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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Danny Manning, Tulsa punch ticket to NCAA Tournament

Former Kansas University All-American Danny Manning talks to his Tulsa team during a timeout in a game played during in his first year as head coach of the Golden Hurricane in 2013.

Former Kansas University All-American Danny Manning talks to his Tulsa team during a timeout in a game played during in his first year as head coach of the Golden Hurricane in 2013.

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Former Kansas University basketball standout and assistant coach Danny Manning has led the Tulsa Golden Hurricane back to the NCAA Tournament in just his second year in charge of the program.

Manning and Tulsa, which punched their ticket to the Big Dance with a 69-60 victory over Louisiana Tech in the Conference USA title game in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, followed up their regular season C-USA title with the conference title to earn the tournament berth.

Building a program

In 2013, the Journal-World's Matt Tait went down to Tulsa, Okla., to get an inside look at the approach Danny Manning was taking to rebuild the Tulsa program. Here's a look back at that story...

Danny's new digs: Manning brings 'new brand of hoops' to Tulsa

Manning, who also has former Jayhawks Brett Ballard and Steve Woodberry on his coaching staff, guided the Golden Hurricane to a 21-12 season, which included a 13-3 mark in conference play, which earned them a share of the regular season title.

Tulsa prevailed in Saturday's title game with a dominating defensive performance in the second half. After leading by a point at halftime, LA Tech was outscored 35-25 in the second half, when the Golden Hurricane held the Bulldogs to just 31 percent shooting.

The victory was the 11th straight for Tulsa, which has not lost since falling to LA Tech, 66-61, at home on Feb. 6.

Five of the key players in Tulsa's rotation are sophomores and the roster includes just four players who are either seniors or juniors. This season, Tulsa ranked 108th in the NCAA in scoring (72.3 ppg), 99th in rebounding (36.3 rpg), 161st in assists (12.8 apg) and 177th in field goal percentage (44.2).

As of Saturday morning, ESPN.com Bracketologist Joe Lunardi had Louisiana Tech in the field as a projected 12 seed. Tech will not make it, so it's likely that Tulsa will slide into that spot in Lunardi's next update.

Tulsa will find out its seeding and NCAA Tourney match-up on Sunday along with the rest of the country, but Manning and crew can rest easy tonight knowing they'll be one of the 68 teams included in this year's field.

Comments

Ben Schwartz 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Way to go Manning and Co.

I'm ready for a 5-12 upset

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David A. Smith 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Congrats to Danny and the players! Here's to hoping that Brent Musburger (et al) doesn't make some "Danny and the Miracles" reference.

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Martha Oldham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I will be rooting for you and the team!

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Rodney Crain 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Nice job Danny could not happen to a better guy! Good Luck, I will be pulling for you.

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Steve Jacob 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Tulsa will be a bit lower then a 12 seed I think, so a Tulsa-KU match-up is very possible.

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Brett McCabe 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Way to go go Danny! And the other Jayhawks! Congrats on a great season. Thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to see them doing so well.

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Yonatan Negash 4 months, 2 weeks ago

What if Danny Manning become's the next head basketball coach at Oklahoma State? The opportunity could present itself.

If Danny continues to win and Oklahoma State continues to under achieve, it could happen.

Do I want that to happen? Of course not, but if it meant for Danny to get the opportunity deserved to coach at a big school, why not.

At this rate, Danny will be on several schools radar and will most likely land a bigger job than Tulsa.

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Martha Oldham 4 months, 2 weeks ago

When the opportunity comes available at KU, I would love for Danny Manning to be head coach of Kansas University.

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Yonatan Negash 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Me too. I think Danny would make a fine coach at Kansas.

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Benz Junque 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Manning will be the next coach of Kansas when Self decides to retire or move somewhere else.

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Yonatan Negash 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Given that Danny and Bill are only 4 years apart in age, it's highly unlikely Danny is going to wait for Bill to retire.

However, if Bill decides to leave Kansas, than I can see Danny becoming the next head coach at Kansas.

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