Canisius' Joseph Curran dies at 89

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Joseph Curran, who coached the Canisius men's basketball team to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances in the 1950s, has died. He was 89.

Canisius announced Curran died Saturday in Mystic, Conn. No cause of death was provided.

Curran was 76-66 coaching the Golden Griffins from 1953-59, and is the program's only coach to win a tournament game. The victory in 1956 was memorable as Canisius upset No. 2 North Carolina State 79-78 in four overtimes.

Former St. John's coach and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Lou Carnesecca described Curran on Monday as "an outstanding coach" who had "unbelievable fundamentals." Carnesecca credited Curran, along with former Niagara coach Taps Gallagher, for establishing college basketball in western New York.

A visitation will be held Tuesday at Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home in Westerly, R.I.