- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 16, 2002

Hampton's Barry Hairston stunk up the house yesterday. Hairston, a 6-foot-4 swingman, came off Hampton's bench and made only one of 11 shots in the 78-67 NCAA tournament first-round loss to Connecticut at MCI Center.

Hairston's lone basket came from behind the 3-point arc with 9:56 left. Hairston received the ball on the left wing and Connecticut's defenders retreated to the basket for the rebound. All alone on the wing with the nearest UConn defender camped out in the lane, Hairston swished his only shot of the game.

What's remarkable about Hairston's poor shooting game is that he is nearly a 50 percent shooter (137 of 276 for 49.6 percent) from the field this season and averages 12.1 points a game.

"I usually shoot pretty good," Hairston said. "I don't know what went on today."

Go, Huskies

Even Capitol Hill takes a break at this time of year. Connecticut senator Joseph Lieberman, a one-time vice presidential hopeful, was courtside rooting on UConn. Lieberman brought his office with him as he spent considerable time talking on his cell phone.

Strike up the band

Memo to the NCAA: please advance Hampton's band and cheerleaders to the second round. The Pirates backers were hotter than their team. While the team was shooting 35 percent from the floor, Hampton's band cranked up the O'Jays' smash hit "For the Love of Money" during a break and UConn's bench was mesmerized by the Hampton cheerleaders' saucy routine.

Sonia Woolard, an Alexandria native and a trombone player in Hampton's band, said the pep band is a carry over from the school's marching band.

"We just like to have fun," Woolard said. "We practice a lot. It's part of what we do during the marching band season."

Tip of the hat

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo left impressed with N.C. State's performance against his team, especially with its aggressiveness in the second half when the Spartans sent the Wolfpack to the free-throw line 30 times, many a result of fouls on hard drives to the basket.

N.C. State won 69-58 at MCI Center.

"They kind of come at you, and I admire that," Izzo said. "We were down and they took it at us in the second half."

Michigan State's Alan Anderson fouled out and four other players picked up four fouls trying to slow down N.C. State. Izzo's players were in a fog by the end of the game; he said he had told them the tendencies of several of the Wolfpack, but they didn't guard against them.

"We were reeling," Izzo said, "so I don't think we even knew who was in the game" at the end.

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