the third time this season.
A look at the other three teams left in the field:
Coach: Larry Shyatt (19-14, first year)
Road to semis: Defeated Georgia (77-57), Rutgers (78-68) and Butler (89-69).
NIT history: 9-10 all time, lost in quarterfinals twice ('86, '94).
Players to watch: Senior point guard Terrell McIntyre holds school career records for minutes played, steals and three-point field goals. Senior power forward Harold Jamison has averaged 13.9 points and 12.2 rebounds over the last nine games and has 13 double-doubles this season.
Fun facts: Clemson has outrebounded its last four opponents by 10 or more. ... The Tigers, on their first three-game winning streak since December, started the season 11-1 and were ranked as high as No.14. Then they went 8-13 to finish the season.
XU vs. Clemson: Have never met.
Coach: Ben Braun (55-35, third year)
Road to semis: Defeated Fresno State (79-71), DePaul (58-57) and Colorado State (71-62).
NIT history: 6-3 all time, lost in '87 quarterfinals.
Players to watch: Four seniors start, including all-Pac-10 honorable mention guards Geno Carlisle (16.1 ppg) and Thomas Kilgore (14.5 ppg).
Fun facts: The Golden Bears are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their NCAA championship. ... No member of the team had played in the postseason before this year. ... Cal has three victories over top-25 teams (North Carolina, UCLA, Arizona) for the first time in 39 years.
Cal vs. Oregon: Teams have played twice this season with Oregon winning both games (71-69 OT, 93-82).
XU vs. Cal: First meeting.
Coach: Ernie Kent (32-25, second year)
Road to semis: Defeated Georgia Tech (67-64), Wyoming (93-72) and Texas Christian (77-68).
NIT history: 8-7 all time, advanced to the semifinals in '75.
Players to watch: Junior forward Alex Scales (14.5 ppg) leads the team in scoring, and junior forward A.D. Smith (13.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg) has eight double-doubles.
Fun facts: Oregon is in postseason play for the first time in 24 years; Kent was playing for the Ducks at the time. ... Oregon has been involved in 17 games decided by 10 or fewer points this season (8-9). ... Have won eight of last 10 games.
Oregon vs. Cal: Teams have played twice this season with Oregon winning both games (71-69 OT, 93-82).
XU vs. Oregon: Series tied 1-1; last met 1958-59.