Wake Forest Basketball 

Deacons Begin 16th Straight Season Of Postseason Play Wednesday

Wake Forest, which won three of its last four games, begins its 16th consecutive year of postseason play Wednesday night at Minnesota in the NIT (6 p.m. Central/7 p.m. Eastern/ESPN2).
The Demon Deacons, 17-16 overall, won the NIT in their last appearance in 2000. Wake Forest is making its sixth NIT appearance.
Wake Forest closed out the regular season March 4 with a win over No. 22 NC State, then beat Florida State and NC State again in the ACC Tournament last week. The Deacons' improbable run ended Saturday with a 78-66 loss to now No. 1-ranked Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals.
Seniors Justin Gray (18.4 ppg) and Eric Williams (16.6 ppg and 9.0 rpg) lead Wake Forest. Gray was a second team All-ACC selection and Williams was named to the third team.
Minnesota, 15-14, won four of its final five home games, including victories over Indiana, Michigan State and Iowa. The Golden Gophers lost in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament to Iowa, 67-57, last Friday.
The Gophers are led by Charlotte (NC) native Vincent Grier (15.5 ppg and 6.2 rpg). Seniors Maurice Hargrow (11.3 ppg) and North Carolina transfer Adam Boone (10.1 ppg) average scoring in double figures.
Wake Forest leads the all-time series, 3-2. The Deacons won the last meeting, 85-79, on Nov. 27, 2001. That game was part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and was played in Winston-Salem.

Wednesday's Storylines
- Wake Forest has wrapped up a non-losing season, but with a win Wednesday, the Deacs would secure its 16th straight winning season.
- The Deacons are one of six ACC teams in the NIT.
- The teams' leading scorers -- Wake's Justin Gray and Minnesota's Vincent Grier -- are both from Charlotte and played against each other in high school.
-n Wake Forest women's basketball coach Mike Petersen is a former men's assistant coach under Dan Monson at Minnesota.

Wake Forest's NIT History Includes A Championship In 2000
- Wake Forest will appear in the NIT for the sixth time.
- The Deacons are 10-4 all-time in the NIT, including a tournament championship in 2000.
- Wake has advanced to the semifinal round in New York twice -- in 1983 and in 2000.
- The Deacons are 3-2 all-time in NIT road games, 5-1 in home games, and 2-1 in the semifinals and finals.
- Wake Forest has never previously played a Big Ten team in the NIT.
- Of the Deacons' 14 NIT games, three have come against Vanderbilt.
Skip Prosser In The NIT
- Deacon head coach Skip Prosser will coach in the NIT for the third time.
- In 1999, Prosser led Xavier to the NIT semifinals.
- In 2000, Prosser's Xavier team went to the second round of the NIT.
- Prosser's career NIT record is 5-2.

Deacons Playing Their Best Basketball In March
Wake Forest entered March with a bleak picture concerning any postseason play. The Deacons, however, have won three of four games in March, including two wins over nationally-ranked NC State.
The biggest statistical difference has been in rebounding. Wake Forest entered March as a solid rebounding club, but the Deacs own a +15.2 rebound margin over the last four games.
Wake Forest has also played better on defense, especially on the perimeter, where the Deacons are holding opponents to 25.7 percent shooting from three-point range.

Wake Forest Falls At Minnesota In NIT Opener

Vince Grier scored 18 points to lead Minnesota to a 73-58 victory over Wake Forest in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday night.

For the Gophers (16-14), this one was all about their seniors. Grier also had eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Moe Hargrow scored 15 points, Adam Boone added 13 points and J'son Stamper had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Minnesota, the fourth seed in its group, will play a second-round game next Tuesday against the winner of Friday's Cincinnati-Charlotte matchup.

Chris Ellis led the Demon Deacons (17-17) with 12 points and six rebounds, and Justin Gray had 11 points and five assists.

The Gophers gave a sparse crowd - with students on spring break - two highlight-reel sequences in an even, fast-paced first half in which neither team led by more than seven.

In the opening minutes, Grier leaped high to catch a lob pass from Hargrow with one hand and landed on the low block before popping right back up for an easy basket. Later, Stamper got a steal and started a fastbreak that he ended with a one-handed, back-spinning bounce pass that landed in a streaking Rico Tucker's hands for a layup.

Set back with a broken finger in the season opener that kept him out of the next five games, Grier wasn't as consistently dominant as he was as a junior - but he clearly remained Minnesota's best player.

Grier has 47 points in the Gophers' last two games.

Wake Forest, Joel Coliseum Hosting NCAA 1st/2nd Rounds In 2007

Wake Forest University and Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum will serve as hosts for NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament first- and second-round games next March.

Tickets for the event, which will feature four games March 15, 2007 and two games on March 17, 2007, go on sale today at 10:00 a.m.

Two teams will advance from Joel Coliseum to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. The NCAA pairings, which will reveal the eight teams participating in Winston-Salem, will be announced March 11, 2007.

Tickets can be purchased through a variety of outlets:

Joel Coliseum Box Office

Via the internet at www.ljvm.com or www.wakeforestsports.com,

By mailing a ticket application form to NCAA Tickets, Joel Coliseum, 2825 University Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27105. (Ticket application forms are available at the Joel Coliseum Box Office or may be downloaded from the above websites)

By faxing a ticket application to 336-727-2936.

For ticket information, call the NCAA Ticket Hotline at 336-714-3260. There is a limit of eight tickets per person. Tickets are for two sessions on Thursday and one session on Saturday. (Total of three tickets, six games)

"We are excited about bringing the NCAA Tournament back to Winston-Salem," Joel Coliseum Director Bucky Dame said. "The Joel Coliseum and Wake Forest University has an outstanding record of hosting this event."

This marks the fourth time the first and second rounds of the tournament have been held in Joel Coliseum. Tournament games were held in 1993, 1997 and 2000. The economic impact of the event is expected to be over $12 million dollars.

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