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Sunday, March 27, 2011
Kentucky fells Ohio State; N. Carolina, Kansas romp
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Brandon Knight did it again.
So did Ohio State.
The Kentucky freshman guard added to the Buckeyes' March misery by knocking down his second game-winner of the postseason, a 5-meter jumper with 5 seconds left to lift the Wildcats to a 62-60 victory on Friday in the East regional semifinals.
Kentucky (28-8) will face North Carolina on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four.
"When it comes to crunch time, couple seconds left, the game is on the line, I just try to make good decisions," Knight said.
Regardless of how the previous 39 minutes went. Knight missed seven of his first nine shots and spent most of the night getting hounded by Ohio State counterpart Aaron Craft.
It hardly mattered in the end.
Ohio State's Jon Diebler hit a 3-pointer to tie the game 60-60 with 21 seconds remaining, but rather than call timeout Kentucky coach John Calipari opted to trust his players.
Knight, who knocked down a game-winner in Kentucky's second-round win over Princeton, drove to his right then knocked down a silky jumper.
"I think Brandon does it on purpose," said Kentucky guard Doron Lamb. "I think he misses every shot in the first half then hits the game winner. If he keeps hitting the game-winner we'll take that."
Ohio State rushed down the floor, but William Buford's 3-pointer clanked off the rim and the rebound was tapped out of harm's way.
Senior center Josh Harrellson held his own against Ohio State super freshman Jared Sullinger, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Wildcats sent the seemingly dominant Buckeyes home early again. The loss marked the third straight year the Buckeyes failed to advance to the regional final.
N. Carolina 81, Marquette 63
In Newark, North Carolina is back and put the whole package — offense, defense and toughness — on display while dismantling Marquette.
Just a year after missing the NCAA party, the kids from Chapel Hill stole the show at their East Regional semifinal.
Tyler Zeller had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and North Carolina took control early for a change over Marquette (22-15).
John Henson added 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Harrison Barnes added 20 points and six rebounds as the second-seeded Tar Heels (29-7) moved to within a game of reaching the Final Four for the third time in four years.
VCU 72, Florida State 71
In San Antonio, Bradford Burgess made a layup off an inbounds pass with 7.1 seconds left and Jamie Skeen blocked a shot at the buzzer, giving Virginia Commonwealth the overtime Southwest Region semifinal win.
In the first NCAA tournament game between teams seeded 10 and 11, the lower seeded Rams got the win despite scoring only three points in the final 7:37 of regulation.
The Rams (27-11) are among the final eight for the first time and now will face Kansas.
Kansas 77, Richmond 57
In San Antonio, in an NCAA regional full of underdogs, Kansas played like the dominant No. 1 seed it is.
Brady Morningstar scored 18 points and the Jayhawks (35-2) got one win from returning to the Final Four for the first time since their 2008 championship.
Justin Harper was the high scorer for Richmond (29-8) with 22 points.