July 20, 2001
Harlem Globetrotters to play Cardinals at DuFour Center
WASHINGTON-The Catholic University men's basketball team will host the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters at DuFour Center on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. The exhibition game will kick off the Cardinals' 2001-02 home season. [Note date change.]
The Globetrotters, who will be playing their 75th season this fall, selected CUA because of their desire to play each of the 2001 NCAA men's basketball champions. The Cardinals captured the Division III national championship with a 76-62 victory against William Paterson in Salem, Va., on March 17. The "Ambassadors of Goodwill" will also play at Division I champion Duke and Division II titleist Kentucky Wesleyan.
"It's very exciting to have the opportunity to play the Harlem Globetrotters," CUA Coach Mike Lonergan said. "It should be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our program. I think we are the only Division III team to ever get this opportunity. We're thinking about raising the national championship banner that night."
The Globetrotters, who entertained fans with their basketball wizardry against the Washington Generals until 1995, and now regularly play the New York Nationals, typically do not begin their show antics until they open a 10- to 15-point lead. Michigan State, the 2000 NCAA Division I champion, ended the famed travelling team's 1,270-game winning streak last year with a 72-68 victory in East Lansing, Mich. It was the Globetrotters' first loss since they fell to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar All-Stars in Vienna, Austria, in 1995. That loss followed 8,829 consecutive victories.
Although the Cardinals will be facing arguably the most talented team in their history, they are not strangers to high-level competition. CUA lost at Princeton two years ago, and last season defeated its first Division I team since 1981 with a 59-56 victory against Albany (N.Y.). The Cardinals posted a school-best 28-5 record last year and became the only Division III team in the nation to appear in the past four Sweet Sixteens of the NCAA Tournament.
"We look forward to playing a couple Division I teams each season, but they have become nearly impossible to schedule because of our recent success," Lonergan said. "I think the Globetrotters will be better than any Division I team we have ever faced. And by playing in the DuFour Center, our fans will get to share in the experience."