Monday, March 5, 2012

Postseason Potpourri

I'm creating this post so we can talk about postseason hoops instead of adding to the final game of the season post from Feb. 25.

* Get all the info you need on the Lady Knights' NCAA run by going to GannonSports.com.

* This article from Sports Illustrated on NCAA-bound Creighton does a good job of debunking the myth many fans hold that recruiting is like ordering players from a catalog. You need to work hard and catch some breaks to put the right team together.

* At some point I'll assemble a "Where Are They Now" article about still active former Knights and Gannon opponents from this year. We know that IUP and East Stroudsburg are still alive, but don't forget about Daemen. The Wildcats, who stunned GU in the Gary Miller Classsic, play March 8 in the NAIA Division II national tournament.

* Before you get all worked up during March Madness, please read this article from two years ago to help you keep your priorities straight.

UPDATE 3/7/12: Much to my chagrin, former Kentucky Wesleyan head coach Ray Harper is in the NCAA DI tournament this year. His 15-18 Western Kentucky team upset North Texas last night in the Sun Belt championship. Harper was a WKU assistant but took over the team at midseason after the head coach was fired. You have to check out how the previous coach lost the last game of his WKU career. I'm surprised this didn't happen to Gannon this year.

And former GU president Antoine Garibaldi is going dancing, too. Detroit Mercy thrashed Horizon #1 Valparaiso Tuesday night, 70-50. UDM eliminated Jerry Slocum's Youngstown State Penguins in the Horizon quarterfinals.

57 comments:

  1. Yup....Daemon: They surely looked like a potential 20 win team that night.

    Sure enough: 20-10.

    In fact, except for Lock Haven, every team on the schedule was pretty legit.

    IE: Gone are the days of 6 or 7 cupcake teams on the schedule every year.

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  2. GU's record against NCAA teams

    0 - 4

    Against PSAC West Playoff Teams

    1 - 7

    Against PSAC East Playoff Teams

    2 - 2

    Seems like all we can beat is other cupcakes (cause obviously, by wins and losses, that's what GU is anymore)

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  3. Whew, Fauves...All I'm saying is that it was really a pretty strong schedule, and, will remain so in the future.

    GU isn't a cupcake...save for the last game, all their games went into the final minutes or less, before being decided.

    Put it this way, Al McGuire (whom I think originally coined the term)wouldn't think of scheduling a team like us back then.

    Onto next year!!!!

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  4. Cupcakes are teams that win 5 games a year, and lose most of the rest of them by 20 points or more. They win maybe 1 or 2 league games each year.

    That is a cupcake. That is not what GU was this past season.

    The attempts to discredit Reilly are now reaching the ridiculous stage. As I have said, there are good points to be made on both sides of the discussion about retaining him.

    However, calling GU a cupcake isn't a fair assessment. They played hard and contended in almost every game. They had 6 one-possession losses, 3 two-possession losses, and 2 three- possession losses. Only one loss was by more than 10 points, and that was after they had been eliminated from playoff contention.

    Let's stick to facts and supportable opinion, please. I can understand that some are frustrated, but exxagerating the negatives isn't helping your argument.

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  5. In addition to Lock Haven, I'd call Cheyney, which finished 4-22, a "cupcake." That makes two "cupcakes" in the PSAC. There were no Lock Havens and Cheyneys in the GLIAC, which, when Gannon was in it, was a much stronger conference than the PSAC. That's when Gannon had "tough" schedules. The schedules they have these days are much weaker. And the caliber of teams in their two tournaments have declined significantly during the past two decades. So, we have weaker schedules, but worse records -- that's far downhill Gannon basketball has gone in recent years.

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  6. Speaking of postseason, Wednesday, March 7 will be the 25 year anniversary of the best game I have ever seen at the Hammermill, or anywhere for that matter. Gannon 85 Millersville 82. Never seen so much electricity. Two hours of noise. It was so hot there I felt like I played the game. Hard to believe it's been a quarter century.

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  7. You're right...it was an exaggeration.

    I stand corrected.

    We are not a cupcake. We are simply middle of the pack.

    Go Lady Knights.

