Lower Seeds Gonzaga, Indiana State, Fresno State Advance To Second Round

March 17, 2001

By ELIZABETH A. DAVIS
AP Sports Writer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Add three more lower seeds marching on to the next round with the defending national champions.

Gonzaga, a No. 12 seed, got past No. 5 Virginia 86-85, and 13th-seeded Indiana State beat No. 4 Oklahoma 70-68 in overtime in the South Regional on Friday.

Don't tell these lower seeds they pulled an upset, though.

"I don't consider it an upset because I think we have proven we are a very good basketball team," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "There is a lot of parity in college basketball. There's not that much difference between a 12 and a four seed and maybe a 12 and a three seed."

The Zags (25-6), who nearly reached the Final Four in 1999 and made it to the regional semifinals last year, will play the Sycamores (22-11) in the second round Sunday.

No. 9 Fresno State finished the day with an 82-70 victory over eighth-seeded California.

Top-seeded Michigan State (25-4), the Bulldogs' opponent in the second round, withstood a poor first half to run away from 16th-seeded Alabama State with a 26-0 spurt in the second half to win 69-35.

"We sat there and watched games all yesterday. We watched games all today, and I think everybody was a little anxious to get out there and play," Michigan State's Charlie Bell said.

The Hornets scored just 10 points in the second half, matching Wake Forest's 10-point first half Friday as the lowest-scoring half in any NCAA tournament game since the introduction of the shot clock in 1985-86.

In the final game Friday, Demetrius Porter scored a career-high 27 points and helped the Bulldogs overcome three late comebacks by Cal. After the Bears closed within six with 3:38 to play, Porter made two free throws to start the final and decisive run.

The win was coach Jerry Tarkanian's first in the NCAA tournament at Fresno State (26-6) and the second in school history. He is 17-1 in first-round games.

Both of the early games went down to the wire.

Gonzaga was ahead by as many as 13 before Virginia's Roger Mason Jr. hit a 3 to give the Cavaliers their first lead at 85-84 with 1:28 left.

Virginia freshman J.C. Mathis was fouled with 21.4 seconds left, but missed the free throw, giving Gonzaga another chance.

Adam Hall blocked Dan Dickau's shot, but Casey Calvary grabbed the rebound and put it in with 9.2 seconds to go. Mason then missed on a drive as time expired.

Gonzaga's win maybe wasn't a surprise, but for all those not familiar with the West Coast Conference, Dickau was.

Dickau, a junior point guard who sat out last season after transferring from Washington, scored 29 points. He finished 9-of-19 from the field and 6-of-9 on 3-pointers. In the first half, he seemed to pull up for 3s from anywhere on the court, even from as far as 23 feet out.

Indiana State won their first tournament victory since Larry Bird led the team to the 1979 championship game.

Kelyn Block scored five of his 17 points in overtime after he had three teeth either knocked out or chipped in a collision under the basket.

After his dramatic return from the locker room, Block gave the Sycamores a quick lead in the overtime with a steal and layup. Marcus Howard's basket gave them the lead for good with 3:19 left.

Matt Renn, who scored 22 points for Indiana State, believed the Sycamores had a chance to advance.

"Every team you play, you have to think you can beat them," he said. "There's a lot of good players out there and any team can win."

 

 

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