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Posts Tagged ‘Epke Udoh.’

NCAA TOURNAMENT: South Regional, Elite 8 Sunday Results

compiled from staff and news reports

With the Duke Blue Devils not reaching the Final Four since 2004, the loyal fan base were getting restless but coach Mike Krzyzewski says all the fuss didn’t bother him.

But don’t look now, Coach K has his team on the cusp of one win away from the national championship game.

Duke received a career-high 29 points from Nolan Smith in a 78-71 win over the Baylor Bears in Houston, Texas  that put Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils back into college basketball’s biggest stage, the Final Four.

Jon Scheyer (Duke photography)

Jon Scheyer added five 3-point baskets and scored 20 points for Duke, ending  local favorite Baylor’s dream run in the South Regional final.  The Blue Devils became this year’s only number 1 seed to advance to Indianapolis and earned their 11th Final Four berth under Coach K.

LaceDarius Dunn had 22 points and Epke Udoh scored 18 for the third-seeded Bears who end the season at 28-8. The Baylor program was in shambles and   under scrutiny when head coach Scott Drew took over in the wake of  scandal and murder almost seven years ago.

Drew took the Bears from the outhouse to the brink of their first Final Four appearance in 60 years.  After three consecutive 20-win seasons and an unexpected postseason run which now has the public recognizing it is a solid program and tragedy of the summer of 2003 can be put to rest for good.

Scott Drew was 32 years old when he was hired and had only been a head coach for just one season,winning 20 games at Valparaiso while his Dad, Homer Drew was on a sabbatical. Scott prior to that spent nine years as his Dad’s assistant. He had to rebuild his program in the always tough Big 12 Conference with a reduction in scholarships and a roster torn-apart by the transfers of the top three scorers after that tragic summer in 2003 when Patrick Dennehy was shot to death by a teammate.

Nolan Smith (Duke photography)

Baylor made it to the NCAA tournament two years ago, when it lost in the first round to Purdue, and to the NIT championship game last April.

The Bears, from Waco, Texas, were picked 10th in the preseason poll by the Big 12 coaches at the beginning of this season after losing three 1,000-point scorers to graduation.  But they were the last Big 12 team still playing.

By beating Baylor, the Blue Devils will play East Regional champion West Virginia in the national semifinals Saturday night.  They have won 11 of their last 12 regional finals under Coach K, but haven’t won a national title since 2001.

Mike Krzyzewski made his first Final four with the Blue Devils in 1986 and hadn’t had a gap this long between trips to the biggest stage in college basketball.

Duke ended the Final Four drought at Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans, only 3 1/2 hours from Baylor University’s campus in Waco.  Most of the crowd of 47,492 were dressed in green and gold colors of the Bears and had an impact on keeping Baylor in the game through the end.

NCAA TOURNAMENT: South Regional, First Round, Villanova survives upset minded Robert Morris

compiled from staff and wire reports.

Robert Morris, the 15th seed almost pulled off an upset of 2nd-seeded Villanova. It had only happened only four times in NCAA history and it didn’t happen on Thursday despite a valiant effort by the Colonials.

Instead, The Wildcats from the Big East Conference weathered the storm in overtime, 73-70 in the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence Rhode Island.

Scottie Reynolds Villanova (VU)

The Colonials from the Northeast Conference let an eight-point lead slip away in the last 4:19 of regulation after their top guards fouled out of the game.

The Wildcats, led by Scottie Reynolds took control in overtime to put the game away.

Villanova, 25-7 was led in scoring by Scottie Reynolds with 20 points.

Robert Morris, using an aggressive defense to stay in the game, ends the year with a record of 23-12.

IN OTHER GAMES IN THE SOUTH REGIONAL


OLD DOMINION UPSET NOTRE DAME, 51-50

The 11th-seeded Monarchs of Old Dominion had the NCAA Tournament’s first upset of the day.  Old Dominion gained its first tourney win since 1995. The game was played in New Orleans. The Monarchs move to 27-8 and Notre Dame ends up 23-12.

Old Dominion Monarchs (ODU)

BAYLOR 68  SAM HOUSTON STATE 59

Epke Udoh had 20 points and 13 rebounds to help Baylor (26-7) win an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in 60 years.  Sam Houston State left New Orleans with a season-ending record of 25-8.

Ekpe Udoh Baylor (BU)

ST. MARY’S 80  RICHMOND 71

In a game at Providence, Rhode Island, Omar Samhan had 29 points and 12 rebounds, despite going in and out of the game with foul trouble, lead St. Mary’s (27-5) to a win over Atlantic 10 Conference member, Richmond (26-9).

Omar Samhan St. Mary's College (STC)

It was the first NCAA win for the 10th-seeded Gaels in six attempts since 1959.

Mickey McConnell had five, 3-point baskets and 23 points for the Gaels.