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  8. I just had this emailed to me by a Gannon fan who was unable to post it due to technical difficulties:

    Lifer, so NOW the GLIAC is a better conference? Speaking of icing-topped opponents, see Lake State, Northwood, Saginaw Valley, Ferris and Ashland. All conferences have their top and bottom tiers. Gannon appears to be in the bottom tier for now, but this stuff is usually cyclical.

    There also appears to be some notion that the Knights WERE an elite Division II perennial playoff powerhouse. One appearance in the 60's, 3 in the 70's five in the 80's,five in the 90's and eight in the 00's. That's 22 appearances in 50 years. A combined NCAA tournament record of 19-27, with 3 of those wins coming back when they played regional consolation games. Eight appearances in the last 12 years. Not getting out of the first round 15 times. Those are a lot of numbers, and depending on how you want to look at them, either very good or somewhat mediocre. That's just it: we all look at things differently. But if you were to take all of those numbers and paste them on to the website of any team in either the current or previous conference, you think they would take it in a heartbeat?

    The past couple of years have been disappointing. But maybe it's because we are accustomed to a consistency that other squads would give their left acorn for. Just my opinion.

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  9. Golden: Indeed, ....ahhh, memories!!

    BUT: Wasn't about 2 weeks earlier when Mike McDougall hit the big hoop versus St. Mikes THE loudest moment in Hammermill history??

    Jimmy: Were you there for that??.....Didn't that hoop (to force overtime and an eventual win....leading to homecourt playoff status) prove to be one of the biggest moments of that season???

    Wow...where did the years go???

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  10. The shot by Mac to force OT was in late January. One thing that I will never forget about that game was all the fans who had left running back from the hallway up to the stands. And he hit it over 7' 3" Michel Bonebo. Gannon went up to Vermont in February and beat St. Michael's.

    Based on his graduation year and his claim to be a "lifelong Gannon fan" I bet that blogger Jim R was at the game.

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  11. Yes, I was at the St. Mike's game. I recall Bonebo ducking during MacDougall's shot so he wouldn't foul him. Runski's long, pinpoint outlet pass to MacDougall down the left sideline also deserves some credit.

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  12. The St. Michael's game was a great finish to a game that was a turning point in the season, and, yes, it WAS loud at the 'Mill that night.

    However, the LOUDEST it has ever been was the Textile game back in, I believe it was 1988 when the sequence of Mitchell Smith's steal and dunk and his subsequent block that resulted in the dunk by David Morris brought one long continuous roar that extended long into Herb Magee's resulting time out.

    I still remember watching Chapman's TV show the next week, seeing the highlights and watching several Textile players and at least one of the refs actually putting their hands over their ears because it was so loud.

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  13. Agree, Observor. The din after Morris' dunk was ear-splitting. I think that Jim Rocco started it (Yes, Jim Rocco) then Smith and Morris got back-do-back dunks.

    I also recall from the floor-level video that during the entire sequence that if you watch Champan, he just stood there emotionless with his arms folded while everyone else in the building was going crazy. That's one of the many things that I liked about Champan -- he was always level headed during the games. It doesn't necessarily need to be the head coach, but every team needs one guy who's level-headed and calm during the games (Dukiet had Kalbaugh and Slocum has Mislan).

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  14. In modern-day era, I like Corey Knight's tie-up/steal versus Kutztown during 2009 PSAC championship.

    He was a gamer.

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  15. Chapman wasn't always the level-headed one. Remember the 1984 game vs Textile when he got a couple "t's"?

    I'm confused, 453, not sure what point you meant to make. I thought we had been discussing the loudest crowds at the 'Mill, not the best plays. Not sure the Knight play, as crucial as it was, invoked that loud a crowd reaction, or isn't that what you meant?

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  16. When Madison Purvey hit the layup to beat Youngstown in 6 overtimes, it was pandemonium (and the longest game in NCAA history). I was just a kid sitting in the second row of chair seats, which they had back then, so I don't remember if that was the loudest cheer ever but I don't recall hearing anything that loud again until I went to my first rock concert.

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  17. Everyone has their favorites but you have to go a long way to top the noise in the New Hampshire quarterfinal game in 1987. Is not a shame that we need to go this far back in time to remember great crowds.

