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  1. MIDWEST REGION: Top 3 seeds advance to the Sweet 16, but #5 Wisconsin whips #4 Seton Hall. Dynasty Threads:
  2. Midwest—Round 2 (Part 2 of 2)#3 seed Duke Blue Devils (26-6) vs #6 seed East Tennessee State Buccaneers (31-4)Both teams started slow but Duke opened the scoring after 2-1/2 minutes of play and held onto it, expanding their lead to 23-10 with 11 minutes to play since the Buccaneers were having problems handling Dukes defensive pressure. East Tennessee State finally figured out how to score and slowly cut into the Blue Devils lead and at the half trailed 40-34. Duke turned the ball over just 4 times while the Buccaneers had 8 turnovers. PF/C Renaldo Miller came off the bench to score 10 points for Duke while C Reggie Poster led East Tennessee State with 10 points and 5 rebounds.The 2nd half started auspiciously for the Buccaneers as they grabbed their first lead of the entire game at 42-41 with 17-1/2 minutes remaining. The two teams swapped the lead repeatedly during the next 6 minutes. But then Duke began to slowly pull away as the Buccaneers became error-prone. With 6-1/2 minutes left in the game the Blue Devils were on top 73-62. East Tennessee State’s defense simple fell apart after that and Duke went on to blow out the Buccaneers. Duke hit 64% of their shots in the 2nd half and finished with a shooting percentage for the entire game of 53% compared to 46% for East Tennessee State. The Buccaneers had 18 turnovers while the Blue Devils had just 8.Duke-94 (PF Rick Blizzard-17 pts, 8 reb, 3 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks; SG Billy Horton-15 pts, 6 reb; PF Alan Garren-13 pts, 8 reb; C/PF Renaldo Miller-12 pts, SF Tyson Anderson-10 pts; PG Ben Scott-10 pts; PG Jeffrey Gardiner-6 pts, 9 assists, 3 steals)East Tennessee State-72 (C Reggie Poster-16 pts, 7 reb; SG Brandon Thurston-14 pts, 5 reb; C Aki Archibald-10 pts)“The Buccaneers played us tough, but we finally got our game together and then our guys just kept rolling. Rick Blizzard had a fantastic game and led us on both ends of the court,” said Mike Krzyzewski,#4 seed Seton Hall Pirates (22-9) vs #5 seed Wisconsin Badgers (22-10)The first 10 minutes were hard fought but then Wisconsin clamped down defensively and rapidly pulled away, leading 33-18 with 4 minutes to play in the half. So a game that was expected to be close, wasn’t. At the end of the half, the Badgers had put Seton Hall in a 46-28 hole. The Pirates hit only 35% of their shots while Wisconsin was blistering the net at a 54% rate. The Badgers also held a 10-6 turnover advantage and a 17-14 rebounding advantage. Leading the way for Wisconsin were two reserves, C Jason Thomas and PG Lonnie Edney who scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. The top scorer for Seton Hall also was a reserve, SG Scott Lee, who had 9 points.Seton Hall was unable to make any headway to get close to Wisconsin in the 2nd half, and the Badgers won with ease.Wisconsin-79 (PF Jon Stanton-15 pts, 7 reb; C Jason Thomas-12 pts, 5 reb; PG Lonnie Edney-12 pts; SF Shaun Copeland-10 pts, 6 reb; PG Marques Tucker-10 pts)Seton Hall-62 (PF Greg Asbury-14 pts, 6 reb; SG Scott Lee-12 pts)Wisconsin’s coach Greg Gard said, “We’re excited to get to the Sweet 16, but will need to up our game when we take on Kansas.”
