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Monday, March 22, 2010

No. 1 Kansas upset

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Leading by one against the colossus of the bracket, Ali Farokhmanesh stood at the 3-point line, no one around. The prudent play? Pull it out, burn some clock.

News photo
Giant killers: Northern Iowa guard Ali Farokhmanesh drives past Kansas' Brady Morningstar during the second half of their second-round game at the NCAA Tournament on Saturday in Oklahoma City. AP PHOTO

Not a chance.

Taking his shot at history, Farokhmanesh let fly from the wing.

Swish!

The biggest upset in a tournament full of them was done. Northern Iowa had taken down mighty Kansas.

Playing with poise down the stretch and getting another big 3-pointer from Farokhmanesh, Northern Iowa pulled off one of the biggest NCAA upsets in years by knocking No. 1 overall seed Kansas from the bracket with a program-defining 69-67 win on Saturday.

"If anybody's going to shoot that shot, I want it to be Ali," UNI's Jake Koch said.

This year's NCAA tournament has been defined by its upsets.

This was the biggest shocker of all.

Winning the tempo tug-of-war, ninth-seeded Northern Iowa (30-4) grounded the high-flying Jayhawks with in-their-jersey defense, then withstood a furious rally for the first win over a No. 1 seed in the second round since UAB and Alabama did it to Kentucky and Stanford in 2004.

First-round hero Farokhmanesh had the biggest play of all.

With Kansas charging and its fans roaring, the fearless son of an Iranian Olympic volleyball player caught the ball on the wing after the Panthers broke Kansas' press. The shot clock still in the 30s, he hesitated for just an instant, then cast his bracket-busting shot with 34 seconds left in the game.

Tennessee 83, Ohio 68

In Providence, J.P. Prince scored 18 points, and Brian Williams and Wayne Chism had 12 rebounds apiece to lead sixth-seeded Tennessee over No. 14 Ohio.

Tommy Freeman scored 23 points for Ohio, which was the lowest seed to get out of the first round

SOUTH REGIONAL

Saint Mary's 75, Villanova 68

In Providence, Omar Samhan was an unstoppable Gael force, and Saint Mary's earned a surprising spot in the NCAA tournament's round of 16.

Samhan played the game of his career on college basketball's biggest stage, finishing with 32 points and seven rebounds to lead 10th-seeded Saint Mary's past No. 2 Villanova and on to Houston for the South Regional semifinals.

Baylor 76, Old Dominion 68

In New Orleans, LaceDarius Dunn scored 26 points and the third-seeded Bears outlasted No. 11 Old Dominion in the second round of the South Regional.

WEST REGIONAL

Butler 54, Murray State 52

In San Jose, Ronald Nored's three-point play snapped a tie with 25.4 seconds left, and Butler narrowly evaded a second stunner by the 13th-seeded Racers in three days.

Kansas State 84, BYU 72

In Oklahoma City, Jacob Pullen scored 20 of his career-high 34 points in the first half to help dig No. 2 seed Kansas State out of an early 10-point hole, and the Wildcats turned away Jimmer Fredette and BYU in the second round.

EAST REGIONAL

Kentucky 90, Wake Forest 60

In New Orleans, Darius Miller scored a career-high 20 points and top-seeded Kentucky made easy work of No. 9 Wake Forest in the second round.

Washington 82, New Mexico 64

In San Jose, Quincy Pondexter scored 18 points, Isaiah Thomas added 15 and 11th-seeded Washington extended its incredible late-season surge all the way to the regional semifinals with a second-round victory over New Mexico.



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