Gonzaga, USC knocked out as low-seeded teams spring upsets

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2002

Sure didn't take long for low-seeded teams to pick up right where they left off last year in the NCAA tournament.

And -- surprise! -- Gonzaga was among the teams learning how it feels to be on the losing end of an upset.

Five schools with double-digit seedings advanced to the second round Thursday: North Carolina Wilmington is seeded 13th, Tulsa and Missouri are both No. 12, Wyoming is No. 11 and Kent State No. 10.

In 2001, 13 of the tournament's 32 first-round games were won by underdogs, the most opening victories by teams seeded ninth or worse since the event expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

The upset total was nearly higher Thursday, but Kansas (seeded first in the Midwest), Alabama (No. 2 in the South), Arizona (No. 3 in the West) and Ohio State (No. 4 in the West) narrowly avoided being bounced.

Duke, the top seed in the South Regional, showed how to make quick work of an opponent, racing past Winthrop 84-37 and matching the fifth-largest winning margin in tournament history.

In the West Regional in Albuquerque, N.M., Josh Davis scored 11 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, including one that he slammed in with 1:07 left to punctuate Wyoming's 73-66 victory over sixth-seeded Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs are accustomed to being on the other end of such shockers.

Gonzaga fell just a game short of the Final Four as a No. 10 seed in 1999, reached the regional semifinals from the same slot in 2000, and again made the round of 16 as a 12th seed last year.

The Bulldogs were one of just three teams -- along with Michigan State and Duke, the last two national champions -- to make the round of 16 each of the past three seasons.

Also in the West, Missouri scored the first 12 points and knocked off No. 5-seeded Miami 93-80. The Tigers will try to register another shocker against Ohio State, which barely got by Davidson 69-64.

Jason Gardner scored 28 points and Arizona overcame a 3-point barrage by Mark Hull and UC Santa Barbara 86-81.

In the South Regional in Sacramento, Calif., UNC Wilmington knocked off fourth-seeded Southern California 93-89 in overtime for its first NCAA tournament victory.

Also in the South, Kent State started the streak of surprises by topping No. 7 Oklahoma State 69-61 in the tournament's very first game. Kent State now plays Alabama, which was tied with 15th-seeded Florida Atlantic with about 7 minutes left but won 86-78. Notre Dame defeated Charlotte 82-63 to set up a second-round game against Duke.

In the East Regional in St. Louis, Greg Harrington's runner in the lane with 14.6 seconds left pushed Tulsa past No. 5 Marquette 71-69 in the tightest early game.

Tulsa now takes a crack at pulling off another surprise -- and it would come against its former coach. The Golden Hurricane next face fourth-seeded Kentucky, which beat Valparaiso 83-68. Kentucky coach Tubby Smith guided Tulsa to the round of 16 in 1994 and '95.

And in Midwest Regional action in St. Louis, Kansas barely avoided becoming the first top seed to make a first-round exit, holding off 16th-seeded Holy Cross 70-59. Kansas trailed at halftime for only the fifth time all year and was behind by five in the second half before recovering. The Jayhawks will take on Stanford, which easily handled Western Kentucky 84-68.

Also in the Midwest, No. 2-seeded Oregon beat Montana 81-62, fifth-seeded Indiana routed Utah 75-56, and seventh-seeded Wake Forest defeated Pepperdine 83-79.

Wyoming 73, Gonzaga 66

Uche Nsonwu-Amadi, the Cowboys' 6-foot-10, 260-pound center from Nigeria, scored 14 points, including six straight early in the second half to keep Wyoming close.

Missouri 93, Miami 80

Looking once more like a team that opened 9-0 and climbed to No. 2 in the rankings, the Tigers got a 3-pointer from Ricky Paulding and five straight points from Clarence Gilbert in their game-starting run. Gilbert finished with 20 points.

Ohio State 69, Davidson 64

Brian Brown scored a career-high 33 points, and the Buckeyes barely avoided another quick exit in the NCAA tournament.

Arizona 86, UC Santa Barbara 81

The Wildcats had lost their NCAA tournament opener four times in the past 10 years, and the Gauchos threatened to add to the list behind Hull.

Tulsa 71, Marquette 69

After Harrington's go-ahead shot, Marquette settled for Travis Diener's hasty 3-pointer from well beyond the arc. The shot was an air ball, and Dwyane Wade couldn't grab it for a follow at the buzzer. Antonio Reed scored 18 points as the Golden Hurricane won a first-round game for the fourth straight time.

Kentucky 83, Valparaiso 68

Keith Bogans had 21 points, and Tayshaun Prince made up for poor shooting with strong defense on Valpo star Lubos Barton. Kentucky came in having dropped four of its last nine games, but the Wildcats have won 12 straight opening NCAA games.

South

Duke 84, Winthrop 37

Carlos Boozer and Jason Williams scored 19 points each, and Mike Dunleavy added 18 as the defending national champions (30-3) won their seventh straight NCAA game by double digits and gave coach Mike Krzyzewski his seventh 30-win season.

Kent State 69, Oklahoma State 61

Demetric Shaw scored 21 points, and Trevor Huffman 18 as the Golden Flashes (28-5) won their opening NCAA game for the second straight year. Oklahoma State shot 39.6 percent from the field.

Alabama 86, Florida Atlantic 78

Freshman guard Mo Williams scored a career-high 33 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had six assists, and Alabama went on a 10-0 run to pull away from a 64-64 tie.

Notre Dame 82, Charlotte 63

Matt Carroll and Ryan Humphrey scored 20 points each, and David Graves added 19 as the Irish won back-to-back NCAA openers for the first time in 23 years.

Midwest

Kansas 70, Holy Cross 59

All-American Drew Gooden had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead Kansas, which rallied without All-Big 12 guard Kirk Hinrich, who sprained his left ankle in the final minute of the first half.

Stanford 84, W. Kentucky 68

Stanford shrugged off a pregame technical for turning in the lineup card late, getting 19 points and 12 rebounds from Curtis Borchardt. Casey Jacobsen added 17 points, six rebounds and four assists for Stanford, which is in the tournament for the eighth straight year and has won in the opening round each time.

UNC Wilmington 93, Southern California 89, OT

UNCW, from Michael Jordan's hometown, made just one field goal in the final 9 1/2 minutes of regulation, allowing USC to rally from a 19-point deficit.

Indiana 75, Utah 56

Tom Coverdale had 19 points and eight rebounds, and Jeff Newton scored 15 points as the fifth-seeded Hoosiers won their first tournament game since Bob Knight's departure.

Oregon 81, Montana 62

Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson scored 18 points apiece to give Oregon its first NCAA tournament victory since 1960.

Wake Forest 83, Pepperdine 74

Craig Dawson scored 19 points to help Wake Forest win an NCAA game for the first time since 1997.



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