  3. Midwest—Round 2 (Part 1 of 2)#1 seed Kansas Jayhawks (29-3) vs #8 seed Colorado Buffaloes (22-11)Kansas held a 5-10 point lead throughout most of the first half. But in the final 5 minutes Colorado steadily cut into that lead to trail by just a single point before the Jayhawks hit some late shots to give them a 41-35 halftime advantage. Kansas outshot the Buffaloes 43% to 37% but Colorado held a 20-16 rebounding advantage. C Richard Williams hit for 12 points for Kansas plus had 4 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. The Buffaloes PF Lee Hahn scored 9 points.Within the 2-1/2 minutes of play in the 2nd half, Colorado pulled into their first lead of the game at 43-41 and then held Kansas scoreless for yet another minute. Kansas then went on a 10-0 run. With 12:12 left Kansas opened their biggest lead thus far at 58-45 and had all the momentum in their favor. Colorado had a tough time hitting their shots which allowed Kansas to go ahead by 21 at 79-58 with 3-1/2 minutes to go as C Richard Williams was running roughshod over the Buffaloes defense and the game was out of reach for Colorado. Kansas scored on 47% of their shots and held Colorado’s shooting to just 33%.Kansas-89 (C Richard Williams-28 pts, 11 reb, 5 blocks; PF/C Scott Bullock-13 pts; SG Ron Lawson-12 pts; SF Leon Martin-11 pts)Colorado-67 (PF Lee Hahn-17 pts; SG Trenton Sarchet-15 pts, 5 reb)Tad Boyle, Colorado’s coach said, “I was feeling pretty good when we took a lead early in the 2nd half, but it was like sticking your hand in a hornet’s nest. Kansas came back stinging and never quit. That final 17 minutes was like getting your butt kicked over and over and over again and it was on both ends of the court.#2 seed San Diego Aztecs (31-2) vs #7 seed Butler Bulldogs (23-9)In a rough start with lots of fouls on both teams, San Diego State got out to a 10-2 lead after the first 3 minutes of play. With 12 minutes to play in the half, the Aztecs had bludgeoned their way to a 24-10 advantage with PF Steve Hordemann coming off the bench to score 11 quick points. By then a number of players on both teams were in foul trouble. Butler then began to narrow the gap and got within 6 points. But the Aztecs then ran off 9 straight quick points to take a 35-20 lead. Fouls continued to mount and San Diego State rode those to a 43-24 lead with 4 minutes remaining. With 2-1/2 minutes to go, Butler had 4 of their 5 players who were on the court sporting 2 fouls apiece and San Diego State had 2 players on the court with 2 personal fouls. The game was threatening to turn into a game of attrition. The half ended with the Aztecs leading 51-31. Butler had been called for 15 fouls sending San Diego State to the line for 21 foul shots. 5 Bulldogs players had 2 fouls apiece and one had 3 fouls. But the Aztecs had connected on 64% of their FG attempts and held a 12-4 turnover advantage. San Diego State was led by reserve PF Steve Hordemann with 13 points and 6 rebounds. PF Jake Ellis and SG Moses Williams both had 6 points for the Bulldogs.San Diego State continued to roll early in the 2nd half and was on top 61-34 just 4 minutes into the final stanza. Led by C Tim Chappel, Butler then went on an 11-0 run but that still left them 16 points behind with 11 minutes to play. In the 2nd half the fouls were piling up against San Diego State. With 5:45 to go the Bulldogs had trimmed the lead to 71-59. But San Diego State didn’t let Butler get closer and came away with an impressive win. The Aztecs outshot the Bulldogs 51% to 41%, held a 34-28 rebounding advantage, and a 17-12 turnover advantage.San Diego State-81 (SG Isaac Haston-15 pts, 5 assists; PF Steve Hordemann-13 pts, 9 reb; PG Jarvis Brown-11 pts)Butler-68 (C Tim Chappel-14 pts, 10 reb, 1 steal, 3 blocks; PG Jake Ellis-11 pts, 5 assists; PF Vashon Adams-10 pts, 5 reb)Aztecs coach Brian Dutcher said, “We had one player foul out, 2 players with 4 fouls each, and 2 other players with 3 fouls each and sent the Bulldogs to the line for 32 foul shots. But our team banded together to just keep banging away and hold onto the solid lead we built up in the first half. Butler has a really good team so I’m just happy to have gotten past them. I’ve got to get going though, because I want to watch the Duke-East Tennessee State game.”“We would have loved to make another deep run in the tournament this year, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us tonight. Both teams slugged it out from beginning to end, but San Diego State was just too much of a force,” said Butler’s coach LaVall Jordan.
  4. Round 1 is COMPLETE!11 of the 32 teams advancing to the round of 32 are from non-power conferences. Now the challenge for them is to continue moving forward as the competition stiffens.Only 2 teams that were lower seeds won in the 32 games in round 1. One of those wins was a #9 beating a #8 and the only real upset was by #12 Wright State.So the tournament committee’s seedings were pretty much spot-on...at least for the first round.Top Individual Performances in Round 1:Tyler Payne, PF, Oregon—29 pointsDiego Moore, SG, St. Louis—28 pointsZack Hayes, SG, Maryland—27 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocksLee Hahn, PF, Colorado—23 points, 7 reboundsMike Hollins, PF, Kentucky—21 points, 12 reboundsMarcus Holmes, SF, Illlinois—20 points, 11 reboundsAndre Sampson, PF, Arizona—19 points, 11 rebounds, 9 blocksKendric Pugh, SG, Wright State—17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 5 blocksJoe Bush, SF, Baylor—16 points, 13 reboundsMike Grant, PF, Michigan State—16 points, 13 reboundsAlvin Griffin, C, Colorado—18 points, 8 rebounds in 18 minutesCopley Robertson, C, UC Irvine—18 points, 5 rebounds in 19 minutesRenaldo Miller, PF, Duke—17 points, 5 rebounds in 18 minutesTravis Murray, SG, Oregon—11 points, 9 assists, 3 blocksTrenton Sarchet, SG, Colorado—7 points, 10 assistsJeffrey Gardiner, PG, Duke—11 points, 8 assistsRasual Crowley, PG, Southern California—8 points, 8 assists
  5. Gonzaga, the #1 seed in the West, was unimpressive in their first game in the tournament. #12 seed Wright State upset #5 seed West Virginia. Six of the 8 games were very competitive with one game going to overtime and another going down to the final shot.
