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By Times wire
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 14, 2001
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Erwin Dudley had 22 points, a career-high 19 rebounds and tipped in a missed free throw in the final seconds as Alabama held on for an 85-79 victory over Seton Hall in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday night.
The Crimson Tide saw their 21-point lead trimmed to three in the final nine minutes.
Dudley hit a long jumper with the shot clock winding down to stretch the lead to five, but Seton Hall's Reggie Garrett scored with 8.8 seconds left to make it 82-79.
Rod Grizzard was quickly fouled and hit his first free throw. He missed the second, but Dudley tipped it in with seven seconds left to seal the win.
MEMPHIS 71, UTAH 62: Earl Barron scored 18 points as Memphis won the first-round game. Kelly Wise scored 13 and Shamel Jones 10 for the Tigers, who never trailed and won their first road game in NIT play. Officials whistled Utah coach Dick Hunsaker for a technical foul after an out-of-bounds call and stopped play for a few moments as the court was showered with debris.
Texas Tech officials could offer former Indiana coach Bob Knight their coaching job on the spot when he visits Thursday.
But a school spokeswoman said they have no plans to bend a university policy that the job remain open for 10 working days, a period that ends March 23.
"There are provisions where you could get around it, but we are not going to get around it," spokeswoman Cindy Rugeley said. "There's no good reason to get around it. We've never done it, and we're not going to do it in this instance."
Athletic director Gerald Myers said he has developed a list of about 10 candidates, though Knight, 60, is the only one who has been invited to the campus. Knight, who is being wooed to succeed fired coach James Dickey, plans to visit for three days.
HONORS: Duke teammates Shane Battier and Jason Williams and North Carolina's Joseph Forte were the top vote-getters on the Associated Press All-America team, the second time three players from the same conference made the first team. Notre Dame's Troy Murphy and Standford's Casey Jacobsen, also made the first team, chosen by a national media panel. Battier, the only senior on the team, was one vote shy of being a unanimous selection. He was on 70 first-team ballots and had 353 points in the 5-3-1 voting system.... For the first time in the 48-year history of the ACC, two players tied for player of the year. Battier and Forte shared the Associated Press honor. Each received 32 votes of a possible 72 cast by members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Writers Association.
MICHIGAN: With discipline, defeats and slipping attendance cited as reasons, Brian Ellerbe was fired after four seasons at Michigan, which finished 10-18 and 4-12 in the Big Ten this season. The Wolverines were 62-60 under Ellerbe, 37. Within the past year, Jamal Crawford entered the NBA draft following a shortened freshman season because of NCAA violations, Kevin Gaines was kicked off the team for legal troubles and two players transferred.
NORTHEASTERN: Coach Rudy Keeling was fired after failing to produce a winning record in five seasons. The Huskies finished 10-19 this season, losing in the America East semifinals to Delaware. His career record at Northeastern was 48-92.
NORTH TEXAS: Coach Vic Trilli was fired after his fourth consecutive losing season.