Sun, Mar 27, 2005 - Page 24 News List

Trojans vanquish Devils in regional

HOOPS Michigan State will face Kentucky today in the Austin Regional final after downing top-seeded Duke

AP , AUSTIN, TEXAS

Duke's DeMarcus Nelson, middle, fights for a loose ball with Michigan State's Crew Neitzel, front, and Alan Anderson during second half of an NCAA Austin Region semifinal game at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, Friday. The Trojans beat the Blue Devils 78-68.

PHOTO: AP

Paul Davis scored 20 points and fifth-seeded Michigan State moved within a game of the Final Four with a 78-68 win Friday over top-seeded Duke in the US college tournament Austin Regional.

Alan Anderson added 17 points, and the Spartans (25-6) sent wave after wave of defenders out to the perimeter to bottle up J.J. Redick, holding the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year to 13 points.

Davis provided the muscle in the middle late to give Michigan coach Tom Izzo his first win over Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski in five tries -- including a loss in the Final Four in 1999, the year before the Spartans won the national championship.

The loss ended Krzyzewski's bid for an 11th Final Four with Duke (27-6).

Like most of their season, the Blue Devils had their "Big Three" of Redick, Daniel Ewing and Shelden Williams but little else when it counted against the Spartans, who substituted early and often in an effort to wear them down.

Williams scored 19 points, but fouled out with 2:41 left and Duke trailing by five. The tenacious Spartans defense forced 22 Duke turnovers and gave up little ground in the middle in the second half.

Redick had the toughest night with another sub-par U.S. college NCAA tournament game, struggling just to get off a shot. He didn't take his first attempt until hitting a 3m shot with 10:17 left in the first half. By late in the half, he was shaking his head at the officials.

Kentucky 62, Utah 52

In Austin, Texas, Kentucky slowed down Utah's Andrew Bogut enough to advance to the regional finals.

Primarily using two 2.13m backups and lots of help from smaller guys, the Wildcats harassed Bogut into the poorest shooting game of his All-American season and showed off their depth.

Chuck Hayes led Kentucky (28-5) with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Rojon Rondo scored 10 and Kelenna Azubuike had nine.

Bogut finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds for Utah (29-6), but it wasn't as good as it sounded. He was 8-of-19 -- matching his career high for misses -- and a career-worst 4-of-11 from the line. He had just three rebounds in the second half.

Kentucky is headed to the round of eight for the second time in three years and the third time since winning the championship in 1998, the team's first season under coach Tubby Smith.

Wisconsin 65, NC State 56

In Syracuse, New York, Alando Tucker helped Wisconsin bounce back from a horrible first half, scoring eight straight points during a 13-0 run that gave the Badgers a spot in the US college NCAA tournament's round of eight.

Sixth-seeded Wisconsin (25-8) will play North Carolina on Sunday with a Final Four berth on the line.

Tucker scored 22 points and Mike Wilkinson scored 17, getting his final two on a breakaway dunk with 20 seconds left that got the rest of the Badgers to leap for joy on the court.

Engin Atsur scored 16 and Julius Hodge had 14 on 4-for-15 shooting for 10th-seeded North Carolina State (21-14).

UNC 67, Villanova 66

In Syracuse, New York, North Carolina won without Raymond Felton -- barely.

After the star point guard fouled out, the top-seeded Tar Heels did just enough down the stretch to hold off Villanova, earning a trip to the regional finals for the first time since 2000.

The Wildcats missed a chance to tie it in the final seconds when Allan Ray was called for traveling on a drive to the basket. He made the shot as he was slapped across the arm, but referee Tom O'Neill already had blown his whistle for the violation.

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