  6. West Region--Round 1 (Part 4 of 4)#7 seed Illinois Fighting Illini (21-10) vs #10 seed Saint Louis Billikens (23-8)Illinois took the ball inside twice for dunks by PF Alvin Beerbohm in the first 45 seconds of play and followed that up with a 3 pointer by SF Marcus Holmes on their 3rd possession to make it 7-0. Houston got on the board on the following possession on a 3 of their own and tied the game at 7-all with 17 minutes to go in the half. Following those two 7-0 runs, Illinois scored another 7 unanswered points to lead 14-7 with 14-1/2 left before the break. The Illini opened a 21-11 lead with 11-1/2 minutes remaining in the half. The Billikens struggled to narrow the gap and with 1:32 on the clock tied the game at 35-35. The half ended with the Hoosiers holding a slim 41-40 lead. SF Marcus Holmes dropped in 11 points for Illinois but St. Louis’ SG Diego Moore peppered the net for 17 points.St. Louis held Illinois scoreless for the first 3-1/2 minutes of the 2nd half but only led the Illini by a score of 44-41 at that point. The Hoosiers Marcus Holmes sunk a 3 with 11:42 remaining to give Illinois their first lead of the 2nd half at 54-51. PG Joshua Willis returned the favor with a 3 to put the Billikens back on top 56-54 with just under 10 minutes left in the game. Illinois regained the lead at 61-60 when SG Colin Stone drove down the lane and scored on a finger roll with 6-1/2 minutes to go. A minute later SG Damien Moore stole a pass, upcourted the ball to a streaking Ronald Crudup who slammed it in to put St. Louis back on top 62-61. On the next possession, Holmes hit 2 free throws and Illinois jumped back on top 63-62. C Pat Riggs dropped in 2 foul shots to tie the game at 68-68 with 2:46 left. PF Alvin Beerbohm got free out front and hit a 3 to make it 71-68 in favor of the Illini a minute later. The Hoosier held a 75-72 advantage with just 24 seconds on the clock. St. Louis brought the ball up court and got the ball over to SG Diego Moore who drilled a 3 to tie the game with 15 seconds remaining. Illinois missed a 3P attempt but SG Michael Gallagher grabbed an offensive rebound and put it right back up and in with 5 seconds left. St. Louis got the ball over the mid court line and lofted a desperation 3 that just barely rimmed out to preserve Illinois’ victory in one of the most exciting games of the tournament. The Billikens hit 44% of their shots compared to the Hoosiers 41% but Illinois got to the line 13 more times where they scored 5 more points than St. Louis.Illinois-77 (SF Marcus Holmes-20 pts, 11 reb; PF Beerbohm-13 pts, 6 reb; C Adam Houston-10 pts, 8 reb)St. Louis-75 (SG Diego Moore-28 pts, 5 reb; C Pat Riggs-9 pts, 12 reb)“There were just too damned few opportunities for us at the foul line in the 2nd half. That’s all I’m gonna say about this game,” said disgruntled St. Louis coach Travis Ford.Brad Underwood, the coach for Illinois, said, “My heart’s still racing. The entire 2nd half was so damned close. Michael Gallagher’s effort to get inside, grab that final rebound and hit a great put-back was pure determination on his part! And that final half-court heave by the Billikens looked right on the mark and seemed to hang in the air forever. My knees were so weak when it finally rimmed out that I could barely stand.”#8 seed Richmond Spiders (24-7) vs #9 seed Southern California Trojans (22-9)The Spiders never led or were tied with the Trojans early in the game, but finally gained their first lead at 19-17 lead with 9-1/2 minutes left in the half. USC the scored the next 6 points and held a small lead the rest of the half finishing it with a 40-34 advantage. The Trojans also held a small advantage in all team stats. SF Erick McMahon led USC’s scoring with 9 points but PG Rasual Crowley scored 5 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 5 assists. C Chris Kelly had 8 points for Richmond.In the 2nd half, Southern Cal continued to lead until Richmond’s Ross Love hit 2 free throws to put the Spiders on top 51-50 with 14 minutes left in the game. Richmond then moved out to a 66-56 lead with 9-1/2 minutes remaining. USC cut into the lead slowly and with 4 minutes to go trailed 73-70. But the Spiders were able to hold off the Trojans to a narrow victory. Richmond’s scored 30 points in the paint compared to just 14 by USC.Richmond-81 (C Chris Kelly-18 pts, 8 reb; PF Brett Perkins-14 pts, 8 reb, 1 steal, 3 blocks; PG Ross Love-13 pts, 5 assists; SG Jason Paige-10 pts, 8 reb, 5 assists)Southern California-73 (PG Manny Walker-14 pts; SG Ben Carr-12 pts, 6 reb; SF Erick McMahon-11 pts, PG Rasual-8 pts, 6 reb, 8 assists)“Su-weet! Both teams were in charge at various points of the game, but we took over in the latter stages and gamely held on to carve out an exciting victory,” said Chris Mooney, head coach for Richmond.
