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UConn chooses rails over runways

PHILADELPHIA — Maya Moore was eager to ride the rails and playfully encouraged her teammates to hop on Friday by shouting, "All aboard!"

The train was about to leave the station, and the UConn star didn't want anyone to miss this trip.

Looking for a fun way to get to Philadelphia to play Villanova, coach Geno Auriemma and the nation's No. 1 women's basketball team got on track.

"I always thought it would be neat to do it," Auriemma said aboard Amtrak Northeast Regional train 137. "We don't have to worry about sitting in traffic."

The ride also helped save the school a lot of money. A charter plane can cost nearly $40,000 for a trip, but the train was around $100 per person.

"Financially, it helps," Auriemma said. "I'd be lying if I didn't say a lot of it has to do with the state of the economy and the state of affairs. It costs a lot of money to charter planes, and I thought there were opportunities during the season to do something different."

The Huskies bused an hour from their campus in Storrs to the station in New London for the nearly 4½-hour ride. Connecticut will play Villanova this afternoon, then bus home.

No. 14 UNC 79, Clemson 61: Italee Lucas scored 20 as the host Tar Heels improved to 15-3, 3-1 ACC.

Kentucky: Men's basketball coach John Calipari doesn't seem worried even if his undefeated Wildcats lose to Arkansas (8-10, 1-2) today and don't ascend to No. 1. "If we lose, we lose," Calipari said. "What's going to happen the next day? We go to the electric chair? No."


East Carolina: Ruffin McNeill pumped his fist and walked into the room filled with reporters and fans waiting to hear from the coach replacing Skip Holtz.

McNeill, 51, was back at his alma mater and in his native North Carolina. "This is my destination job," McNeill said as he was formally introduced. " … This is not a stepping-stone hop for Ruff. This is where I want to be until you tow me away from here. You'll have to drag me away."

McNeill spent the past 10 seasons at Texas Tech, where he served as defensive coordinator.

Tennessee: Coach Derek Dooley added former UCF quarterback Darin Hinshaw to his staff. Dooley did not say what position Hinshaw, 37, will have. He was receivers coach at Memphis for the past three seasons, with stops at Georgia Southern and Middle Tennessee State..

Wisconsin: Coach Bret Bielema's contract was extended through Jan. 31, 2015, after the Badgers finished ranked 16th.

UConn chooses rails over runways 01/22/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 22, 2010 10:49pm]
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