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March 25, 2002 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-25

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8B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 25, 2002

t, I r


Trevor Huffman had been Kent State's best player In Its run to the Elite Eight, but
he was silenced by Indiana in the Hoosiers' 81-69 win In the South Regional final.
Hoosiers top Kent,
head for Final Four

AND THE WINNER IS ... : Indiana. The
Hoosiers pulled off the biggest shocker of the
entire NCAA Tournament when they knocked off top
seeded Duke, 74-73, last Thursday night. The Blue Devils
jumped out to a 17-point lead in the first half, but a complete
inability to rebound or defend Big Ten Player of the Year
Jared Jeffries did Duke in. Not to mention the fact that Jason
Williams couldn't hit a clutch free throw if his life depended
on it.
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER: We're going to have to dis-
agree with the media at the South Regional, which
inexplicably voted Tom Coverdale the Most Out-
standing Player. Apparently, they didn't watch him
play like trash against Duke, when he couldn't have
made a shot if nobody was defending him. Instead,
our pick is Jeffries. Not only did he single-hand-
edly take apart Duke (24 points, 15 rebounds), , r
but he drew so much attention from Kent State in
the regional final that Indiana's perimeter players
were able to hit 15 threes.
BEST MOMENT: How funny was Indiana j
coach Mike Davis' reaction after Dane FifeY
fouled Williams on a three-pointer with time
running out and the Hoosiers up by four? Then
again, when you put a total stiff like Fife on the
floor at the end of the game, you have to expect the
BIGGEST GOAT: Fife nearly walked away with this award
thanks to his aforementioned foul on Williams, but
Williams bailed him out by bricking the free throw that
would have tied the game. For all of the awards Williams
wins and all of the acclaim he gets, he choked - again--in
the clutch (do Florida State and Virginia ring a bell?) As a
result, Duke will be sitting at home watching the Final Four.

~' Danee leer
AND THE WINNER IS ... : Maryland, but it wasn't easy.
After winning a couple of home games in Washington, Q
D.C. to get to the Sweet 16, the Terps had to fend off a C
resurgent Kentucky in the semis and then beat Connecticut in
what was by far the best regional final. Plus, the regionals were in
Syracuse, right in the heart of Big East country, where the
Huskies should've had the edge in fan support. No matter -
Maryland is going to Atlanta.
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER: He beat out Duke's Williams for
the ACC Player of the Year trophy, and he came up huge in the
East Regional to back it up. Maryland senior guard Juan Dixon
was terrific in Syracuse, leading the Terrapins with 19 points
against Kentucky and pouring in 27 against Connecticut.
BEST MOMENT: Call us party-poopers, but the best
moment was clearly when Southern Illinois was
crushed by Connecticut in the Sweet 16 on Friday
night. The whole 'Cinderella' shtick was cool for a
little while, but let's face it - Texas Tech and
Georgia were two of the most overseeded teams in
the tournament, and Southern Illinois got a ridicu-
lous gift from the selection committee, which
placed the Salukis in Chicago for the first two
BIGGEST GOAT: As tempting as it is to name
Williams the biggest goat in every region (how
great is it that he blew the season for Duke?),
we're going to have to go with Kentucky's Keith
Bogans. He moped around after bombing out of
last year's pre-draft camps and played like a mal-
content for the first 30 games of the season. If
he'd played anywhere near his potential, Kentucky
AP PHOTO could've gotten a top-two seed and
Indiana's Jared Jeffries avoided having to face a team like Mary-
land in the Sweet 16.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Indi-
ana is back in the Final Four thanks
to nearly unprecedented 3-point
Making their first eight long-
range shots and close to 80 percent
overall, the Hoosiers rolled past
upstart Kent State 81-69 Saturday
night in the South Regional to
return to the national semifinals for
the first time since 1992.
Indiana (24-11) - at No. 5, the
lowest-seeded team left in the tour-
nament - will play Oklahoma next
Saturday in Atlanta. The Sooners
won the West Regional by beating
Missouri 81-75.
"It's an unbelievable feeling,"
said Dane Fife, who led Indiana
with 17 points. "We've done what
we came down here to do. Now
we've got to go get Oklahoma."
Kent State's nation-leading 21-
game winning streak ended, as did
its attempt to become the first No.
10-seeded team to reach the Final
Instead, Indiana - stunned by
Kent State in the first round of last
year's NCAA tournament - gets a
chance to add to its five national
championships, the last of which
came in 1987.
The victory was easily the most
significant of Indiana coach Mike
Davis' tenure in a state where bas-
ketball is a religion. Davis was Bob
Knight's assistant for three seasons
and took over when Knight was
fired in September 2000.
In the stands Saturday, a sign
read: "Knight-time is over, it's a
new Da-vis!"
"Going to the Final Four is really,
really big for the program," Davis
said. "To be here this year after all
we've gone through is a blessing."
The Hoosiers knocked off top-
seeded Duke on Thursday thanks to
bruising inside play. Saturday's vic-
tory came courtesy of hard-to-