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  18. Is it fair to say that if the AD was going to make a coaching change, it would have been announced by now? IMO an AD would want to minimize the negative impact on recruiting or player transfers by making the announcement soon after the season ends. It seems to me that in general, when coaches are fired or not coming back for whatever reason, the announcement is sometimes before or shortly after the season ends. Following this "logic", IMO Coach Reilly will be back next year. Or is it to soon to make this call? Note: I am not wanting to stir the Reilly debate if he stays or should go. However, I am wondering if a change is to be made when one could anticipate an announcement. There could be too many variables to determine a launching point but IMO if a change is to be made, it should be soon.

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  19. GU Ladies up 13 - 9 early!

    Go Lady Knights!

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  20. big run at the end of the half...

    GU Ladies Knights up 28 - 19 going into halftime...

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  21. Go Ladies!!!....keep it up!!

    ------

    The Corey Knight sequence referred to above brought, to me anyway, one ofthe loudest crowd reactions in the "modern era".

    Hmmm....St. Patricks day, 2009 I think!!


    Go Ladies!!

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  22. So I had a flurry of calls at work and the live stats is now on the next game.

    Did the Lady Knights win?

    I can't find the score.

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  23. GU Lady Knights move on to the second round with a nice 61 - 50 victory over Johnson C. Smith (sounds like a neighbor, not a college).

    Go Lady Knights!

    Anyone at the game have any details?

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  24. I don't recall when Slocum announced his move to YSU, but I do recall that Reilly wasn't named his succesor until mid-May, so I'm not sure it's too late yet.

    I still don't think the AD wants to be hiring coaches for his 2 most visible programs at the same time.

    As far as the Women's game, they came out and were much more aggressive than they played in their last game vs IUP. Smith was very athletic, but not sure they were too focused until the secong half. They came out of halftime with both barrels blazing, started taking the ball inside and made a run to get within 2 as GU got tenative with the lead. But GU suddenly came back to life with about 9 minutes to go, got more aggressive and made a run to control the game. Strange, Smith had a number of huge players that never got in the game, as they opted instead for a smaller, quicker team that shot from the perimeter too much, in my opinion, particularly in the first half.

    For GU, Blake did some good things battling inside, Lowe hit some 3's early on, Sundberg was adequate against some very intense pressure defense, and Glass played as well as I have ever seen her play. McCoy did some good things as well. Papich was OK, but seemed a little bothered by Smith's athleticism. All of them looked tenative at times, but did enough to overcome an opponent that was kind of undisciplined.

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  25. Observor...thanks for the summary!

    Another question about Reilly's status...if he was in the last year of his contract, when does his contract "expire"? He obviously is still the coach of GU, but the season is over for them, right? And he doesn't have a new contract?

    Maybe it ends when the D2 tourney champ is crowned?

    Anyone know?

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  26. Gannon works on a fiscal year from July 1st to June 30th the following year.

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  27. Great win for GU today! Gannon's defense was on the entire game and the offense woke up when JC Smith tied it up briefly. A few threes fell against the Smith zone and the Golden Bulls were rattled.

    Time to face Shaw on Saturday!

    By the way, I got to the game just before tipoff and was happy to see so many GU fans who ducked out of work to Jake the short trip down I79. Nice job by Ewensel to keep the crowd in the game.

    Also, it was strange to be at a game with zero kids in attendance.

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  28. Around the NCAA in Division II women's ... the chalk pretty much prevailed. All seven one-seeds who played won their games, and the west top-seed UC-San Diego is playing right now. And the #2 seeds went 8-0.

    Gannon was one of three of eight #6 seeds to win their game today.

    The goofy game of the day has to be (2) Clayton State / (7) Tusculum. GU fans will remember Tusculum as the team with the 4' 11" girl whom the Lady Knights beat in the 2010 quarterfinals. Tusculum held an 18-16 lead at halftime, but was outscored 35-8 in the second half as Clayton State won 51-26.

    In the second half, Tusculum was 3/16 from the field, including 1/3 on threes and 1/4 from the line and had 18 turnovers.

    Tusculum scored on five of 33 second-half possessions. Of the 28 empty possessions, 18 ended in turnovers, including stretches of four straight TOs and five straight TOs.