  7. West Region--Round 1 (part 3 of 4)#5 seed West Virginia Mountaineers (21-10) vs #12 seed Wright State Raiders (25-7)The Mountaineers scored the first 7 points in the game, but Wright State got back into the game and with 15-1/2 minutes remaining in the half the Raiders jumped on top 13-12. The lead then shifted back and forth for the next 5 minutes. At that point Wright State gained a small lead that they held until the end of the half when the Raiders were up 39-33. Wright State outshot West Virginia 54% to 36% and also held a 17-12 rebounding advantage but made 10 turnovers to just 6 by the Mountaineers. The Raiders’ SG Kendric Pugh scored 12 points and West Virginia’s PG Tim Young scored 11 points.West Virginia gradually crept up on the Raiders and tied them at 42-42 with 16 minutes to play. The game remained tight for the following 5 minutes, but again Wright State began opening a lead and went up 51-45 with 10:40 left. The Raiders increased their lead to 9 with 6 minutes remaining. But West Virginia fought back and with 3:21 on the clock, C Will Williams rattled home a 6 footer to get the Mountaineers within 2 points. After picking off a pass, the Mountaineers worked the ball around until SG Shannon Underwood drove down the lane and put in an 8 footer to tied the game at 59-59 with 2-1/2 minutes to go. On the next possession, C Marco Russell hit a contested shot inside for Wright State. Then Kenny Barrett was fouled and he sank both shots to put the Raiders on top 63-59 at the 1:49 mark. West Virginia responded to the mounting pressure when PG Tim Pugh hit a 10 foot baseline jumper on which he was fouled. He converted the free throw to make it 63-62 with 1:32 left. Wright State’s next shot was blocked. But then Marco Russell stole a pass and drove down court for a thunderous dunk giving the Raiders a 65-62 lead with 55 seconds remaining. The Mountaineers called a time out and got Tim Young free and he lofted up a 3 that settle cleaning through the silks to tie the game. Wright State missed a shot but West Virginia’s shot with 13 seconds left was blocked and Wright State brought it up court for their final attempt but it was off the rim and the game remained tied at 65-65.Wright State’s PG Kenny Barrett hit 2 free throws for the first score in overtime. Then C Will Williams was called for his 5th personal foul sending the Raiders Marco Russell to the line where he made one and missed one to make the score 68-65 with 4 minutes left in OT. On Wright State’s next possession, Barrett hit a 3 putting the Raiders ahead by 6 points. The Raiders defense continued to keep West Virginia from getting clear shots. With 2:28 on the clock SG Pete Webster pushed up a shot from the end line that went in giving Wright State a commanding 63-65 advantage. After yet another failed attempt by the Mountaineers, Barrett hit 2 more free throws and C Mike Fleming dropped in a layin to put Wright State up by 12 points. Finally with 1:24 remaining, West Virginia scored when PF Bobby Simpson dropped in one from 12 feet away. Yet another foul gave the Raiders another point. West Virginia then quickly scored and it was 78-69 with 1:05 left. The Mountaineers were forced to foul and Wright State added two more points. Wright State hit another field goal before the game ended.West Virginia’s anemic shooting in the OT lowered their overall game shooting to 34%. Wright State hit 42% of their shots. The Raiders controlled the boards 45-33 but made 19 turnovers compared to 12 by the Mountaineers.Wright State-82 (PG Tim Young-20 pts, 5 assists; PF Bobby Simpson-10 pts, 9 reb, 2 steals, 2 blocks; PF Malcolm Forbes-11 pts; SF Adam McFaddon-10 pts)West Virginia-69 (PG Tim Pugh-17 pts, 6 reb; SG Kenny Barrett-15 pts, 5 assists; C Marco Russell-13 pts, 6 reb; PF David Richards-9 pts, 9 reb)“What a game! The teams were so evenly matched, it seemed appropriate that it went to OT. I’m just glad we caught fire during those 5 minutes,” said Wright State head coach Scott Nagy.West Virginia’s coach Bob Huggins said, “We’re sick. After being down by 9 with 6 minutes to go and having a strong comeback with Tim Young tying the game with his 3, I thought the momentum might be with us. But we just couldn’t get it done in the OT.”