Sunday, March 18, 2001

Only one upset Saturday




By Howard Fendrich
AP Sports Writer

        Close calls and low-seeded surprises were suddenly at a premium as the NCAA tournament moved into the second round Saturday.

        Saturday's games in the East and West Regionals were decided by an average margin of about 15 points.

        It was a stark contrast to the two days of first-round action, when 12 of the 32 games were decided by four points or fewer, and 13 teams seeded ninth or lower won — the most since the field expanded to 64 schools in 1985.

        There was one mild upset Saturday: Sixth-seeded Southern California edged No. 3 Boston College 74-71 in Uniondale, N.Y., in the East Regional.

        Boston College had the ball and a chance to tie in the closing seconds, but failed to attempt a 3-pointer as Kenny Harley drove to the basket and missed a layup.

        “I always tell our guys that you need to be aware of the time and score on the floor,” USC coach Henry Bibby said. “We were all kind of confused on their decision.”

        USC advanced past the second round for the first time since 1954, when it went to the Final Four, and now plays No. 2 Kentucky. The Wildcats beat No. 7 Iowa 92-79 in the late game in Uniondale.

        In the other half of the East, in Greensboro, N.C., top-seeded Duke got strong performances from Jason Williams and Shane Battier in a 94-81 win over No. 9 Missouri that put the Blue Devils in the round of 16 for the 12th time since 1986.

        Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski shared hugs before tipoff with Missouri coach Quin Snyder, who was a part of five Final Four teams at Duke as a player and assistant coach.

        The Blue Devils head to the regional semifinals in Philadelphia to face No. 4 UCLA, which dismissed Utah State 75-50 to get to the final 16 for the fourth time in five years.

        In the West, third-seeded Maryland overpowered Georgia State 79-60 in Boise, Idaho. The game was far less compelling than the story line pitting Panthers coach Lefty Driesell against Maryland, which fired him 15 years ago in the wake of Len Bias' cocaine-related death.

        The Terrapins advanced to a regional semifinal against neighbor Georgetown. The Hoyas picked up a 76-57 victory over 15th-seeded Hampton, which stunned No. 2 Iowa State in the first round.

        “We knew before the game that the crowd would be pulling for Hampton,” Georgetown's Ruben Boumtje Boumtje said. “We talked about it and knew we needed to make a run early to quiet the crowd down.”

        Second-round games in the Midwest and South are Sunday.

        West

        Stanford 90, St. Joseph's 83

        Ryan Mendez, the nation's best free-throw shooter, and Jarron Collins were a combined 10-for-10 from the line in the final 45.1 seconds as Stanford (30-2) tied the school record for victories in a season.

        Jason Collins, Jarron's twin, scored 22 points and All-American Casey Jacobsen 21.

        Marvin O'Connor tied his career high with 37 points for St. Joseph's (26-7) before fouling out with 11.9 seconds left.

        Maryland 79, Georgia State 60

        Lonny Baxter had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Maryland (23-10), which hasn't reached a regional final since Driesell led it that far in 1975.

        “Maryland don't mean anything to me,” said Driesell, who spent 17 years at the school. “I didn't have any emotions at all. I was trying to win a basketball game.”

        Shernard Long led Georgia State (29-5) with 20 points, but went scoreless for an 18-minute stretch.

        Georgetown 76, Hampton 57

        Kevin Braswell scored 15 points and Nat Burton had 13 for Georgetown (25-7).

        Tarvis Williams, who hit the game-winner against Iowa State, scored 16 to lead Hampton (25-7) but was kept in check Saturday by Georgetown's 7-foot Boumtje Boumtje and 6-11 Wesley Wilson.

        Cincinnati 66, Kent St. 43

        Jamaal Davis had 16 points and 10 rebounds as Cincinnati (25-9) beat fellow Ohio school Kent State (24-10) with strong rebounding and a top-notch transition game.

        East

        Duke 94, Missouri 81

        Williams, nursing a sore left ankle, had 31 points and nine assists, and Battier had 27 points and 11 rebounds for Duke (31-4).

        “We know when we step on the court we're two of the tougher matchups in college basketball,” Battier said. “On any given night we're both capable of carrying this team. Today, we both carried the team on the offensive end.”

        Kareem Rush led Missouri (20-13) with 29 points.

        Kentucky 92, Iowa 79

        Tayshaun Prince scored 31 points, and Kentucky (24-9) used a 12-0 run at the end of the first half to take control. Dean Oliver led Iowa (23-12) with 26 points, and Reggie Evans added 18 points and 13 rebounds.

        UCLA 75, Utah State 50

        Dan Gadzuric had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and Jason Kapono scored 15 of his 19 points on 3-pointers for the Bruins (23-8).

        Shawn Daniels scored 11 points to lead Utah State (28-6), which folded under UCLA's full-court press in the second half.

        USC 74, Boston College 71

        Robert Hutchinson, a sophomore who came in when starting point guard Brandon Granville fouled out with seven minutes left, made five free throws in the last 1:17 for USC (23-9).

        Troy Bell scored 32 points for the Eagles (27-5) but passed to Harley on the team's last possession.

        “I should have taken that last shot,” Bell said. “I was having a decent shooting night, and I take responsibility for not taking that last shot.”

Online pool and college hoops coverage at Cincinnati.com



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