Hi 77 / Lo 55
|Volume 68, Issue 118,
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Upsets send favorites back home
Men's NCAA Notebook
This is the time of year when college basketball fans can expect the unexpected. In March Madness anything can and usually does happen.
This yearis NCAA Tournament is living up to all the hype, as it has treated fans to close finishes, overtimes, improbable upsets and two dramatic buzzer-beaters in its first weekend.
The madness was most intense Saturday when No. 1 seed Arizona went up against Gonzaga. An instant classic, this game featured the team that many are predicting will win it all against a team that in recent years has always found a way to make noise in the tournament.
The Zags proved to be a strong test for the Wildcats, taking them into two overtimes, but Arizona escaped with a 96-95 victory. Gonzagais Blake Stepp had a chance to win in the final seconds, but missed an eight-footer. Arizonais Luke Walton grabbed the rebound as time expired.
Jason Gardener and Channing Frye each had 22 for Arizona. Stepp and Tony Skinner had 25 apiece for the Zags. The Wildcats will face Notre Dame in Anaheim, Calif., on Thursday.
The Auburn Tigers made their way into the Sweet 16 with a 68-62 win against second-seeded Wake Forest on Sunday.
The Tigers outscored the Demon Deacons 36-14 in the paint despite the presence of All-American forward Josh Howard. Marquis Daniels led Auburn with 18 points. Justin Gray had 26 for Wake in the loss. The Tigers go for their next upset on Friday when they face the No. 3 seed Syracuse.
Louisville, a team that enjoyed a 17-game winning streak and was ranked No. 2 in the nation during the season, is gone after dropping its second-round game to Butler 79-71 on Sunday.
The 12th-seeded Bulldogs, who knocked off No. 5 seed Mississippi State 47-46 on Friday, are in the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. Senior Darnell Archey had a career-high 26 for Butler. The Bulldogs face an even tougher challenge in their next game as they face the Oklahoma Sooners.
Michigan State is peaking at the right time as it has enjoyed two of the most decisive victories of the tournament. The Spartans capped their weekend by crushing Florida 68-46 on Sunday.
Floridais 46 points were a season low for the Gators, who shot only 37 percent from the field. Maurice Ager scored 16 for the Spartans. Michigan Stateis next opponent is defending national champion Maryland.
Maryland is back in the Sweet 16 after knocking off Xavier in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday. Drew Nicholas, whose game winning three-pointer against North Carolina-Wilmington put the Terps in the second round, scored 17.
Kentucky continued to roll with an easy 74-54 victory over Utah on Sunday. The win stretched the Wildcatsi winning streak to 25 games. Theyill go for No. 26 against Wisconsin on Thursday.
Texas has advanced to back-to-back Sweet 16s for the first time ever after beating Purdue 77-67 on Sunday. T.J. Ford had 21 points, eight assists and nine rebounds for the Longhorns. They face Connecticut in San Antonio on Friday.
Marquette remains the only Conference-USA survivor in the tournament, advancing to the round of 16 with an overtime victory over Missouri. The Golden Eagles, who were led by Travis Dieneris 26 points, hit all of their shots in the extra period. Rickey Paulding had 36 for the Tigers. Marquette will face the second-seeded Pittsburgh Panthers in the next round.
The Duke Blue Devils made their way into the Sweet 16 after pounding Central Michigan 86-60 on Saturday. Duke came into the game after struggling to beat Colorado State 67-57 on Thursday. Dahntay Jones led Duke with a career-high 28 points and J.J. Redick added 26 as Duke advanced to its sixth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance.
The Blue Devils were sizzling from the field, hitting a season-high 62 percent of their shots, giving Mike Krzyzewski his 60th NCAA Tournament victory, second only to Dean Smithis 65. The 11th-seeded Chippewas, who were coming off an upset of Creighton on Thursday, got 25 points and 11 rebounds from 7-footer Chris Kaman. Next, the Blue Devils will face Kansas in the Sweet 16.
Wisconsin needed a dramatic three-pointer from Freddie Owens, but the Badgers managed to overcome a strong performance by 13th-seeded Tulsa to advance to the round of 16.
The shot capped a comeback by the Badgers from 13 points down with few minutes to play. Mike Wilkinson scored 18 points and had eight rebounds for Wisconsin.
The Badgers ended what could have been a Cinderella run for Tulsa, which came in off a surprising victory over Dayton in the first round. The Golden Hurricane was led by Kevin Johnsonis 23 points and Jason Parkeris 17. Wisconsin, playing in its school record fifth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, will go against Kentucky in the Midwest regional semifinal.
Texas Tech advanced to the next round of the National Invitation Tournament with a 57-48 win over San Diego State on Saturday. In other second round match-ups, Providence knocked off College of Charleston 69-64 and Siena beat Western Michigan 68-62.
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