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Romar gets new eight-year deal from University of Washington

Associated Press

Washington basketball coach Lorenzo Romar agreed to a new eight-year deal with the school Thursday after guiding the Huskies to their first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The terms and conditions of the deal that will keep him in Seattle through the 2012-2013 season will be released when Romar signs the contract. He was working under a five-year contract that paid him $700,000 a season.

“Lorenzo has done an unbelievable job of revitalizing Washington basketball and we felt this was the appropriate time to make the announcement that he will be our coach for a long time to come,” Washington athletic director Todd Turner said in a statement.

The announcement came before the Huskies’ 88-77 victory over 16th-seeded Montana in a first-round tournament game in Boise.

Washington is 28-5 this season, winning the Pac-10 tournament championship for the first time. The Huskies were eighth in the final Associated Press poll.

“I’m ecstatic,” Romar said in a statement. “I would like to thank the administration, Todd Turner and our president, Mark Emmert, for believing in me. Whenever something like this happens, there is always a lot of attention on the individual coach. The reality is, without the outstanding work of my staff and the accomplishments of our players, this may not have happened.”

Romar, a former Washington player, has rejuvenated a program that finished 11-18, 5-13 in the Pac-10, before Bob Bender was fired as coach after the 2001-2002 season.

Romar’s first Washington team went 10-17 in 2002-2003, but the Huskies improved to 19-12 last season and made the NCAA Tournament.

In nine seasons as a collegiate head coach, Romar has a 150-122 record, including 57-34 in three seasons at Washington.

Calhoun knows history

Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun knows what he’s up against trying to guide his defending national champion Huskies to their second straight title.

Since Oregon won the first NCAA Tournament in 1939, the feat has been accomplished just seven times by six teams. And since John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins won seven straight titles from 1967-73, Duke is the only team to pull it off (1991-92).

UConn is a second seed in the Syracuse Regional after sharing the Big East regular season title. A good season, for sure. But, oh, what could have been.

Closing on the Dean

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is one win away from tying Dean Smith for the most victories in NCAA Tournament history.

Since no No. 16 seed has ever beaten a No. 1, the top-ranked Blue Devils are a good bet to get that win for Krzyzewski when they play Delaware State today. A victory would be the 65th tournament win in Krzyzewski’s career.

The Blue Devils have made the NCAA Tournament in 21 of Krzyzewski’s 22 seasons, and made it to the Sweet 16 the past seven.

Edelin left behind

Guard Billy Edelin, a key cog in Syracuse’s run to the national championship two years ago, did not accompany the team to Worcester for its first-round game against Vermont today. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim acknowledged that Edelin did not make the trip but would not elaborate on his absence.

Although Edelin did not practice prior to the season and sat out the first five games because of academics, he played in 20 games and has converted more than 50 percent of his shots.

Home sweet home

Oklahoma State’s home-court advantage in Oklahoma City’s Ford Center was already on display Thursday, a day before the Cowboys play their first NCAA Tournament game against Southeastern Louisiana.

Thousands of fans clad in orange and black turned out to watch the Cowboys practice, in which the players were clearly giving a show for those who showed up. They cheered as coach Eddie Sutton walked onto the floor and roared when 5-foot-11 point guard John Lucas III bounced himself an alley-oop pass for a dunk.

“We’re happy to be in Oklahoma City,” Cowboys coach Eddie Sutton said.

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