    I'm sure that more than one Tusculum fan at the game said to the person sitting next to him or her, "When was the last time we scored?" What a way to end your season.

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  29. In men's play, Shaw (NC) just ended IUP's season, 62-54. The fate of the entire PSAC rests on 20-11 East Stroudsburg winning at 29-2 West Liberty. WLU is averaging 102.8 ppg this season and hasn't lost at home since November (84-80 vs. Findlay).

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  30. West Liberty drilled Stroud, 119-82. That's actually better than Slippery Rock's 117-73 showing at WLU in last year's NCAA first round. But I think it reveals how far the PSAC appears to be behind the Division II elite.

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    1. Which doesn't make Gannon look very well...

      Good fight by the Lady Knights, too bad it came to and end, but with only losing I believe 2 seniors and the majority of the team being freshmen and sophomores and already 5 impressive freshmen inked for next season... I'd say their NCAA runs will be getting longer in the next some years. Good season Ladies!

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  31. Great season by the Lady Knights. Shaw's experience and size got to us down the stretch. Many in attendance think that Shaw will knock off Edinboro on Monday. GU played them tough, hung around and had a shot at the end. Shaw played the final possession well, leaving only Sundberg to attempt the three. We're young and will be back next year.

    Congrats to the WVIAC in getting three wins in the first round. And in the no-surprise-here category, the top team out of the GLIAC (Hillsdale) was eliminated by a GLVC team. Some things never change.

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  32. Overall a great season by the Lady Knights. They played as hard as they could this whole season. Shaw was a damn tough team, when they played on Friday they were making everything in site it seemed. Credit to the team they were able to hold a team like that down to 64 points. The team will be back in full force next season for sure.

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  33. Halftime. West Liberty 61 WVWU 40. I know these things are easier said than done, but we should try to get WLU in the Porreco Cup.

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  34. GU women BK have a
    6'2" all city Pitt 1st team as a jr.
    (2) 6'0"from WNY both of their made reg playoffs.
    a 5'7"from Ohio and 5'4" coming in next year.
    Future looking good for the ladies.

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  36. Don't forget the Berchtold girl coming in to GU from Hurst Prep. She's a hard-nosed player who plays good D, is a strong PG and good leader.

    Counting all those mentioned, that would be 6 players coming in. With only 2 seniors leaving, that sounds like a bit of a logjam.

    Agree that, on paper, it looks like the GU Women's team will be stacked with talent.

    Hopefully. with all the players coming back, they won't in a situation where they have TOO
    many good players of fairly equal ability. This can lead to disgruntlement if some players feel that they should be playing and aren't.

    Additionally, what occurred in 2010-11 gives me some concern as well. The whole team seemed out of sync that year, and it may have had a lot to do with the Thompson situation where someone who expected to play a lot didn't perform as Cleve expected her to, leading to a somewhat disastrous loss of team chemistry.

    It's a delicate balance. There's more to it that just accumulating talent. All the pieces have to fit the puzzle. Let's hope Cleve can work it out so that the best team ends up on the floor next year.

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  37. Observer,

    Made a pretty interesting point as far as the possibility that there may be such a thing as too much talent. One of the things that Cleve does so well in my mind is that he takes advantage of his bench via regular substitutions. Even though there will be a bit of a logjam when it comes to playing time, I think that Cleve will be able to find a way to balance it.

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  39. ewensel-

    If last year hadn't played out the way it did, I would agree completely. However, I see potential for the same type of problem next year. Lots of returning players of fairly equal ability (no one player markedly more valuable than the others) and lots of new recruits who likely will expect playing time. Let's hope he handles it better this time.

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  40. The Observer stated:

    "It's a delicate balance. There's more to it that just accumulating talent. All the pieces have to fit the puzzle." Shown clearly with the men's team. On paper and early in the season, they appeared to be a 20 game win team but not so. Past posts about Robert Wilson playing next year will make all the difference ... well maybe ... as Observer says, all the pieces have to fit together - coaches as in practices, game strategies, game adjustments, sub logic as well as players fitting with the coaches and their perspectives, player chemistry, their class work, demeanor, work ethic, and character. As things stand today, I'm not sure how next year's team will be.

