(Senate - March 21, 2003)

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[Page S4274]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


 Mr. BUNNING. Mr. President, today I rise to honor the Western 
Kentucky University men's basketball team for their success on the 
court this season.
  The Hilltoppers, led by Coach Dennis Felton, overcame injuries and 
illness, to finish the season at 24-8 and earn a trip to the NCAA 
tournament. They are a deep, veteran team with plenty of skills and 
NCAA experience. The Hilltoppers also had a great scoring balance, with 
five players averaging at least 9.8 points a game.
  The Hilltoppers earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with a 
64-52 victory over Middle Tennessee in the Sun Belt Conference 
tournament championship. This makes Coach Felton the first coach in 
WKU's history to lead the Hilltoppers to three consecutive Sun Belt and 
NCAA tournament appearances. Unfortunately, the Hilltoppers were unable 
to carry on their winning momentum against the University of Illinois, 
losing to the Fighting Illini in a valiant effort the first round of 
the NCAA tournament.
  Overall, the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers had a very 
successful and productive season. They overcame numerous hurdles to win 
the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship and earn their 19th 
invitation to the NCAA tournament. They worked as a team all year to 
prove their dedication and skill and showed that they have the hearts 
of champions. I applaud Coach Felton and his players for all that they 
accomplished this season and I wish them further victories.