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Thread: Oh Gee Remembers

  1. UL Basketball Oh Gee Remembers

    Ragin' Cajun guard recollects NCAA tourney intensity as Florida Gator

    LOUISIANA La. The NCAA Tournament is new territory for most of Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns, especially since the school hasn't competed in the event since 2000.

    But for junior guard Orien Greene, Friday's regional matchup against North Carolina State will be a return to the way things should be in college basketball.

    Greene played two years with his hometown Florida Gators, leaving after a 2001-2002 sophomore campaign that finished with a heart-breaking 83-82 double-overtime first-round NCAA loss to Creighton in Chicago.

    "The tournament is pretty intense," said Greene, who had a steal in 18 straight games and 61 in all during that 2002 campaign.

    "You have to strap it on and bring your 'A' game every day. You can't have any slip-ups. This is the time to be tight."

    The 20-8 Cajuns earned this year's NCAA bid by winning both the regular season and tournament in the Sun Belt Conference, while the 20-9 Wolfpack was second in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings and lost to eventual champion Maryland in the ACC Tournament.

    "It feels good to have won the Sun Belt," Greene said. "We haven't been in the tournament for a while, and this is something we want to do for the seniors. I think we can make some noise in the tournament."

    The winner of the UL-N.C. State opener will play the survivor between No. 6 Vanderbilt of the SEC and No. 11 Western Michigan of the Mid-America Conference.

    Fans may be looking ahead to a Sweet 16 opportunity, but Greene and the rest of the Cajuns know to address just Wolfpack tendencies for now.

    The Cajuns last won an NCAA Tournament game in 1992, knocking off No. 4 Oklahoma 87-83 as a No. 13 seed.

    "We'll have that adrenalin rush when we first step on the court," Greene said, "But after that first minute everything will be fine."

    "It took a lot of sacrifice and dedication to win the Sun Belt," senior Antoine Landry did. "That's what it's going to take in this tournament, too.

    "Everybody's 0-0, and everybody's starting from scratch. They're all good teams, and it doesn't matter who we were paired with. The best thing we can do is go back to basics in practice and do what we do best."

    "As long as we play hard defense and do things right on the offensive side, we should be fine," Greene said.

    The rest of the story



    Bruce Brown
    bbrown@theadvertiser.com

    Orien Greene drives to the basket

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