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  41. TheObserver,

    A HUGE difference that I see between last season and this upcoming season is simple. Last season, Cleve had to replace an entire starting lineup. So that added to how complicated the situation was. This year, he is replacing one starting lineup spot. He does need to fine a good balance to this, but I don't believe it is that similar to the 2010-2011 season.

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  42. Observer, The 5'4'' gal is Amanda.
    I expect maybe the 6'2"er from Pit may see playing time behind Nettie or to spell Pappy.
    There also may be redshirt in there and don't forget JJ will be back. There were times when we only had 8 dressed so loosing 2 and bringing 5 should work. Expect Batts to fill an as needed 3pt role.

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  43. A problem that accured last year was bringing in transfers. Cleve said on the radio that he tried it for a quick fix and it did not work. Told Jim L. would not do it again. Likes to build with freshman has had more success with this way.

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  44. Shaw ripped Edinboro tonight, 70-53, in the women's regional championship. They outscored the Scots 46-25 in the second half after trailing by 4 at halftime.

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  45. This was just emailed to me by someone who couldn't post it due to technical difficulties:

    Huge second half. And accomplished without Crystal Harris, 6'1 sophomore post player. She was called home after Saturday's game due to a family emergency. She was as impressive a pure post player as has been seen around here in a long while. For the Bears to defeat Edinboro without her is quite the feat.

    Congratulations to Coach Swank and his team for a tremendous season. They provided a lot of excitement to the local college scene with their outstanding run. Too bad it ended before they reached the Elite Eight. And congratulations to Coach Wright and his team. Picked to finish fourth in the PSAC West, they played with grit and determination to finish the year as an NCAA qualifier.

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  46. Impressive performance by Shaw. And impressive that Gannon took them down to the final possession and had a tying three up on the rim in the closing seconds. Edinboro was too one-dimensional to go all the way. Shaw is certainly good enough.

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  47. I thought that Edinboro was for sure beatable, especially after how they almost lost to West Chester on Friday evening. Still a heck of a season for the Boro. And also on a side note, they only had 750 fans or so for the title game for the Atlantic regional? Damn, bet that would have been doubled had it been GU vs Boro.

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  48. Shaw trying to make a double elite eight. Seven seed leads 43-42 over host West Liberty at half.

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  49. WKU advances to the "2nd Round" to play #1 overall Kentucky. Who's placin' their bet on WKU? :)

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  50. Great night for Hilltoppers. WKU with huge comeback win and West Liberty wins Atlantic Regional despite being held to 89 points. Congrats to WLU and the WVIAC. Back to back!

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  51. Hmmmm....held to the same standards that we hold our coaching staff on this board.....should entire Duke coaching staff be fired after tonites (pathetic) performance versus #15 seed Loyola tonite???

    I commented to a Gannon basher, 4 minutes into the game, that Duke was in for a dogfight tonight.

    Fire Coach K....no???

    While we are all at it, Mizzou staff should be fired as well...

    Hey....this coaching stuff is pretty easy, isn't it??

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  52. #453:

    If Gannon made it to the conference tournament and the NCAA regionals every year like these teams do, we could tolerate an occassional slip here and there. Gannon couldn't even make it to the PSAC tournament in a very mediocre season for the conference.

    Comparing coach K's record to JR's seven years?
    C'mon man!

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  53. Hey #453-

    Really? Fire Coach K? The guy with 3 or 4 national championships? Really?

    I've admonished some in the anti-Reilly crowd for being a little nonsensical at times. This time, as a Reilly supporter, you've done the same thing. Exxageration to the point of being ridiculous doesn't help your argument.

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  54. My Coach K comments were made with complete sarcasm.

    Duke's performance yesterday shows that anything, both good and bad, can happen to any program at any given time.

    The bashers here simply think it's all too easy.

    It isn't.

    Ask Duke and Missouri.

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  55. If Coach K finished in the bottom half of the ACC for three years in a row, there would me many cries for his ouster, despite decades of unprecedented success.

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  56. The baseball team is 14-10 and ranked in the region. Wonder if the baseball team has EVER had more wins than the basketball team...

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