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Pete Newell Challenge Update!

We just got the latest press release from the Pete Newell Challenge organizers. It contains the first information about ticket sales to the public for what should be a great match-up between Duke and Stanford! We hope to see as many of you out there as possible. Here it is, hot off the press!:

Tickets for the fourth-annual Pete Newell Challenge, presented by TiVo, are set to go on public sale on Saturday, Oct. 21, through the ticket agency in the Bay Area, and at The Arena in Oakland box office. The announcement was made by Pacific Palisades, Calif.-based Innovative Sports Management, organizer and creator of the event. Tickets are priced from $15 to $55, with a limited number of premium seats available for $100. The college basketball doubleheader takes place on Thursday, Dec. 21, at The Arena in Oakland, and includes two outstanding matchups: Preseason top-ranked Duke (29-5 last season) vs. defending Pac-10 co-champion Stanford (27-4) at 6 p.m., followed by Georgia (10-20) vs. Cal (18-15).

Matchups for the fourth-annual college basketball doubleheader, which will begin at 6 p.m. PST: Duke (29-5 last season) vs. Stanford (27-4), followed by Georgia (10-20) vs. Cal (18-15). Both games will be nationally televised for the fourth consecutive year by Fox Sports Net. A ceremony honoring the 40-year anniversary of the gold-medal-winning 1960 U.S. Olympic basketball team, coached by Pete Newell, will take place during halftime of the Cal-Georgia game.

Stanford upset Duke, 80-79, in overtime at the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament in New York’s Madison Square Garden last Nov. 11. It was the first-ever meeting on the basketball court between the two elite private schools. Duke’s last visit to the Bay Area came on Dec. 4, 1982, when Cal beat the Blue Devils, 76-71, at the Oakland Coliseum Arena. Cal and Georgia have never played each other.

The Duke-Stanford game is shaping up as one of the marquee matchups of the 2000-01 college basketball season. Duke was ranked No. 1 in the country in two recently released preseason polls--by ESPN’s Dick Vitale and Frank Burlison of Stanford was picked No. 5 by ESPN and No. 9 by Fox Sports.

Four of the finest coaches in the country will lead their teams in this year’s Pete Newell Challenge: Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Mike Montgomery (Stanford), Ben Braun (Cal) and Harrick. Each of the four has won at least 400 games as a college head coach. Between them, Krzyzewski (1991 and 1992) and Harrick (1995) won three of the 10 NCAA championships in the 1990s. In 25 seasons as a head coach, Krzyzewski has an overall record of 571-219 (.722). In 22 seasons, Montgomery is 442-220 (.668). In 20 seasons, Harrick is 413-202 (.671). And in 23 seasons, Braun is 408-285 (.588).

In 20 remarkable seasons at Duke, Krzyzewski has been to eight Final Fours (third-best all time), won five Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championships and four consecutive ACC regular-season titles. Last season, despite the presence of seven freshmen on its roster, Duke advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 11th time in 15 seasons. For the second consecutive year, Duke was the nation’s highest-scoring team. After finishing the regular season ranked No. 1, Duke made it to the NCAA East Regional semifinal at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., before losing to eventual national runner-up Florida, 87-78. Krzyzewski was selected ACC Coach of the Year for the sixth time.

Montgomery has won back-to-back Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors. He was also selected the James A. Naismith College Basketball Coach of the Year last season as Stanford won its first 12 games and was ranked No. 1 in the country for the first time in school history. Stanford’s first game as the nation’s top-ranked team came in the 1999 Pete Newell Challenge, when the Cardinal beat Mississippi State, 76-56. Stanford advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a school-record sixth consecutive year, before being eliminated by North Carolina in a South Regional second-round game in Birmingham, Ala. In 1998, Montgomery led the Cardinal to its first Final Four since 1942. Last season’s team set an NCAA record for field-goal-percentage defense (.352), and also led the country with an average victory margin of 19.2 points per game.

Harrick will be starting his second season at Georgia after two years at Rhode Island. His 1998 Rhode Island team was eliminated by Stanford, 79-77, in the Midwest Regional final in St. Louis. At UCLA (1989-1996), Harrick’s teams made the NCAA Tournament and won at least 20 games each of his eight seasons. During its championship run in 1995, UCLA won the West Regional at The Arena in Oakland. Before coming to UCLA, Harrick was head coach at Pepperdine for nine seasons.

