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Husky Men's Basketball

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March 18, 2009 at 12:40 PM

MSU coach stumps for Oregon fans

Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury is admittedly looking for any edge he can get to pull off the 13-4 upset of the Huskies tomorrow.
As he began his official interview session with the media here a little while ago before MSU’s practice at the Rose Garden, Stansbury — noting the rivalry between Washington and Oregon — made a plea for the local fans to support his team.
“We know all the Oregon people will be behind us tomorrow and if you’re not, get behind us because we need all the help we can get,” he said.
Stansbury said he had learned a lot more about the rivalry in the time that MSU has been here — Oregon is serving as the official host of this regional with UO athletic department officials manning many of the main jobs, such as facilitating interviews..
“There seems not to be a lot of love between these two programs,” he said. “So if they want to help us we’ll take all the help we can get. We’re not going to turn down anyone who wants to cheer for us. We’ve been told a lot of tickets have been sold to Oregon people so Bulldogs love, love the Ducks.”
The Rose Garden has an official capacity of 20,630 but will likely seat a thousand or so fewer than that for the regional with media seating and other things specific to the NCAA Tournament taking up some room.Teams were each given 500 tickets though UW officials said they got a few extras and sold at least 700 through its ticket office. But there will likely be more Husky fans than that in attendance, fans procuring tickets in other ways.
Asked if he’d ever publicly stumped for fans before Stansbury said no before adding “but hey, there’s a first time for everything. I’m not afraid to do it.”
Then he searched out one of the writers for The Oregonian and told him he expected to see a big headline in the paper Thursday reading “Bulldogs love Ducks. I’ll be looking for that.”
MSU sophomore guard Phil Turner said he’d expect to be booed if the Bulldogs were playing Alabama and that the players will look for any boost they can get.
“We are so far away from home, if it’s their big rivals they are just like home fans for us if they are cheering for us,” he said.
The Huskies will take to the podium at 1:35 followed by a practice here at 2:15.
MSU is on the floor working out as I write this.
DUBS THE WINNER — UW has already achieved one victory in this tournament with Dubs getting the title of Top Pet Mascot. The MSU Bulldog earned a mere honorable mention, which all ought to help the Huskies quite a bit tomorrow, right?
MSU PLAYERS SAY THEY FEEL FINE — MSU has traveled more than 3,000 miles since Sunday, when it won the SEC Tournament in St. Petersburg, Fla., flew home, then here to Portland.
But Bulldogs players said they don’t expect any of that to be a factor tomorrow. “I’m feeling good,” said center Jarvis Varnado.

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