Late starts for television put teams at loss for sleep Connecticut feels effects of 12: 41 a.m. finish

March 14, 1998|By Christian Ewell and Jerry Bembry | Christian Ewell and Jerry Bembry,SUN STAFF

Anyone who may have doubted television's influence on the NCAA tournament should have seen Connecticut's players yesterday, suffering from the effects of an inconvenient starting time for its first game late Thursday night.

The Huskies survived a 43-point performance by Fairleigh Dickinson's Elijah Allen, but recovering from their early morning bedtime yesterday may be another matter.

The conclusion of the 93-85 victory over FDU was at 12: 41 a.m., which meant that the post-game dinner was almost a post-game breakfast.

Faced with the task of preparing for tonight's game against an always-perplexing Indiana team, Connecticut players and coach Jim Calhoun appeared worn down yesterday afternoon.

"I understand some of the considerations, and appreciate what television has done for our game," Calhoun said. "But I have problems with our kids not getting to bed until 3: 30 a.m."

Hoosiers coach Bob Knight wasn't any happier about the situation. He has long been outspoken about the influence TV has over the sport.

"I don't know what is involved in the negotiation of TV rights," Knight said. "But the starting point in negotiations should be that no games anywhere should start after 9 o'clock."

Stanford aims for history

With yesterday's win over the College of Charleston, Stanford improved to 27-4 -- the second-most wins in school history. The Cardinal can match the record, set by the 1941-42 team, with a win tomorrow against Western Michigan.

Spiders' offense a mystery

Washington coach Bob Bender on tomorrow's second-round opponent: Richmond.

"Along with Princeton, they run their offense as well as any team in the tournament," Bender said.

But like Princeton, Richmond's offense is a bit of a mystery, even to its coach, John Beilein.

"Our biggest thing is to confuse the other team sometimes it confuses us," Beilein said, trying to explain the concept behind his offense. "People call me up and say, 'Can you send us your system?' I couldn't write it up."

Heels' Cota misses practice

North Carolina point guard Ed Cota missed practice with a stomach virus, but is expected to play today against North Carolina-Charlotte. The Tar Heels will play UNCC next season on Dec. 13, but they don't intend to schedule other state schools.

Pub Date: 3/14/98

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