Braun is 75-50 in four years at Cal, including a National Invitation Tournament title in 1999 and the NIT quarterfinals last season. He was the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1997, when the Bears advanced to the Sweet 16. Cal has won all three of its previous games in the Pete Newell Challenge, including last season’s 72-64 victory over Gonzaga.

Some of the most talented players in the country will be on display at the 2000 Pete Newell Challenge, including four starters from Duke: 6-8 senior All-America forward Shane Battier, the two-time National Defensive Player of the Year who averaged 17.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game last season; 6-2 sophomore point guard Jason Williams, the ACC Tournament most valuable player and a Freshman All-America (14.5 points, 6.5 assists); 6-9, 260-pound sophomore Carlos Boozer, who also made the ACC All-Freshman Team after averaging 13 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting a team-best 61% from the field, and 6-6 senior Nate James (11 points, 4.5 rebounds). Versatile 6-7 sophomore Mike Dunleavy, a key reserve last season who was heavily recruited by Stanford, may move into the starting lineup to replace ACC Player of the Year Chris Carrawell. A freshman to watch is 6-2 Chris Duhon from Slidell, La. Boozer, Williams and Dunleavy are all finalists for the U.S. Under-20 men’s national team.

Stanford returns three starters from last season: 6-6 sophomore swingman Casey Jacobsen, an All-Pac-10 first-team selection and the Pac-10 Co-Freshman of the Year after averaging a team-high 14.5 points and shooting 44% from the three-point line; 6-10 senior forward Jarron Collins (11 points, 6.5 rebounds) and 6-1 senior point guard Michael McDonald (a team-high 4.7 assists). Expected to assume bigger roles this season will be 6-7 senior shooting star Ryan Mendez, 6-11 sophomores Jason Collins and Curtis Borchardt, and highly regarded 6-8 redshirt freshman Justin Davis.

Georgia welcomes back its three top scorers from last season: 6-2 junior guard D.A. Layne, second in the Southeastern Conference in scoring at 18.3 points; 6-7, 265-pound senior forward Anthony Evans, an NBA prospect who averaged 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds, and 6-6 senior forward Shon Coleman (12.4 points, 8.2 rebounds).

Cal returns its top nine scorers from a year ago, led by 6-7 senior standout Sean Lampley, an All-Pac-10 selection who led Cal in both scoring (16.6 points) and rebounding (7.4). Lampley, MVP of the 1999 NIT, needs 518 points to overtake Lamond Murray and become the all-time leading scorer in Cal history. Other Bears to watch include 6-11 junior center Solomon Hughes, who is already eighth on Cal’s career blocked-shot list with 61, and 5-10 sophomore point guard Shantay Legans, the team’s second-leading scorer (9.4 points) who hit 42.7% of his three-point attempts.

In its first three years of existence, the Pete Newell Challenge has attracted such quality basketball programs to the Bay Area as North Carolina, Indiana, Temple and Gonzaga. The 1998 event drew a sellout crowd of 19,657 to The Arena in Oakland, largest crowd to ever watch a college basketball game in the state of California. That night, Cal beat then-No. 9 North Carolina, 78-71, and Stanford defeated Temple, 57-50. In addition, the first Pete Newell Challenge Career Achievement Awards were presented to former North Carolina coach Dean Smith and longtime Los Angeles Laker Jerry West. Last year’s award was given to Hall of Famer and former Stanford great Hank Luisetti.

The Pete Newell Challenge was created to honor the Hall of Fame coach who won an NCAA championship as head coach at Cal (1959), an NIT title at the University of San Francisco (1949) and an Olympic gold medal for the United States (Rome, 1960). Newell, who will turn 85 on Aug. 31, continues to teach young players, both college and professional, with his highly regarded Big Man Camps each summer in Hawaii.

TiVo, based in San Jose, is the creator of the personal television service, which digitally records programming so viewers can watch programs at their leisure.

Tickets for the 2000 Pete Newell Challenge are expected to go on sale in mid-October, through all outlets in the Bay Area and at The Arena in Oakland box office. For more ticket information, call at (510) 762-2277. Outside California, dial toll-free (800) 225-2277. Or call the arena at (510) 569-2121.