5:15 PM ET, March 19, 2011
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
DENVER (AP) -- The online enrollment at tiny Morehead State shot up nearly 300 percent. The number of potential students requesting campus visits surged from five, on a very busy day, to more than 30.Things have suddenly turned quite lively around the small school in Morehead, Ky., situated at the base of the Appalachian Mountains.All thanks to one memorable upset.The 13th-seeded Eagles (25-9) were the buzz of the NCAA tournament Thursday after knocking off No. 4 Louisville, 62-61, on Demonte Harper's 3-pointer in the waning seconds.For wrecking so many brackets, center Kenneth Faried, the all-time rebounding leader in Division I, offered an apology, even if his grin betrayed the fact he wasn't all that sincere.It's been a blurry 24 hours for the upstart Eagles as the players made the rounds on national radio talk shows. They've also been besieged by text messages, Facebook posts and phones calls.They're hardly complaining. This type of demand means one thing -- they're still around."Being in the spotlight is crazy," junior guard Terrance Hill said. "But it's a very good feeling."For as good as that win over the Cardinals felt, for as much as they want to revel in it, the Eagles realize they have to flip the page.The upset artists await Saturday.No. 12 seed Richmond (28-7) toppled fifth-seeded Vanderbilt, 69-66, enhancing the Spiders' reputation as a giant killer. They beat an Auburn team led by Charles Barkley during the 1984 NCAA tournament and knocked off second-seeded Syracuse in 1991.But this was the Spiders' first NCAA tournament win since they beat South Carolina in 1998 as a No. 14 seed.After a day of upsets at the tournament in the Mile High City, Richmond and Morehead State meet in a rare contest between No. 12 and 13 seeds. It's only the ninth time this has happened.And history isn't exactly on the Eagles' side, as the only 13th seed to win was Valparaiso in 1998, when the Crusaders beat No. 12 Florida State."We've got to stay focused," said Faried, an NBA prospect. "We are trying to be that Cinderella team, the team that people root for."The Eagles were swept up in the moment after beating a fellow team from the Bluegrass State, dancing and darting around the court in exultation.That was quite a contrast to the Spiders, who simply shook hands and then sauntered into the locker room.For them, it was almost business as usual."We're focused on getting another win and advancing in this tournament," Richmond's Darrius Garrett said. "That's our goal. We can't be too caught up on one win."Richmond advancing wasn't all that big of a surprise, especially with Vandy's recent trend of early exits.Plus, the Atlantic 10 tournament champions were only a three-point underdog to the Commodores of the Southeastern Conference.But Morehead State beating Louisville -- that was a shocker, right?"This is the NCAA tournament," Spiders coach Chris Mooney nonchalantly said.And crazy things tend to happen.Morehead State athletic director Brian Hutchinson has needed to recharge his phone four times just to keep up with the volume of calls that trailed off about 1 a.m. and started again around 6:30."This is hard to quantify right now," Hutchinson said of what the win means to his university. "Emotionally, just really gratifying."Although their enrollment is listed at 9,046 students, that number just may be shooting up -- at least judging by all the campus visits scheduled."They saw the game on television, saw all the coverage and wanted to discover what we really had to offer," Hutchinson said.On the court, the Eagles offer a ferocious rebounder in Faried, who had his jersey retired by the school before his playing days were even complete.Teams have tried all sorts of tricks to slow the 6-foot-8, 228-pounder, but nothing seems to work."I'm used to almost everything probably," said Faried, who grabbed 17 rebounds against Louisville but had an off day shooting, hitting just 4-of-17 shots for 12 points. "There's nothing unusual to me now."The Spiders march to the beat of Kevin Anderson, an undersized senior guard who has a lightning-quick release. The Commodores couldn't find an answer for Anderson, who finished with 25 points.Given his stature -- Anderson swears he's a legit 6-footer -- many coaches shied away from recruiting him.Not Mooney, who saw a player who could run his Princeton-style offense to perfection."His intelligence on the floor and his ability to make shots is so incredibly impressive," Mooney said. "We knew right away we had something very special."
NCAA Mens Tournament
|Avg Points Allowed||61.7||61.0|
|Conference||Ohio Valley - East||Atlantic 10|
|» Mar 19, 2011||@RICH 65, MORE 48||Recap|