Sunday, March 23, 2003

West: Hot-shooting Irish burn Illini


No. 1 seed Arizona survives in a two-overtime classic

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS - With all those 3-pointers falling, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey told his players to keep shooting. Now the Fighting Irish are headed to the regional semifinals for the first time in 16 years.

Dan Miller matched a career high with 23 points as Notre Dame moved into the round of 16 with a 68-60 win over Illinois on Saturday in the West Regional.

"We were running and firing and I did not want to stop us because we were going for it," said Brey, who celebrated his 44th birthday with a big win.

Notre Dame will travel to Anaheim, Calif., to play the winner of the Arizona-Gonzaga game.

Chris Thomas added 17 points for the fifth-seeded Irish, who had not advanced this far in the NCAA Tournament since 1987 under coach Digger Phelps. That year, they were eliminated by North Carolina.

"This is huge for our program," Brey said. "In the summer we talked about playing on the second weekend. I'm happy this group set a goal and achieved it."

It was a disappointing second-round exit for fourth-seeded Illinois (25-7), the Big Ten Tournament champions. Conference player of the year Brian Cook had 19 points and 16 rebounds.

The Fighting Illini trailed by 13 at halftime but cut it to six with 1:45 left after Deron Williams' tip in. They didn't score another basket.

Williams went end-to-end after a steal but missed the layup, and Chris Quinn's two free throws with 27 seconds left sealed the victory.

The Irish (24-9) lost in the second round the last two years - without Miller, who transferred from Maryland.

He shot 5-of-7 from long range as Notre Dame set a school tournament record with 13 3-pointers. The Irish were 13-for-24 from beyond the arc.

"When the big guys played off me, I shot it. When they came up on me, I tried to drive by them," Miller said. "When I got that stretch going, they were playing off me so I just pulled the trigger on them."

NOTRE DAME (24-9)-Miller 9-15 0-0 23, Francis 1-9 3-3 5, Timmermans 1-1 0-0 2, Ch.Thomas 7-19 0-0 17, Carroll 4-9 0-0 11, Quinn 2-3 2-2 8, Cornette 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 25-61 5-5 68.

ILLINOIS (25-7)-Augustine 2-7 1-2 5, Powell 1-3 0-0 2, Cook 6-23 7-8 19, Williams 2-5 0-0 5, Brown 5-14 3-6 14, Head 2-3 0-0 5, Harrington 3-5 0-0 8, Smith 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 22-63 11-16 60.

Halftime-Notre Dame 47, Illinois 34. 3-Point Goals-Notre Dame 13-24 (Miller 5-7, Ch.Thomas 3-5, Carroll 3-6, Quinn 2-3, Cornette 0-3), Illinois 5-17 (Harrington 2-4, Head 1-2, Williams 1-2, Brown 1-3, Powell 0-2, Cook 0-4). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Notre Dame 37 (Francis 14), Illinois 41 (Cook 16). Assists-Notre Dame 12 (Ch.Thomas 5), Illinois 12 (Brown, Williams 3). Total fouls-Notre Dame 13, Illinois 10.

No. 1 seed Arizona survives in a two-overtime classic

SALT LAKE CITY - Arizona moves on, but not before a double-overtime thriller that ranks with the best games in NCAA Tournament history.

Salim Stoudamire, quiet most of the intense evening, scored five points in the second overtime Saturday to lead the No. 1-seeded Wildcats to a 96-95 victory against Gonzaga, no stranger to pulling off huge tournament upsets.

This one would have topped them all, but the ninth-seeded Bulldogs were unable to take advantage of numerous opportunities to win in the closing seconds.

Stoudamire's floater in the lane with 2:03 left in the second overtime were the game's final points.

Tony Skinner, whose career-high 25 points included 5-of-11 shooting on 3-pointers, missed an open 3 with four seconds to play for the Zags. Blake Stepp, who scored 19 of his 25 points after halftime, then missed a 5-foot follow-up bank shot just before the buzzer sounded.

"It just didn't go in for me," Stepp said. "That's probably the hardest game I've been a part of in terms of two teams fighting it out."