believe outside shooting.
Six players hit 3-pointers for
Indiana, with Fife going 5-for-6.
Kyle Hornsby added 16 points for
the Hoosiers, who tied for the Big
Ten regular-season title.
"Give Indiana credit," Kent State
coach Stan Heath said. "I haven't
seen a shooting display like that in
my 13 years of coaching."
Indiana finished 15-for-19 on 3s
- 78.9 percent, the fifth-highest
ever in an NCAA tournament
game. The 15 made set a school
"If we had had 10 people out
there, I don't think we could have
stopped them from shooting
tonight," Kent State's Andrew
Mitchell said.
Antonio Gates scored 22 points,
and Mitchell added 19 for Kent
State (30-6), which was playing in a
regional final for the first time and
was trying to become the first Mid-
American Conference school in the
Final Four.
Indiana led by as many as 20
points, and had to weather one sus-
tained run when point guard Tom
Coverdale left with about 9 1/2
minutes remaining after re-injuring
the left ankle he sprained in the
first round of the tourney.
Kent State used a 13-0 run to
draw within 59-52, but Fife, one of
two Indiana seniors, stemmed the
rally by making - what else? - a
3-pointer with a little more than,6
minutes to go.
Playing on rival Kentucky's home
floor, Indiana seemingly couldn't
miss a shot early. The Hoosiers'
frenzied red-and-white-clad fans
got louder and louder each time the
ball dropped through the net.
"We looked out there, (and) I was
trying to figure out how Indiana got
so many tickets," Heath said. "It
was a sea of red. It made it feel like
it was a road game."

AND THE WINNER IS ... : Oklahoma. The Sooners got
est dissed by the selection committee, which handed perennial
underachiever Cincinnati the top seed in the West. Undaunted,
Oklahoma basically ran roughshod over the region, blowing out Ari-
zona in the Sweet 16 and holding off Missouri in the regional final.
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Keeping with the theme of disagreeing with
the rest of the media, our choice is Missouri sopho-
more forward Ricky Paulding. With all due respect
to Oklahoma's Hollis Price, does anyone remem-
ber a single thing he did this weekend? Mean-
while, Paulding demonstrated that he could be
one of the best players in the country next year.
His explosiveness, outside shooting and highlight-
reel dunks were a big reason the twelfth-seeded
Tigers pulled off three straight upsets to get
to the regional title game.
BEST MOMENT: For those of you who
think we're a bunch of arrogant, heartless
people who love ripping on Michigan's
football and basketball teams we aren't,
completely without feeling, so our pick here
is the sight of Oklahoma coach Kelvin
Sampson cutting down the nets in San Jose.
Sampson's father had emergency brain sur-
gery the day before Oklahoma took on Ari-
zona, but the coach and his team didn't lose
their focus.
BIGGEST GOAT: Jason Williams ... just kidding.
Actually, it's UCLA coach Steve Lavin. You've
heard of guys getting the most out of their talent?
Well, Lavin probably gets less out of his talent, on an
annual basis, than any other coach in America. He's so
clueless on the sidelines that it's comical, but his pere-
nially underachieving team always manages to win two
games in the Big Dance. Then, just when it looks like
UCLA has its act together, the Bruins lose in the Sweet 16,
usually in a blowout.

AND THE WINNER IS ... : Kansas, finally. ic
After years (and years, and years) of wasting
high seeds in the NCAA Tournament, the Jay-
hawks managed to figure things out this year. Granted, &
they almost lost to Holy Cross in the first round. But after
that near-collapse, they got their act together and earned their first
Final Four berth since 1993. Somewhere, Roy Williams is having a
stiff drink and a nice, hearty laugh at the expense of his critics.
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER: In a surprise move, we've decided to
give Oregon's frontcourt this honor. Thanks to the Ducks' total lack of
interior scoring, defense or rebounding, Kansas forwards Drew Good-
en and Nick Collison were able to post obscene numbers in the
regional final - Gooden had 18 points and 20 rebounds, while
Collison had 25 points to go with 15 boards. In fact, Collison and
Gooden outrebounded Oregon by themselves, and the Jayhawks
as a team collected 30 -. yes, 30 - more boards than the
Ducks. It got to the point where it didn't even matter if
Kansas missed shots, because you knew that none of
Oregon's players were going to box out and that some
Jayhawk was going to get the rebound and an easy
BEST MOMENT: CBS' interview with Utah coach
Rick Majerus during the Oregon-Kansas game was
hilarious, if only because you just knew that
Majerus was waiting for the interview to end so he
could get more bratwurst. He's already had a quadru-
ple-bypass heart operation, why not go for the quintuple
to complete the set?
BIGGEST GOAT: Oregon coach Ernie Kent. Knowing
that Kansas wanted nothing more than to draw the
Ducks into a fast-paced game, what did Kent do?
Naturally, he played right into Kansas' hands and
turned the regional final into a track meet. So long,
Oregon - the Ducks got blown out by 18. The
runner-up in this catego-
Missouri's RickyPAPPHOTOry? You guessed it -
Paulding Jason Williams.


Sooners, Jayhawks, Terrapins thinking title a

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - On a
night when Maryland's senior stars led
the way, struggling junior Steve Blake
hit the shot that sealed a second straight
trip to the Final Four.
The No. 1-seeded Terrapins beat sec-
ond-seeded Connecticut 90-82 yester-
day in an East Regional final where the
lead swung back and forth for most of
the final 13 minutes.
Lonny Baxter had a season-high 29
points, and fellow senior Juan Dixon
scored 27 for Maryland, which reached
the 30-victory mark for the first time in
school history.
"We have tough guys. We didn't

think we would lose this game," Mary-
land coach Gary Williams said. "We're
going back. We want to do something
this year."
The frantic finish included seven lead
changes and eight ties in the last dozen
minutes. But as the shot clock wound
down in the final minute of the tight
game, Blake sank a 3-pointer - his
first points of the evening - to make it
86-80. The Terrapins weren't challenged
"That shot was the biggest one I
could hit for this team," said Blake, who
had been banished to the bench by
coach Gary Williams just minutes

before his key bucket.
KANSAS 104, OREGON 86: The Jay-
hawks met a team that wanted to run
with them. They jumped all over the
Ducks instead.
Drew Gooden and Nick Collison
each had double-doubles by early in the
second half yesterday, and top-seeded
Kansas never trailed in a 104-86 rout of
Oregon that put the Jayhawks in the
Final Four.
Kansas controlled the fast, end-to-
end action in the Midwest Regional
final and dominated the boards, outre-
bounding second-seeded Oregon 63-34.
Indeed, Gooden and Collison outre-
bounded the Ducks all by themselves
- 35 to 34 - and the Jayhawks
grabbed 26 offensive rebounds, leading
to 31 second-chance points.
"We knew the way to beat them was
to beat them on the boards and get extra
shots," Gooden said. "I think it was
contagious. We were relentless out there
on the backboards."

Gooden had 18 points and 20
rebounds, and Collison added 25 points
and 15 rebounds, putting the Jayhawks
(33-3) in their first national semifinal
since 1993 and third under coach Roy
homa coach Kelvin Sampson is going
to another Final Four - only this time,
he won't have to go alone.
With a dynamic combination of
toughness and late-game cool, Okla-
homa rolled to its first national semifi-
nal since 1988 with an 81-75 victory
over 12th-seeded Missouri on Saturday.
Hollis Price scored the last of his 18
points on two free throws with 6 sec-
onds left to give the Sooners their 12th
straight victory and a ticket to Atlanta to
face Indiana, an 81-69 winner over
Kent State.
"Coach goes to the Final Four every
year, but he never takes us;" Price said,
grinning. "We're tagging along this


College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Twenty-Fourth Distinguished Senior Faculty Lecture
and Testimonial:
consequences of aftermath
Ross Chambers
Marvin Felheim Distinguished University Professor
of French and Comparative LiteratureA
2001-2002 Warner G. Rice Humanities
Award Recipient
Tuesday, March 26

And down the stretch they come ...
With the Final Four teams decided in the NCAA Tournament, the race for first
place in the michigandaily.com/Pizza House challenge is also starting to
take some shape. Here's a rundown of the top 10 scores through the Elite
Eight games, as well as each person's picks for the championship game.


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1. Robert Higman
2. Ray F. Schnueringer
Eric Goodman
4. Jonathan Kim
Erik Paschall
Leslie Bolgos
Mike Koester
Knox Cameron
9. David Remias
Danielle Mosher

76 pts

Duke def. Kansas
Kansas def. Oklahoma
Maryland def. Oklahon
Kansas def. Duke
Duke def. Kansas
Maryland def. Oklahon
Maryland def. Duke
Duke def. Kansas
Duke def. Maryland
Maryland def. Duke

a 4
I ....


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