Gaston Gazette RED-HOT RIVALRY Article

I found this article below on the Gaston Gazette website today…

It has me all pumped for tomorrow nights game, I just wish Cincy beat the Cards!!

GO NINERS…deploy the sentinals!!

:The Gaston Gazette; :Jan 17, 2005; :Sports; :45

RED-HOT RIVALRY

Charlotte, Cincinnati renew bitter feud on Wednesday

BY DAVID CARMICHAEL david_carmichael@carolinasportsweekly.com

The red-hot Charlotte 49ers travel to Cincinnati on Wednesday to take on the 18th-ranked Bearcats in what will be the Niners’ final trip to Fifth Third Arena as a conference opponent. 

Charlotte would love to end that run on a high note. 

The 49ers, coming off a hard-fought conference win at home against St. Louis, have won nine straight and are 12-2 overall, 3-0 in Conference USA. 

Cincinnati, meanwhile, is coming off a 69-66 home loss to No. 19 Louisville. The Bearcats are 14-2 overall, 3-1 CUSA. 

As Conference USA loses charter members Cincinnati and Charlotte next season, it also loses what has become a spirited rivalry between the two schools. Although the Bearcats lead the overall series 13-7, Charlotte has taken two of the last three contests, including a win at then-No. 8 Cincinnati last season. The 86-83 victory was the 49ers’ second road win against a team ranked in the top-10. 

It was also the 49ers first-ever win at Cincinnati. 

The schools began their series on Jan. 31, 1996, in what would be coach Jeff Mullins’ final season as Charlotte head coach. Charlotte lost that game by 14 points but would pick up their first victory against the Bearcats two seasons later in a 69-62 win in Melvin Watkins’ second season as coach. 

Sandwiched between those two games was the most infamous game in the history of the series. The Bearcats came into the game ranked ninth and were led by returning C-USA Player of the Year Danny Fortson. 

The game was tight throughout and the 49ers fans worked themselves into a frenzy in a give-and-take bout with Bearcats forward Bobby Brannen. Brannen only averaged five points per game that year, but his flowing blonde hair and tatoos (he had them before they became fashionable) often made him the target of the opposing fans’ most creative taunts. 

As the Bearcats exited the court after their 77-67 victory, the fans crossed the line by throwing debris onto the players. What followed was one of the ugliest scenes in recent memory as Cincinnati players hurled basketballs into the stands and even attempted to go after some of them. 

Order was eventually restored, but the pain of the loss stuck with the 49ers. 

The ultimate redemption for Charlotte came in the magical 1998-99 season, Bobby Lutz’s first as head coach. 

Charlotte had only one victory in five tries against Cincinnati in the short history of the series. But on Jan. 14, 1999, the 49ers would deal the No. 3 Bearcats a 62-60 loss in Lutz’ first game ever against Cincinnati. 

According to current 49ers assistant and former player Dalonte Hill, there was something different about the days leading up to that game. 

“The whole atmosphere was very different,” said Hill. “We were on a bit of a winning streak but we knew we needed to prove ourselves to the rest of the conference. We saw campers camping out for tickets to the game so we knew it was a bigger deal than our pre-conference season.” 

The 49ers proved to be up to the challenge, dealing the Bearcats their first loss of the season. 

“We showed the rest of Conference USA that we were an elite program capable of beating anybody,” said Hill. 

But the fun for the 49ers didn’t stop there. 

Seniors Galen Young and Kelvin Price led the fifth-seeded 49ers to four wins in four days to capture the C-USA tournament championship and secure an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. 

And who did Charlotte have to beat in the semifinals of the tournament? You guessed it. Cincinnati. 

“That year was really special,” said Coach Lutz this week on his weekly radio show “Lutz LIVE!” “There were a lot of people who didn’t think I should be coach so winning those games was special for our team and especially for our fans. We couldn’t have set the tone for what was to come any better than we did that year.”

Nice job for a small town paper.

It brought back bad memories of that Nazi Surf Punk, Bobby Brannen. I just could not stand him.

Great find Agent Smith.

Good to see more local coverage for the 9ers.

Bobby’s been down under with the Brisbane Bullets. His hairdo looks like something Beckham would wear.

Is it fashionable in Australia to put sunscreen only on your neck?

Bobby Brannen… OH THE MEMORIES!

But my favorite photos of him are these…

[i]Originally posted by NormanNiner[/i]@Jan 18 2005, 02:00 PM [b] Bobby's been down under with the Brisbane Bullets. His hairdo looks like something Beckham would wear.

[/b]


Didn’t Wade Helliwell play for the Brisbane Bullets??

[i]Originally posted by Mr. Bojangles[/i]@Jan 18 2005, 01:19 PM [b] Didn't Wade Helliwell play for the Brisbane Bullets?? [/b]
I believe so...

HP49er I love the pics of Brisbane…classic!

[i]Originally posted by Agent Smith[/i]@Jan 18 2005, 01:28 PM [b] [b]HP49er[/b] I love the pics of Brisbane...classic! [/b]
:huh:

brannan has guns. look at him compared to kp.

[i]Originally posted by cltniners[/i]@Jan 18 2005, 01:32 PM [b] brannan has guns. look at him compared to kp. [/b]
True. As much crap as we give the guy, he could plant every last one of us.
[i]Originally posted by Mr. Bojangles[/i]@Jan 18 2005, 12:57 PM [b] Great find Agent Smith.

Good to see more local coverage for the 9ers. [/b]


I’m glad you like the find Mr. Bojangles. If your happy, I’m happy…he…he. It’s always great to see more local coverage of the Niners.

Where are you watching the game tomorrow?

Cincinnati.

One of the best moment in Niner history was when Sean stuck Brannen in the face during Dickie V’s first Halton visit. I still pull that game tape out and watch it every once in a while for a good laugh.

[i]Originally posted by Powerbait[/i]@Jan 18 2005, 01:38 PM [b] Cincinnati. [/b]
Must be nice... :(

Brisbane! Perfect! Maybe he can hit the surf and become shark bait.

[i]Originally posted by Agent Smith+Jan 18 2005, 02:35 PM-->
[b]QUOTE[/b] (Agent Smith @ Jan 18 2005, 02:35 PM)
[i]Originally posted by Mr. Bojangles+Jan 18 2005, 03:48 PM-->
[b]QUOTE[/b] (Mr. Bojangles @ Jan 18 2005, 03:48 PM)
Originally posted by Agent Smith@Jan 18 2005, 02:35 PM [b]
[b]One of the best moment in Niner history was when Sean stuck Brannen in the face during Dickie V's first Halton visit[/b]

despite the fact that nobody mentions it, wasn’t that game against the undefeated #3 Cincy team homecoming?

i remember that it was–what a FREAKING awesome game, i wish i had it on tape.

james zimmerman, maybe my fave niner of all time.