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East Carolina's Maurice Kemp dunks against East Carolina in the CIT championship college basketball game Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in Ogden, Utah. East Carolina won 77-74. (AP Photo/Deseret News, Scott G Winterton)
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Scott G Winterton

East Carolina's Maurice Kemp dunks against East Carolina in the CIT championship college basketball game Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in Ogden, Utah. East Carolina won 77-74. (AP Photo/Deseret News, Scott G Winterton)

Pirates defy the odds

“I was praying the whole time it was in the air.”


ECU’s Maurice Kemp
On teammate’s game-winning shot

By Tony Castleberry

The Daily Reflector

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OGDEN, Utah — East Carolina men’s basketball coach Jeff Lebo briefly mentioned Weber State’s dominance at home following ECU’s thrilling CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament victory on Tuesday, but a closer look at Weber’s schedule makes the Pirates’ win seem even more improbable.

Not only were the Wildcats 17-1 at the Dee Events Center heading into Tuesday’s championship game, but they had won all but two of those 17 by at least 10 points. Only Brigham Young, which lost to Baylor in the semifinals of the NIT on the same night the Pirates (23-12) won the CIT, had beaten the Wildcats in Ogden before ECU did the deed when Akeem Richmond’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave the Pirates a 77-74 victory.


“I can’t even describe it really right now,” Lebo said as ECU players cut down the net following the first nonconference postseason title in program history. “To end it with the last shot, no time on the clock is something that may not ever happen to me again. I’ll never forget it and I’m so excited for this group.”

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart