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March 24, 1997 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-24

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - March 24, 1997


'Cats nip Friars in overtime;
Tar Heels roll over Cards

Arizona, shaking off. a stunning
Providence comeback that sent the game
to overtime, defeated the Friars 96-92
yesterday in the NCAA Southeast
Regional, sending coach Lute Olson's
team to the Final Four for the second
time in four seasons.
Arizona (23-9), which also reached
the Final Four in 1988, was shadowed
by first-round losses to East Tennessee
State, Santa Clara and Miami (Ohio) in
the previous five seasons. But those
were different teams.
These Wildcats, with no seniors in
the lineup, pulled off the biggest upset
of the tournament Friday night, beating
top-ranked Kansas in the regional
semifinals. Then fourth-seeded
Arizona pulled itself together after
Providence rallied from a seven-point
deficit over the final 1:15 of regulation
to force an extra period.
The No. 10 Friars (24-12), trying to
become the lowest-seeded team to reach
the Final Four since 1Ith-seeded LSU in
1986, tied the game 85-85 when Jamel
Thomas hit a 3-pointer with 15.3 sec-
onds remaining.
Providence had a chance to win after
stealing the ball at midcourt. But Corey
Wright's 3-pointer was off target and the
game went to overtime, where the Friars
finally ran out of steam.
Miles Simon scored 30 points to lead
the Wildcats, putting them ahead to stay
on a basket with 2:53 left in overtime.
Providence lost its best player, Austin
Croshere, midway through the second
half. He fouled out after scoring a tour-
nament-low 12 points.
The Friars still trailed 82-72 with 3 1/2
minutes to go and seemed to be finished.
But with Croshere cheering them on
from the bench, Providence made an

amazing comeback.
It began after Mike Bibby hit two
free throws to give Arizona an .85-78
lead with 1:15 left.
God Shammgod, who equaled
Thomas with a team-high 23 points,
made a free throw with 1:05 to go,
missed the second and Derrick Brown
got the rebound. He was fouled and hit
two free throws to make it 85-81 with
1:02 left.
Arizona broke the press and drove up
court, but Michael Dickerson missed a
wide-open 8-footer. Ruben Garces hit a
free throw at the other end for
Providence after grabbing one of his 19
rebounds, cutting the deficit to 85-82
with 47.1 seconds to go.
Once again, the Friars came up with a
defensive stop. Simon's shot was
blocked by Garces and Providence drove
quickly the other way, finding Thomas
alone in the corner. The sophomore
guard hit a 3-pointer to tie the game.
But the Friars couldn't recover after
Brown fouled out in overtime. Jason
Terry clinched the victory with a pull-up
jumper in the lane to give Arizona a 94-
90 lead with 1:03 left.
Top-seeded North Carolina beat sixth-
seeded Louisville 97-74 yesterday win
the East Regional and give the Tar Heels
their 16th straight victory and 13th Final
Four berth.
North Carolina (28-6) has been to the
Final Four in each of the odd-numbered
years in the '90s, with 1993 being
Smith's second national championship.
The Tar Heels will play Arizona, the
winner of the Southeast Regional, next
Saturday in Indianapolis.
North Carolina shot 63 percent from
the field in the first half to take a 54-33
halftime lead. The Tar Heels held the

Cardinals (26-9) without a field goal
over the final five minutes, outscoring
them 19-6.
But Louisville. which trailed at half-
time in all four of its NCAA tournament
games, had other ideas. The Cardin
started the second half with a 19-5 run to
get within 69-66 with 8:19 to play.
However, they went into another long
scoring drought, and a 12-0 North
Carolina run over the next 4:45 increased
the lead to 81-66.
North Carolina lost its first three
Atlantic Coast Conference games this
season for the first time ever. The Tar
heels were being written off by many,
but they haven't lost since Jan. 29.
"This was a great feeling to A
down those nets after the way we start-
ed the ACC season," North Carolina
forward Antawn Jamison said. "We
came together as a team ind put all our
differences aside."
Louisville senior guard DeJuan
Wheat, who sprained his left ankle in the
regional semifinal. victory over Texas
and was considered doubtful for
Sunday's game, started but was limit
in what he could do.
The Cardinals' leading scorer and best
ballhandler had one 3-pointer in five
attempts in the first half and two of the
the team's I I turnovers. le finished with
six points on 2-for- Il shooting, and had
eight assists in a gutty 32 minutes.
"I just wanted to play," Wheat said. "If
we were going to lose I wanted to be out
on the court."
Shammond Williams, who was select-
ed the regional's most outstanding play*
led North Carolina with 22 points, while
Vince Carter had 18 and Jamison 15.
Alex Sanders led Louisville with 20
points. Nate Johnson and B.J. Flynn each
had 12, Flynn's all coming on 3-pointers.

Arizona's Miles Simon scored a game-high 30 points to lead the Wildcats into the Final Four for the second time in four years
with a 96-92 overtime victory over surprising Providence. Arizona will meet North Carolina on Saturday.
Different methods but same
goal for Minnesota, Kentucky

The Associated Press
Minnesota used its depth and size
to reach the Final Four.
Kentucky did it with quickness
and pressure.
Kentucky, down to eight players
because of injuries, pressured Utah
into poor shooting and 17 turnovers
for a 72-59 victory Saturday in the
West Regional final at San Jose,
Ron Mercer scored 21 points for
Kentucky, and the defending nation-
al champions limited All-American
Keith Van Horn
to 15 points on
5-for-12 shoot-
ing for the Utes.
"I'd hate to
see what they'd
be like at full
strength," said
Saturday'S Utah guard Ben
games Caton.
Kentucky 's
opponent in the national semifinals
will be Minnesota, which wore down
UCLA, 80-72, to win the Midwest
Regional at San Antonio on
Five Gophers scored in double fig-
ures, led by Bobby Jackson's 18

Haskins said. "We're a balanced
Mercer hit 10-of-17 shots for
Kentucky. including two straight
baskets after Utah rallied to tie the
game, 43-43, with 9:32 left.
The sophomore All-American has
already announced he's turning pro
after this season.
"He is a pro shooter." Kentucky
coach Rick Pitino said. "He comes
off the screen, elevates and shoots as
well as anybody in the game, and
that's why I think he'll have tremen-
dous success at the next level."
Anthony Epps scored 15 points
and Wayne Turner added 12 for
Kentucky (34-4), which will be mak-
ing its 12th Final Four appearance.
The Wildcats kept up their relent-
less pressure, even though injuries to
guards Derek Anderson and Allen
Edwards reduced the squad to eight
Only five of the remaining
Kentucky players were on last sea-
son's NCAA championship team,
which sent four players to the NBA.
"That is what makes this year so
much more special," Kentucky guard
Cameron Mills said. "Look at the
talent we lost to the NBA. Look at
the talent we lost in Allen, and look
at the talent we lost in Derek."
Van Horn often was triple-teamed
by Kentucky's collapsing defense.
"I've never been switched on like I
was," Van Horn said. "I was never
really able to get in the offensive

flow. Kentucky has the athletes to do
Michael Doleac added 13 points
for Utah, which had a 14-game win-
ning streak snapped. The Utes (29-4)
were seeking their first Final Four
spot since 1966.
While Minnesota brought in waves
of fresh players, only six UCLA
players got significant playing time.
and two played the entire game.
Bruins center Jelani McCoy was
limited to 13 minutes because he
aggravated a chest injury.
"I thought they did a good job of
just playing hard," said Charles
O'Bannon, who led UCLA with 22
points. "We started to get a little
winded and they continued to push
it. continued to throw in fresh bod-
Quincy Lewis scored 15 points for
Minnesota, including 10 during a 16-
4 run that helped the Gophers over-
come a 10-point deficit in the second
Reserve Charles Thomas also
made a key contribution with 14
"I think UCLA's goal was to come
out and shut me and Sam (Jacobson)
down," said Jackson, who scored 36
points in Minnesota's win over
Clemson in the regional semifinals.
"I don't think they paid any attention
to these two guys."
Minnesota and Kentucky will meet
up in the Final Four in the second
semifinal game next Saturday.


nine Minnesota players
more than 10 minutes as the
advanced to its first Final

4y I
It was all smiles in Gopher land as Minnesota advanced to its first-ever appearance in the Final Four with an 80-72 victory
over UCLA on Saturday. Minnesota is looking to become the Big Ten's first national champion since Michigan in 1989.

"This is the way we play basket-
ball," Minnesota coach Clem

Notre Dame, GW upset top two seeds;
Connecticut survives scare from Illinois

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Sixth-seeded
Notre Dame will play No. 5 George
Washington tonight for a berth in the Final
Notre Dame upset second-seeded Alabama
87-71 Saturday to set up this unlikely matchup,
after North Carolina, the top seed, lost to the
Colonials, 55-46. The Tar Heels led by eight
points, but missed their final 10 shots.
Connecticut, Old Dominion and Stanford,
the other No. I seeds, all advanced to their
regional finals. But
Womlen'sNotre Dame and George
Tournament Washington got rid of
the East's top four
seeds. The Irish won at
third-seeded Texas 86-83 in the second round,
while the Colonials beat Tulane, the fourth
seed, 81-67.
Beth Morgan had practiced for this moment

performance of the season to beat Louisiana
State 62-49 Saturday in the semifinals of the
NCAA Mideast Regional women's basketball
The Lady Monarchs made up for their offen-
sive troubles with an overpowering rebounding
effort and a suffocating defense that held the
Lady Tigers without a field goal for nearly 10
minutes in the first half.
Florida's Lady Gators respect history' and
tradition. Florida coach Carol Ross wants her
team to become a part of it.
The Gators took a major step in that direc-
tion Saturday with a 71-57 victory over
Louisiana Tech in the semifinals of the NCAA
Mideast Regional.
Murriel Page had 19 points and 13 rebounds
for Florida, which had never reached the final
16 until this year.

been an 86-77 victory over Notre Dame in the
finals of the Big East tournament.
Rebounding, defense and Chami4*
Holdsclaw. Tennessee had all three and that's
why the Lady Vols and not Colorado are going
to the finals of the NCAA Midiest Regional.
Holdsclaw scored 14 of her 20 points in the
second half and Tennessee shut down
Colorado's inside game over the final 20 min-
utes to beat the Buffaloes 75-67 in Saturday
night's semifinals.
That creates the matchup that had been
anticipated when the NCAA pairings were
announced two weeks ago - defend'
national Tennessee (26-10) against No. 1-
ranked Connecticut (33-0) in the finals
Monday night.
Kate Starbird had 22 points and Jamila
Wideman added 19 Saturday as Stanford dom-

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