#6 seed Houston Cougars (23-8) vs #11 seed New Mexico State Aggies (25-6)The lead shifted between he two teams for the first 10 minutes of the game but then New Mexico’s shooting went ice cold and Houston moved into a 26-16 lead with 8 minutes left in the half. As the Cougars hit 52% of the FG attempts compared to 36% by the Aggies, the lead grew to 39-27 at the break. SG Rockerick Inge scored 8 points for Houston while New Mexico State was led by PF Julian Wimbley’s 8 points.Houston’s defense kept New Mexico State from improving their shooting and the Aggies fell behind by as much as 19 points before rallying late to cut the Cougars’ lead to 6 points with a minute to play. But being forced to foul, New Mexico State was unable to get any closer. Houston won due to outshooting the Aggies 47% to 35% while also hitting 13 of 27 three-point attempts.Houston-71 (SG Roderick Inge-21 pts; SG Dan Thompkins-11 pts; PF Erik Thomas-10 pts, 5 reb; C Brian Wright-10 pts)New Mexico State-63 (PF Julian Wimbley-18 pts, 6 reb; SF Aaron Condill-12 pts, 6 reb)“We expected the Aggies to give us a real challenge and they did exactly that, but fortunately our defense was solid throughout the game,” said Houston’s coach Kelvin Sampson. He continued, “We’re going to have to now try how to figure out how to stop Villanova two days from now.”
  8. West Region--Round 1 (part 2 of 4)#3 seed Villanova Wildcats (24-7) vs #14 seed Belmont Bruins (26-7)Belmont held the lead (as much as a 10 point difference) for the first 15 minutes of the game. But Villanova was on top by a small margin the last 5 minutes, finishing the half with a 44-42 advantage. Both teams hit over 50% of their shots. Leading Villanova were C Jibran Shannon with 13 points and reserve SG Hector Fuller with 11 points. PF Anthony Parmer topped Belmont’s scoring with 9 points.Belmont scored the first 5 points of the 2nd half to go ahead 47-44. Then the Wildcats went on a 13-0 run to move ahead 57-47 with 14 minutes to play. The Bruins cut the lead to 7 points with 4-1/2 minutes remaining. But Villanova then ran away to win with ease. The Wildcats outshot the Bruins 54% to 44% but more importantly commanded the boards 38-22.Villanova-87 (C Jibran Shannon-17 pts, 6 reb; SG Kevin Foreman-14 pts; PF Mike Watkins-12 pts, 7 reb; SG Hector Fuller-11 pts)Belmont-72 (SG Shawn Thurston-13 pts; PF Anthony Parmer-11 pts; PG Senque Archie1 pts)Casey Alexander who coaches the Belmont Bruins said, “Villanova is such a strong team, but we made a game of it. Villanova scoring 13 unanswered points in the 2nd half sort of took the wind out of our sails though. We made a real effort and were successful in cutting into their lead but it took a lot out of us so that we faded late.”#4 seed Michigan State Spartans (22-9) vs #13 seed Hofstra Pride (26-8)Michigan State hit some early 3’s but then Hofstra’s 2-3 zone took hold and with 11-1/2 minutes remaining in the half, the Pride were on top 16-12. Michigan State broke the zone at that point and scored 18 of the next 20 points to go ahead 30-18 with 3-1/2 minutes remaining until halftime. When the half ended the Spartans led 36-23. Michigan State outshot Hofstra 44% to 29% and dominated the boards (23-11). Michigan State’s top scorer was PG Marcus Harris with 9 points. Hofstra’s C Ryan Calhoun had 8 points.Hofstra scored the first 7 points in the 2nd half to trim the lead to 36-30. The Spartans regained a double digit lead at 59-49 with 9-1/2 minutes to play. For the rest of the game Michigan State continued to keep the Pride from narrowing the gap. Although the Spartans hit a higher percentage of their FG attempts than Hofstra (46% to 39%), their 41-25 rebounding advantage was the difference in the game.Michigan State-74 (PF Mike Grant-16 pts, 13 reb; C Linton Bellamy-15 pts, 7 reb, 1 steal, 3 blocks; PG Marcus Harris-11 pts, 7 assists; SG Jason Bogans-10 pts)Hofstra-63 (C Ryan Calhoun-20 pts, 7 reb; SG Tim Fall-9 pts, 6 assists)Tom Izzo, Michigan State’s coach said, “Hofstra played us tough and we couldn’t stop their center, Calhoun. But Mike Grant had a terrific game for us. We need to pick up our intensity for our next game though.”