The Bulldogs collapsed to the floor in disappointment, unable to duplicate their exhilarating tournament runs in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

"That," Arizona's Jason Gardner said, "was definitely an ESPN Classic."

"Of all the teams I've had at Gonzaga, I've never been more proud," coach Mark Few said.

Arizona (27-3) advanced to a regional semifinal matchup against Notre Dame, a winner over Illinois on Saturday.

All five Wildcats starters reached double figures. Jason Gardner scored 22. Channing Frye had 22 points and 12 rebounds and played the final five minutes and both overtimes with four fouls.

Rick Anderson had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Luke Walton had 16 points, nine assists, two blocked shots and three steals. His basket with 4.1 seconds to go forced the second overtime.

But with starters Ronny Turiaf, who scored 16, and Winston Brooks fouled out, Gonzaga's offense finally wilted. The Bulldogs went scoreless the last 2:10 after Skinner's two free throws put them ahead 95-94.

Stoudamire's 3-pointer put Arizona up 94-93 before Skinner's free throws.

Arizona had the ball with 20 seconds to go, but lost it out of bounds. One official signaled possession to the Wildcats, but another overruled him and gave Gonzaga its last shots.

Gardner made three of four free throws in the final 25.1 seconds of regulation but missed the fourth. Stepp missed his second consecutive 3-pointer but Skinner tipped it in at the buzzer to tie it at 78 to the delirious delight of the vast majority of the capacity crowd at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Arizona built an 87-84 lead on Gardner's two free throws and Anderson's inside basket on a pass from Walton in the first overtime. But Stepp sank a 3-pointer to tie it at 87 with 1:10 to play.

Walton threw the ball away on Arizona's next possession, then Gonzaga coach Mark Few called timeout. Gardner tied up Richard Fox for a jump ball. The possession arrow went to the Bulldogs, and Fox scored on the inbounds play to put Gonzaga up 89-87 with 14.5 seconds to go.

Fox finished with 13 points.

Walton powered the ball inside to tie it at 89, and Stepp's 3-pointer from just inside midcourt was off the mark at the buzzer, to bring on the second overtime.

"If you did not care who won, it was a great college basketball game," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "That was not a game for people who weren't willing to lay it out on the floor."

GONZAGA (24-9)-Skinner 8-17 4-4 25, Turiaf 7-12 2-3 16, Gourde 0-1 2-2 2, Brooks 2-3 0-0 5, Stepp 9-24 3-3 25, Bankhead 1-2 0-0 3, Violette 2-9 2-4 6, R.Fox 5-9 3-5 13. Totals 34-77 16-21 95.

ARIZONA (27-3)-Walton 6-13 3-4 16, Anderson 7-11 3-4 17, Frye 9-17 4-6 22, Stoudamire 5-15 2-3 15, Gardner 6-15 8-9 22, I.Fox 0-0 0-0 0, Rodgers 0-1 0-1 0, Adams 0-0 0-0 0, Iguodala 1-2 1-2 4. Totals 34-74 21-29 96.

Halftime-Gonzaga 44-41. End of regulation-Tied at 78. End of 1st Overtime-Tied at 89. 3-Point Goals-Gonzaga 11-30 (Skinner 5-11, Stepp 4-15, Bankhead 1-2, Brooks 1-2), Arizona 7-24 (Stoudamire 3-10, Gardner 2-5, Iguodala 1-1, Walton 1-6, Anderson 0-2). Fouled out-Brooks, Turiaf. Rebounds-Gonzaga 43 (Violette 8), Arizona 47 (Frye 12). Assists-Gonzaga 20 (Stepp 8), Arizona 18 (Walton 9). Total fouls-Gonzaga 25, Arizona 20.

Kansas 108, Arizona St. 76

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Kansas Jayhawks are off and running again, all the way West and into the round of 16 for the third straight year.

Seniors Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich sparked the Jayhawks to an offensive showcase light years removed from their first-round struggles against Utah State.

Second-seeded Kansas (27-7), a Final Four team a year ago, heads to the West Regional semifinals in Anaheim, Calif., against Duke.

Collison scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds, and Hinrich scored 24 as the Jayhawks topped 100 points for just the fifth time in the school's 98 NCAA Tournament games.

