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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tennessee edges Ohio St. to make Elite Eight

ST. LOUIS (AP) One Evan Turner is pretty good. Five Tennessee Volunteers are even better.

News photo
Tough spot: Purdue's Keaton Grant goes up for a shot against Duke's Kyle Singler in their NCAA South Regional semifinal game on Friday night in Houston. Duke won 70-57. AP PHOTO

Brian Williams scored the go-ahead basket on a tip-in with 32 seconds left, Bobby Maze converted a pair of late free throws and J.P. Prince blocked a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer Friday night, leading Tennessee past Ohio State 76-73 and into the NCAA tournament's round of eight for the first time.

Wayne Chism had 22 points — all but four in the second half — and 11 rebounds for the sixth-seeded Volunteers (28-8), who pulled out a back-and-forth tussle in the Midwest Regional semifinals.

They'll play No. 5 seed Michigan State on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four.

Few expected this from the Vols considering where they were on Jan. 1. Tyler Smith, their leading scorer last season, was dismissed from the team and Williams, Cameron Tatum and Melvin Goins were suspended after a gun and marijuana were found during a traffic stop.

But nine days later, Tennessee stunned then-No. 1 Kansas, and the Vols emerged as an even stronger team.

Turner, a leading contender for national player of the year honors, scored 31 points in the loss.

Mich. State 59, N. Iowa 52

In St. Louis, Durrell Summers scored 19 points and Korie Lucious hit a whirling turnaround jumper with 91 seconds left, helping the Spartans survive a scare against pesky Northern Iowa.

Playing without injured star Kalin Lucas, Michigan State (27-8) needed a half to get used to Northern Iowa's grinding style and held the Panthers to 10 free throws and no field goals over the final 10:22.

SOUTH REGIONAL

Baylor 72, St. Mary's 49

In Houston, LaceDarius Dunn and Tweety Carter both made 3-pointers on their first shots and later combined for a highlight alley-oop dunk as Baylor rushed to a huge lead and romped over St. Mary's.

The third-seeded Bears (28-7) led 46-17 at halftime and could begin looking ahead to Sunday, when they will play No. 1 seed Duke with a chance to reach their first Final Four since 1950, when there were only eight teams in the field.

More impressive for Baylor, it is another inspiring step in redemption nearly seven years after coach Scott Drew took over a program reeling and recovering from a murder and scandal that shook the world's largest Baptist university like nothing in its history.

Dunn scored 23 points with four 3-pointers and Carter added 14 points for Baylor.

Duke 70, Purdue 57

In Houston, the top-seeded Blue Devils returned to the round of eight for the first time since 2004, with Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer helping them pull away in the second half against No. 4 Purdue.

Singler scored 24 points and Scheyer added 18, snapping out of a shooting slump just in time to help Duke (32-5) clear a nagging hurdle that had some wondering if the mighty program was losing its edge.

The Blue Devils had lost in the round of 16 in three of the past five seasons, but now stand one victory from their 11th Final Four appearance under coach Mike Krzyzewski.



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