  9. West Region—Round 1 (part 1 of 4)#1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs (31-2) vs #16 seed Little Rock Trojans (21-10)Gonzaga scored first and opened a 7-1 lead and then held onto a lead with Little Rock continually keeping close and finally taking a 22-21 lead with 8:25 to go in the half. Then Gonzaga connected on 3’s in its next 3 possessions while Little Rock was hitting 3’s on their 2 possessions making it 30-28 in favor of the Bulldogs. The Zags then stayed hot and finished the half with a 45-37 lead. PG Henry Chaney scored 11 points and dished out 5 assists for Gonzaga. Reserve SG Melvin Crocker dropped in 11 points (hitting 4 of 5 FG’s including all three of his 3P attempts) while playing just 8 minutes for the Trojans.Little Rock turned the ball over 5 times in the first 2-1/2 minutes of the second half and Gonzaga made them pay…increasing their lead at that point to 57-40. Little Rock settled down and cut the Bulldog’s lead to 61-54 with 12 minutes remaining in the game at which point I’m sure Gonzaga coach Mark Few was happy to have the media timeout. The Trojans kept cutting the lead to 5 points but could get no closer and Gonzaga escaped with a hard-fought win. The Zags held a small advantage on most team stats.Gonzaga-83 (SF Xavier Ward-21 pts, 4 steals, 1 block; PG Henry Chaney-12 pts, 7 assists; C Damion Warren-12, 10 reb; SG Chris Hare-10 pts; C Dave-10)Little Rock-75 (SG Damon Solverson-17 pts, 8 reb; SG Melvin Crocker-13 pts; SG Jason McConnell-10 pts)“We came out on fire in the 2nd half and then let Little Rock get right back into the game. There were a couple short periods in the game where we hitting nearly all our 3’s. But I think that made our guys think that they could fire away from outside any time they wanted…and that just didn’t work. Little Rock was tough and Coach Walker did a great job of game management. So much for an easy game in round 1,” said Gongaga coach Mark Few.Little Rock's Coach Darrell Walker stated, “If it wasn’t for those 2-1/2 minutes at the beginning of the 2nd half when we just couldn’t do a thing right and Gonzaga stormed to a 17 point lead, we might have had a chance for a tremendous upset. But I’m really proud of how our guys came back to make the last 10-15 minutes of the game close and put a scare into Gonzaga. I don’t think Mark ever thought he’d have to play 3 of his starters 30+ minutes each. Gonzaga is one helluva team though. We had to keep subbing since our all our guys came off the court dog-tired and needed time to sit on the bench to recover. But our bench was tremendous and kept us in the game. Our 5 subs scored nearly as many points as our 5 starters.”#2 seed Baylor Bears (26-4) vs #15 seed Murray State Racers (23-9)Baylor’s defense gave Murray State fits early in the game and with 11-1/2 minutes to play in the first half, the Bears led 19-8. The Racers cut the lead to 5 points but then Baylor went on a long run that steadily expanded their lead all the way to the end of the half. Murray State’s coach Matt McMahon was called for a technical with 1:17 remaining in the half. The teams went to the locker room with Baylor in command 41-26. The Beats outshot the Racers 50% to 38%, held a 17-13 rebounding advantage and a 10-5 turnover advantage. SG Brian Butler topped Baylor’s scoring with 10 points. PG Lucas Kellogg had 9 points for Murray State.Baylor held a 15-24 point lead throughout the entire 2nd half. Baylor completely controlled all aspects of the game.Baylor-81 (SF Joe Bush-16 pts, 13 reb; C Dontay Washington-15 pts; SG Brian Butler-13 pts; PF Ben Church-10 pts)Murray State-62 (PG Lucas Kellogg-12 pts)Coach Scott Drew of Baylor said, “I liked the way our guys took control and never let up. And our defense was outstanding.”
  10. The favorites prevailed in the first round of the South Regional. Four of the eight games were close throughout most of the game and that included one overtime game.In the three regionals thus far, 8 of the 24 teams that have advanced are from non-power conferences.
