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March-28-2003,
COLLEGE BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK...By "Easy" Al Monte

ROUNDING UP COLLEGE HOOPS

WEDNESDAY

Texas Tech beat Georgia Tech 80-72 to earn a berth in the NIT semifinals. Red Raiders coach Bob Knight, in his second year at Texas Tech, took his Army team to the NIT three times and his Indiana team twice. His 1979 Indiana team won the tournament, beating Purdue 53-52. It is the first time the Red Raiders have ever been one of the final four teams in any postseason tournament. They got to the NCAA`s Sweet 16 in 1996 and last played in the NIT in 1995. Playing their third straight game away from home in the NIT, Georgetown knocked off North Carolina 79-74 to advance to the semifinals.

THURSDAY

Georgia coach Jim Harrick resigned amid a scandal in the basketball program that also cost his son a job as an assistant. Harrick was suspended with pay March 10 pending an investigation into alleged irregularities in the basketball program. The scandal prompted the school to ban the Bulldogs from playing in the SEC and NCAA tournaments.

Marquis Estill scored a career-high 28 points and Kentucky ran its winning streak to 26 games, holding off scrappy Wisconsin 63-57 in the Midwest Regional semifinals.

Top-seeded Arizona took care of business early and rolled over Notre Dame 88-71 to advance to the West Regional final. The Wildcats were coming off a one-point double-overtime win over Gonzaga.

Dwyane Wade scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the third-seeded Golden Eagles to a 77-74 victory over second-seeded Pittsburgh in the Midwest Regional semifinals.

Nick Collison scored a career-high 33 points and had 19 rebounds to lead Kansas to a 69-65 victory over Duke in the semifinals of the West Regional. Roy Williams, in his 15th year as coach of the Jayhawks, was 0-3 in matchups with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, including a 72-65 defeat in the national championship game 12 years ago.

Minnesota advanced to the NIT semifinals with a 63-58 overtime win over Temple. The Golden Gophers (19-12) return to the Final Four for the first time since winning the NIT in 1998.

St. John`s beat Alabama-Birmingham 79-71 in an NIT quarterfinal game. St. John`s, winner of seven of eight, hasn`t won the NIT since 1989. St. John`s has been in the tournament a record 27 times and won a record five titles.

DID YOU KNOW?

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, has the Orangemen in the tournament for the 22nd time and in the round of 16 for the 12th time.

Butler (27-5) is the lowest-seeded team remaining in the NCAA tournament -- No. 12 in the East. They are in the round of 16 for the first time in 41 years.

Before losses by Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, the Big East teams were 8-0 through the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament -- the best record of any conference.

The Big 12 Conference has six teams in the tournament and has posted a 9-3 record through Thursday night.

Bonus Points. How many people who`ve entered brackets pools with a bonus for single game high scorers, have Missouri`s Rickey Paulding? Paulding had 36 against Marquette in the second round. It`s a good bet, more people had penned Nick Collison`s name, who scored 33 in a win over Duke.



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