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4 Wins In March

HOT SPRINGS, Arkansas -- Hello from the "Natural State" -- that's what Arkansas calls itself. Arkansas isFamguy also the land of 2 guest stars on Family Guy.

On Saturday night, FIU begins first round Sun Belt Conference Tournament play against Denver.

The game is scheduled for 9:45 p.m. Eastern time, but with tournament games going on all day Saturday there is a good chance that FIU's game will not start 15 minutes before 10 p.m. but rather around 10 or 10:15 p.m. so break out the Bustelo or Pilon and join us here for a LIVE BLOG.

As you may know by now, the Panthers will be without starting forward J.C. Otero (torn right knee vs. Cafe Western Kentucky) so Cedric Essola is expected to start in his place.

Since the preseason and throughout the regular season, FIU coach Isiah Thomas has mentioned "winning those 4 games in March" -- a.k.a winning the SBC tourney to reach the NCAA Tournament. Vote below on how far you think FIU will go in the SBC tourney.

Winning 4 straight games will be a very tall order for the Panthers, however Saturday's game is not against the Denver Nuggets, but rather the Denver Pioneers. FIU lost 59-53 at Denver back on Dec. 17 despite outscoring the Pioneers 32-16 in the paint. DU in turn made 11 3-pointers in the game.

The winner of Saturday's game gets to play Middle Tennessee at 10 p.m. (another Cuban coffee game) on Sunday night. FIU split the season series with the Blue Raiders this year.

BEST COLLEGE BASEBALL RECORD IN MIAMI

FIU (7-0) keeps rolling right along with a win over Utah Valley on Thursday night in the Coca Cola Classic in Arizona. Again the Panthers got solid pitching and timely hitting.

Dillon Vitale and Daniel DeSimone took care of the first 6+ innings on the mound of what was essentially a mid-week game. Eric Berkowitz had another flawless relief outing and Bryam Garcia got his first career collegeWitt save. Garcia got touched up for 3 hits and one earned run in the 9th, but like he did against Oral Roberts last Sunday, the gritty junior finished out the frame.

Garrett Wittels (right, thanks Alex J. Hernandez photo) had 3 more hits to up his average to .567. Jeremy Patton, who seems very comfortable in the middle of the FIU order in his first season had the go-ahead RBI single. Yoandy Barroso provided the first two runs of the game with a 2-run double.

FIU plays a tough UC-Riverside on Friday.

FRIDAY THE 5TH, JASON ARRIVES AT FIU

Fitch More beef possibly on the way for the FIU defensive line.

Kilgore JC defensive lineman Jason Fitch (6-2, 280 pounds) visited FIU on Friday. Fitch (left), an original Texas Christian commit, is trying to figure out where he's going to play this fall at the D-I level.



Logo PANTHER PAWSE

Aaapaw LIVE HOOPS BLOG of Saturday's game between FIU and Denver should begin around 9:43 p.m. Game should start 20 minutes or so after that.

Q&A

Golden Panther 90: Who did we hire as d-line coach?

PP: Cedric Calhoun.

Fomenter1: No no no NYC and Pete. Last I checked, I won the blog (sorry had to change my name, the typepad no longer accepted it as a log in). As far as the rules of the blog, no time limit was ever put on the blog, therefore, I have not passed on my right to post it.

PP: No problem, go ahead and write. NYCFIUFan go ahead and write one too and I'll post it as well.

CrazyCane: Hey smart guy, PP does the same thing on this blog. Get a clue man.

PP: CrazyCane/"saver of lost souls" (C.C. SOLS), your posts have never been screened or withheld as long as they were not vulgar or racial. Check all your posts on past blogs -- they are all there. You can still keep posting and being FIU's No. 1 fan.

rashod04: Hey Pete...you think FIU will let me come tutor the backs. I want someone to break my record!!Rs

PP: Good to hear from you, Rashod Smith, No. 4. Any coincidence that the best running back and the best receiver in FIU history both have worn No. 4. As far as your tutoring services for the RBs, contact the FIU football office at 305-348-4150 and ask. It never hurts to ask.

FIUFan: p.s. Pete, if we aint allowed to post on the slobs blog then the SCum shouldn't be posting here. tit-for-tat.

PP: Let's take the high road and be the blog of the people -- as long as it's clean.

TXgoldenpanther: Does anyone know when the spring game is scheduled for this year?

PP: Right now the spring game is Wednesday, March 31 at 7 p.m. Although, here's hoping they move it to Saturday morning, April 3.

FIUfantastic: Pete, when are you getting a Twitter account?

PP: Not any time soon. I check e-mail at least 3 to 4 times a day and this blog is updated just about everyday. If someone needs to know what I'm having for lunch or what I'm watching on TV, then they could send an e-mail and I'll answer it.

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