  11. South Region--Round 1 (part 4 of 4)#7 seed Michigan Wolverines (19-12) vs #10 seed Akron Zips (24-7)During warmups an argument between members of the two teams occurred. The refs warned the players and the coaches.Both teams hit 3’s on their first possessions. Akron took an early small lead but Michigan overtook them and by the midpoint of the half was ahead 23-12. Akron’s shooting was ice cold. With 7 minutes left in the half the Wolverines led 33-14. In the half Michigan hit 58% of their shots, Akron only 22% of theirs. Michigan pulled down 23 rebounds, Akron just 16. The result was 50-22 halftime lead in favor of the Wolverines. Reserve C/PF Brent Hankins scored 14 points and SF Roy Battier hit for 10 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and had 2 assists and 4 blocks for Michigan. Akron was led by PG Nate Larry’s 9 points.The Wolverines scored the first 6 points of the 2nd half putting them ahead by 34 points. If anything was certain, it was that Michigan had this game in the bag. The lead grew to 36 points and then Michigan coasted to an easy thumping of the Zips. Michigan outshot Akron Ak57% to 31% and outrebounded the Zips 38-29.Michigan-87 (SF Roy Battier-20 pts, 8 reb, 7 blocks; C Brent Hankins-16 pts, 5 reb; SG Derek Holberg-15 pts, 5 reb, 6 assists, 3 blocks)Akron-64 (PG Nate Larry-17 pts; SG Dave Davey-16 pts, 5 reb)#8 seed Iowa Hawkeyes (20-11) vs #9 seed Rhode Island Rams (21-9)Although Rhode Island took a 4-0 lead, Iowa came roaring back to lead 28-14 midway through the half. With Iowa canning 65% of their shots in the half and the Rams hitting just 39% of theirs, it wasn’t surprising that the Hawkeyes sported a 48-33 halftime advantage. SF Tom Scott led Iowa with 13 points and 6 rebounds. Reserve SG Brad Rhodes topped Rhode Island’s scoring with 8 points.Iowa continued to dominate in the 2nd half and ended the game with a solid bashing of the Rams. The Hawkeyes sunk 60% of their FG attempts compared to 42% by Rhode Island. Iowa also had a 27-19 advantage on the boards and a 17-12 turnover advantage.Iowa-87 (SF Tom Scott-17 pts, 9 reb; SG Marcus Cox-13 pts; C Williams Murray-12 pts; SG Ashley Trotman-11 pts; PF Andre Howe-10 pts, 5 reb)Rhode Island-68 (SG Brad Rhodes-16 pts)
  12. South Region--Round 1 (part 3 of 4)#5 seed Brigham Young Cougars (24-8) vs #12 seed Memphis Tigers (21-10)BYU hit their first 5 shots to take a 10-2 lead after just 2-1/2 minutes of play. Memphis cut into the Cougars’ lead repeatedly but the closest they got was within 2 points with 2 minutes left in the first half. BYU finished the half in front by a score of 40-34. The Cougars knocked down 50% of the FG attempts while the Tigers hit on 44% of theirs. Both teams had ball control problems with Memphis making 12 turnovers and BYU 9. SG Robbie Songaila popped in 9 points for BYU and SG Adarrial Johnson hit for 7 points for the Tigers.The Cougars maintained a small lead but expanded it to 12 points with 9 minutes to play. Memphis continued to come back and cut the lead to 77-75 when PF Rico Bedford knocked down a 3 with 45 seconds on the clock. BYU worked the clock down but missed a shot and Memphis rebounded with 27 seconds to go. Following a timeout the Tigers worked the ball inside and Bedford was fouled. He sunk both free throws to tie the game. BYU’s final shot was off the rim so the game went to overtime.In OT neither team could score for the first 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Finally after missing a shot inside, BYU’s C Terry Day tipped in the rebound. Then after yet another miss by Memphis, SF Mike Johnson drove, pulled up and rattled in a 12 footer to put BYU ahead 81-77 with just over 2 minutes to play. The Tigers continued to loft up 3’s that failed to fall in. Memphis then had to repeatedly foul in the final minute allowing BYU to salt away the victory. Memphis failed to score a single point during the entire 5 minutes in OT!BYU-87 (PG Jeremy Cross-18 pts; SG Robbie Songalia-16 pts, 3 reb, 3 assists, 4 steals, 1 block; PF Ben Bryant-16 pts, 10 reb; C Terry Day-14 pts, 9 reb)Memphis-77 (SF Leighton Gostin-13 pts; C Hamp Crumble-12 pts; SG Adarrial Johnson-12 pts; SG Kris Robinson-11 pts)BYU's coach Mark Pope said, "The way Memphis came back in the latter moments of the 2nd half definitely worried me about the OT. We focused on making them work hard and keeping them from getting easy shots...and our guys went out and did exactly that! That gave us a chance to get a lead that forced the TIgers to shoot 3's and those just weren't dropping for them. Keeping such a good team from scoring throughout the entire overtime period was just an amazing feat my our team."#6 seed Saint Mary’s Gaels (26-8) vs #11 seed Furman Paladins (25-7)St. Mary’s employed a solid defense throughout the entire first half and came away with a 40-25 halftime lead. Furman was only able to hit 27% of their FG attempts. St. Mary’s also controlled the boards 25-15. Reserve C Mike Johnson scored 10 points in his 9 minutes on the floor for St. Mary’s. Reserve PF Pat Battier was the top scorer for Furman with 6 points.The Gaels scored the first 5 points in the 2nd half to open a 20 point lead. Furman cut into the lead but the closest they got was 7 points when they sunk a 3 at the end of the game. Both teams hit less that 40% of their shots. The real difference in the game was St. Mary’s 47-34 rebounding advantage.St. Mary’s-73 (C Mike Johnson-16 pts, 6 reb; PF Jabari Edwards-14 pts, 12 reb; PG Kolin Orvis-10 pts)Furman-66 (C Rob Williams-12 pts, 8 reb; PG Nick Jackson-12 pts; PG Jamal Carr-10 pts, 6 reb)“You’ve got to give it to Furman. We were on top most all the way, but the Paladins never gave in and kept nipping away at us. Our defense was great in the first half but we were much less successful with it in the 2nd half. We can’t afford to have a let down like that in future games in this tournament,” said St. Marys coach Randy Bennett.
