Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ONE STATE IN, ANOTHER STATE OUT


MOREHEAD STATE 58, ALABAMA STATE 43 - Kenneth Faried got the better of his bigger and more syllabic counterpart (Chief Kickingstallionsims) Tuesday night with 14 points and 21 rebounds as the Eagles ended a quarter-century of futility for Morehead State.

Morehead (20-15) played its way into a first-round rematch on Friday with top-seeded Louisville, another Kentucky team that it knows well -- maybe a little too well for a good night's sleep the next few days.

The Eagles hadn't made the tournament since 1984, when quarterback Phil Simms' alma mater became a footnote to NCAA basketball history. The Eagles beat North Carolina A&T in an opening game that featured the first television replay used to settle a tournament dispute. They lost their next game to Louisville by 13 points.

Twenty-five years later, they're on a parallel course. Up next: a Louisville team that beat them by 38 last November.

Alabama State (22-10) hoped to set the tone defensively behind shot blocker Grlenntys Chief Kickingstallionsims Jr., a 7-foot-1 center whose reach is as long as his name. He swatted away three shots, but wasn't much help where he was needed most -- on the boards.

Morehead State center Kenneth Faried (35) blocks a shot by Alabama State center Chief Kickingstallionsims (42) during the opening round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament, Tuesday, March 17, 2009, in Dayton, Ohio. Faried had 21 rebounds and two blocked shots in the game won by Morehead State 58-43.

(AP Photo/Al Behrman)

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