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So... who'd like to play Coppin?

Published Oct. 1, 2005

Coppin State coach Ron "Fang" Mitchell wonders whether his school's newfound notoriety will make it easier _ or more difficult still _ to schedule games.

The only non-MEAC Division I school to play at Coppin this season was Duquesne, the host school for the East Regional in Pittsburgh. Coppin State won 91-57 on Dec. 10 in the first live telecast of an Eagles' home game.

"We have trouble scheduling home games," Mitchell said. "We have trouble scheduling away games. Our neighbor, Maryland, won't play us. They'll play everybody except us. Georgetown won't play us. I do give credit to the Big 12, which does allow us to come out there and play.

"But Texas is in the Big 12, and I wonder if we will still be able to go out there and play."

Coppin State played at, and lost to, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas State and Illinois this season.

Not surprisingly, Coppin State was the darling of the Pittsburgh fans, getting a thunderous standing ovation just for showing up at the Civic Arena. Coppin fans stood throughout the warmups, singing and chanting.

There was momentary confusion at the end of Louisville's 64-63 victory over New Mexico, mostly because some of the participants didn't think it was over.

Louisville guard B.J. Flynn rebounded David Gibson's driving layup with two seconds left as three Lobos converged around him. Just as the final horn sounded, one official appeared to call a foul.

As the Cardinals began to celebrate, coach Denny Crum began waving wildly, fearing a technical if the game wasn't over.

It was. The three officials conferred briefly before running off the court in tandem, without offering an explanation.

West Regional

St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli just wants a little respect for his school's namesake. He ended the post-game news conference Saturday night with a plea that the NCAA please stop referring to his school as St. Joseph's, Pa.

"We are the only St. Joseph's in Division I," he said. "St. Joseph was a saint in the Catholic church. He wasn't St. Joseph of Pennsylvania. That's just a little lesson in Roman Catholicism."

Southeast Regional

Despite the presence of home-state favorite Duke, the six games at Charlotte Coliseum featured plenty of empty seats.

On Sunday, with Duke playing Providence for a spot in the round of 16, the announced attendance in the 22,876-seat coliseum was 14,864, with entire sections of empty seats in the upper deck.

Midwest Regional

From the way Kemper Arena was bathed in maroon and yellow, it appeared as if the Minnesota Gophers were the home team.

That's the way it should be, says Sanford Brown, who came to Kansas City with 450 other fans on a chartered flight.

"We got to all the away games," said Brown, a computer analyst. "We don't miss any."

Steve Erban and his wife, Dorothy, run a charter company. They've built a group of nearly 2,000 fans who travel to Gopher games.

Isn't traveling with the team an expensive hobby?

"Yes," Brown said, "but I don't have a snowmobile."