The Jayhawks are in the round of 16 for the ninth time in coach Roy Williams' 15 seasons.

Jason Braxton scored 17 for the 10th-seeded Sun Devils (20-11).

ARIZONA ST. (20-12)-Diogu 5-12 3-5 13, Redhage 3-7 0-0 7, Smith 5-14 3-4 13, Dodd 0-2 2-3 2, Millage 3-9 3-4 9, Braxton 7-12 3-4 17, Dewitt 0-1 0-0 0, Crandall 1-3 0-0 3, Knight 2-5 0-0 5, Hill 1-2 0-0 3, Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Andrisevic 1-1 2-3 4, Goldman 0-0 0-0 0, Osborne 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-69 16-23 76.

KANSAS (27-7)-Collison 9-12 4-10 22, Graves 2-3 1-2 5, Langford 9-13 1-2 19, Hinrich 9-14 3-3 24, Miles 5-7 6-8 18, Hawkins 0-1 0-0 0, Simien 0-0 2-2 2, Vinson 0-0 1-2 1, Lee 3-4 4-4 10, Nash 2-3 1-1 5, Moody 0-0 0-0 0, Niang 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 40-59 23-34 108.

Halftime-Kansas 47-31. 3-Point Goals-Arizona St. 4-15 (Hill 1-1, Knight 1-2, Crandall 1-3, Redhage 1-3, Dewitt 0-1, Dodd 0-1, Smith 0-1, Millage 0-3), Kansas 5-9 (Hinrich 3-4, Miles 2-2, Hawkins 0-1, Langford 0-2). Fouled out-Graves. Rebounds-Arizona St. 31 (Diogu, Redhage 7), Kansas 40 (Collison 10). Assists-Arizona St. 11 (Millage 4), Kansas 21 (Collison 7). Total fouls-Arizona St. 22, Kansas 20. Technical-Arizona St. Bench. A-18,462

Duke 86, C. Michigan 60

SALT LAKE CITY - This isn't supposed to be one of the great Duke teams. Try telling that to the Chippewas.

Dahntay Jones scored a career-high 28 points and J.J. Redick added 26 as the third-seeded Blue Devils ran past the No. 11 Chippewas.

Duke (26-6) gave coach Mike Krzyzewski his 60th NCAA Tournament victory, second to Dean Smith's 65.

Duke advances to a West Regional semifinal showdown with No. 2 seed Kansas.

CENT. MICHIGAN (25-7)-Bowne 1-3 1-2 4, Manciel 1-9 3-4 5, Kaman 10-20 5-6 25, Wallace 5-10 0-0 14, Meerman 0-0 0-0 0, Robinson 2-6 0-0 6, Quinn 0-1 0-0 0, Voorhees 0-0 0-0 0, Pantlind 0-1 0-0 0, Nelson 0-1 0-0 0, Carr 2-3 0-0 5, Brigitha 0-2 0-0 0, Dentlinger 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 21-57 10-14 60.

DUKE (26-6)-Redick 9-13 3-3 26, Williams 2-2 0-0 4, Jones 9-14 8-9 28, Ewing 4-7 1-1 10, Duhon 7-10 0-2 16, Buckner 0-1 0-0 0, Horvath 0-0 0-1 0, Melchionni 0-0 0-0 0, Dockery 0-3 0-0 0, Sanders 1-1 0-0 2, Thompson 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Means 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-52 12-16 86.

Halftime-Duke 47, Cent. Michigan 33. 3-Point Goals-Cent. Michigan 8-17 (Wallace 4-5, Robinson 2-4, Bowne 1-2, Carr 1-2, Nelson 0-1, Manciel 0-3), Duke 10-15 (Redick 5-7, Duhon 2-3, Jones 2-3, Ewing 1-2). Fouled out-Sanders. Rebounds-Cent. Michigan 33 (Kaman 10), Duke 27 (Williams 7). Assists-Cent. Michigan 8 (Bowne, Manciel 2), Duke 14 (Duhon 8). Total fouls-Cent. Michigan 14, Duke 18. A-NA.




NCAA TOURNAMENT
Full coverage at Cincinnati.com

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Midwest: Little-known Novak burns Mizzou
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