  13. South Region--Round 1 (part 2 of 4)#3 seed Oregon Ducks (24-7) vs #14 seed Vermont Catamounts (26-7)Oregon took 6-0 and 10-2 leads before Vermont narrowed the gap to 2 points, but then the Ducks began to streak and with 7-1/2 minutes remaining in the half were ahead 28-13 led by PF Tyler Payne’s 9 points. The half ended with Oregon seemingly well in control with a 47-33 advantage. Both teams were hitting over 50% of their shots, but Vermont was unable to compete on the boards and had 10 turnovers. Payne’s 13 points led all scorers. Vermont’s scoring was topped by reserve PG David Collins who scored 8 points in 9 minutes of play.In the 2nd half, the avalanche continued. Oregon expanded their lead to 20 points with 15 minutes left in the game and 30 with 9 minutes remaining and then 40 with 2-1/2 minutes on the clock. Oregon outshot Vermont 55% to 40%, held a 30-21 rebounding advantage, and forced the Catamounts to make 24 turnovers while making just 8 themselves. The Ducks scored 44 points in the paint, 16 second chance shots, and 10 points on fast breaks.Oregon-93 (PF Tyler Payne-29 pts, 5 reb; PF/C Clarence Crosby-16 pts, 12 reb; SG Travis Murray-11 pts, 9 assists, 3 steals, 1 block)Vermont-56 (SF Al Waters-14 pts)#4 seed Maryland Terrapins (24-7) vs #13 seed UC Irvine Anteaters (21-11)UC Irvine led 16-12 midway through the half as defense dominated on both ends of the court. The Anteaters lead grew to 7 before Maryland trimmed it in the last few minutes of the half to make the score 29-27 as the teams went to the locker room. UC Irvine hit 37% of their shots but Maryland tossed in just 26% of their FG attempts. The Anteaters’ C Copley Robertson scored 10 points while Maryland was led by SG Zack Hayes 9 points.Maryland took a 2 point lead with 16-1/2 minutes to go. The lead lurched back and forth from thereon. With 2:30 on the clock, UC Irvine’s PG Mark Collins sunk a 3 to put the Anteaters back on top at 65-63. Maryland’s SF Antwan Allen tied the game on their next possession and took the lead when they intercepted a pass and SG Barry Lightfoot intercepted a pass and hit PG Cory Williams for a driving layup with 2 minutes left. Maryland then took advantage of sloppy play by UC Irvine to pull away. Although UC Irvine outshot Maryland 50% to 41% and out-rebounded the Terrapins 38-28, they made 22 turnovers compared to just 9 by Maryland.Maryland-78 (SG Zack Hayes-27 pts, 7 reb, 5 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks; C Jon Asbury-10 pts)UC Irvine-67 (SG Mark Masters-19 pts; C Copley Robertson-18 pts, 5 reb)Maryland’s coach Mark Turgeon said, “We did our best to just hang with UC Irvine for most of the game. But when it counted we came through in the last few minutes of the game. Zack Hayes had a phenomenal game for us.”“My guys played hard the entire way but I think we just ran out of gas in those final minutes and made some mistakes that caused us to get rattled,” said Russell Turner, the Anteaters coach.
  14. Muchas Gracias! Figured you'd like the Creighton game, at least. We'll soon see who they have to go up against in Round 2.
  15. Yeah, the tournament committee may have been a little harsh on the SEC. I could hear the grumbles coming from Starkville.