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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Inside the games

The Spokesman-Review

Saturday’s leaders

Scoring

M.Gansey, W.Va. vs. W.Forest29
S.Stoudamire, Arizona vs. UAB28
T.Downey, W.Forest vs. W.Va.27
A.Morrison, GU vs. Texas Tech25
C.Smith, B.C. vs. Wis.-Milw.25

Rebounding

T.Gray, Oklahoma vs. Utah15
J.Hawkins, Wis.-Milw. vs. B.C.14
R.Turiaf, GU vs. Texas Tech13
R.Morris, Kentucky vs. Cincy12
E.Williams, W.Forest vs. W.Va.12

Assists

W.Conroy, UW vs. Pacific10
C.Paul, W.Forest vs. W.Va.9
A.Bogut, Utah vs. Oklahoma7
J.Dudley, B.C. vs. Wis.-Milw.7
C.Hill, Wis.-Milw. vs. B.C.6
J.Tucker, Wis.-Milw. vs. B.C.6

Tough day for higher seeds

The higher-seeded teams only went .500 on Saturday.

Four of the teams seeded fourth or higher lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament with No. 7 West Virginia’s 111-105 double-overtime win over second-seeded Wake Forest leading the way among the upsets.

Two No. 3 seeds lost to sixth-seeded teams Saturday – Gonzaga to Texas Tech and Oklahoma to Utah – and 12th-seeded Wisconsin-Milwaukee eliminated fourth-seeded Boston College.

In the first round, No. 3 Kansas lost to Bucknell and No. 4 Syracuse was eliminated by Vermont.

That leaves top-ranked Illinois as the only team ranked No. 1 this season still alive. Kansas and Wake Forest each were on top of the poll for two weeks this season.

Multi-bids

The Atlantic Coast Conference was the only one of the 12 multi-bid leagues to have a perfect record in the first round.

All five ACC teams won, and it could be considered 5 1/2 with future member Boston College also winning.

Three of the multi-bids had all their teams eliminated by the end of Saturday’s games: the West Coast Conference (Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s), the Big West (Pacific and Utah State) and the Western Athletic Conference (Nevada and Texas-El Paso).

Knight’s tale

Bob Knight is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1994.

This is his third NCAA appearance with Texas Tech, and the Red Raiders’ 71-69 victory over Gonzaga made it 15 Sweet 16s for Knight, the first 14 with Indiana.

Knight took the Hoosiers to 24 NCAA tournaments, winning it all three times (1976, 1981, 1987) with two other Final Four appearances.

If the Red Raiders reach the Final Four, the regional final victory would tie Knight with John Wooden for third place on the tournament wins list at 47. Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith are tied for first with 65.

“People doubted us,” said Ronald Ross, whose 3-pointer with 1:06 left gave Texas Tech the lead for good, “but (Knight) is definitely a great coach. Look where we are now.”

On the Horizon

Wisconsin-Milwaukee has to hope the similarities end here with Butler’s NCAA Tournament run two years ago.

The 12th-seeded Panthers beat Boston College 83-75 on Saturday to advance to the round of 16, making them the second Horizon League team to get that far, joining Butler, which did it in 2003.

Close encounters

There were only three first-round games decided by 20 points or more, the lowest since the same number in 1988.

There were five first-round games decided by 20 or more last season.

Oklahoma woes

Oklahoma had its worst offensive game of the season at the worst time.

Utah beat the Sooners 67-58 on Saturday. It was Oklahoma’s lowest-scoring game of the season, 17 points off the Sooners’ season average.

Oklahoma scored 80 or more points 12 times this season.

The Sooners shot 31 percent (21 of 66), well off their season mark of 48 percent.

“We had a lot of good looks,” Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said. “I felt like we could hurt Utah with our pressure, but you have to make shots. We just didn’t.”

Inching closer

The No. 16 seeds dropped to 0-84 since the field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985 but this year was the second-best they have ever done.

The top seeds won the four matchups this year by an average of 15.5 points, the lowest average since the all-time low of 10.5 in 1989.

The 16s’ worst year was 1998 when they lost the four games by an average of 42.3 points.

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