Holloway's status uncertain after spraining ankle

X-rays prove negative for Seton Hall point guard


Ncaa Tournament

March 20, 2000|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Will Shaheen Holloway be able to play for surprising Seton Hall in the NCAA East Regional this weekend? Only time has the answer.

The Pirates' mercurial point guard suffered a sprained left ankle six minutes into yesterday's upset of second seed Temple and returned to HSBC Arena in a wheelchair.

X-rays proved negative, providing some good news for the Pirates, who advanced to a regional semifinal against third seed Oklahoma State. The ankle was iced, but no one is sure about the prognosis.

Holloway sat glumly at the far end of the Seton Hall bench until the final buzzer -- when a big smile crossed his face.

"When I went down, I was afraid this was going to be my last college game," he said afterward. "I didn't want it to end like this. I don't know what's going to happen now, but it's great we advanced."

Backup Ty Shine picked the occasion to rise, playing a season-high 37 minutes and scoring a career-high 26 points.

"I don't know what to say," said Holloway. "Last year when I got hurt, Ty stepped up, and he did the same thing today. It seems like whenever anyone on this team goes down, someone else takes over. The team just rallied. It was a tremendous game."

With the 67-65 win, Seton Hall became the first team to capture consecutive overtime games in the NCAA tournament since Louisville in 1980 and the first since the initiation of the 64-team format in 1985.

The 1980 Louisville team went on to the national title.

, Pepperdine makes mark

Pepperdine may have lost yesterday, but the team made some waves. The West Coast Conference representatives (Gonzaga is the other) don't figure to sneak up on anybody henceforth.

"For the last three weeks there has been a lot of attention," said point guard Tezale Archie. "Everybody knows about Pepperdine now. By the third day, half the building was chanting `Pepperdine,' so we made a statement. Maybe we can start a dynasty."

First-year coach Jan van Breda Kolff, a bundle of action on the sidelines, led the Waves to a school-record 25 wins, a regular-season conference crown and an NCAA tournament victory.

Cinderella repeat

A 40-foot banner at the back of the Gonzaga University student center touts "The Road to Indianapolis."

For this small, liberal arts college, by rights that road should be steep, twisted and rocky.

But another upset victory Saturday in the NCAA tournament has raised hopes the Bulldogs will make their second consecutive trip to the final eight -- and perhaps beyond.

"They've definitely got a good chance to go all the way to the Final Four," said student worker Greg Dorrington, who sold tickets yesterday to several dozen people able to spare attention for a Bulldogs baseball doubleheader against Loyola Marymount.

Getting to Indianapolis for the national semifinals would require two more victories for Gonzaga, seeded 10th in the West Regional. If students have any doubts, they're not sharing.

Hundreds crammed into the Crosby Student Center to watch on a big-screen TV as Gonzaga defeated second-seeded St. John's, 82-76, at Tucson, Ariz.

"This team has heart, and they can go all the way," said freshman Adam Ueltschi, as students staged an impromptu rally outside after the victory.

The fans knew of their team's talents before the Bulldogs surprised the rest of the nation with their run in last year's tournament. Gonzaga won four regular-season West Coast Conference titles in the 1990s and made five postseason tournament appearances.

The next test comes Thursday, when the Bulldogs (26-8) play sixth-seeded Purdue (23-9) in the West Regional semifinals in Albuquerque, N.M.

TV ratings up

Ratings for the first three days of the NCAA tournament were up an average of 8 percent over last year and were the highest since 1994.

Eight second-round games televised Saturday scored overnight ratings of 5.9 to 7.3 and shares of 13 to 16, Nielsen Media Research said yesterday.

The tournament-to-date average was a 5.4 rating and 12 share, up 8 percent from the 5.0/11 for the first three days of 1999's coverage and the highest since 1994's 5.5/13.

The overnights are based on the nation's largest television markets. The rating is the percentage of the nation's televisions tuned to a broadcast, and the share is the percentage watching a telecast among those televisions on at the time.

Forbidden by law

There will be no "March Madness Meatloaf" when the Final Four comes to Indianapolis. "NCAA Nachos" are forbidden, and a "Big Dance Brewski" would be absolutely unconscionable.

Eateries, shops, hotels and bars can only go so far to capitalize on the NCAA championships. The association is determined to protect its trademark terminology, which includes Final Four, March Madness, Big Dance, NCAA and NCAA Basketball.

"It takes all the fun out of it for us," said Brad Everett, manager of the Rock Bottom Brewery. "It's almost ridiculous how many things are on the list that we can't say or do in any way, shape or form."

Et cetera

Oklahoma State has never lost an NCAA game played in New York state (4-0). The semifinals and finals of the East are in Syracuse. Third-team All-America guard Pepe Sanchez ended his Temple career with two points, six assists and 1-for-6 shooting. "My stomach is very empty. That's the tournament," he said. "There's a lot of pressure and I guess we weren't ready."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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