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Inside the games

The Spokesman-Review

Thursday’s leaders

Scoring

Tucker, Wis.-Milw. vs. Illinois32
J. Graham, Okla. St. vs. Arizona26
Garcia, Louisville vs. Washington23
Pittsnogle, W.Va. vs. Texas Tech22

Rebounding

Myles, Louisville vs. Washington13
Adams, Arizona vs. Okla. St.10
Frye, Arizona vs. Oklahoma St.10
Augustine, Illinois vs. Wis.-Milw.10

Assists

Williams, Illinois vs. Wis.-Milw.8
Conroy, Wash. vs. Louisville 8
Stoudamire, Arizona vs. Okla. St.7
Curry, Oklahoma St. vs. Arizona7

1s are 1-for-2

Four No. 1 seeds had never advanced to the Final Four in the same year and 2005 can be added to the list.

Louisville, the team that thought it deserved a No. 1 seed, beat Washington, the team that got it, 93-79 Thursday night.

Illinois, the overall No. 1 seed, advanced to the regional finals with a 77-63 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee, ending the Panthers’ surprising run.

The other No. 1s, North Carolina and Duke, play their regional semifinal games tonight.

Louisville, the No. 4 seed in the Albuquerque Regional, was superb on both ends of the floor. The Cardinals had their usual barrage of 3-pointers and went inside enough to get the Huskies in foul trouble.

On the defensive end, the 2-3 zone caused a lot of problems for Washington: bad shooting and an unusually high number of turnovers.

Francisco Garcia had 23 points and Taquan Dean added 19 and they combined for 10 3-pointers, Louisville’s average this season.

While the Cardinals looked like themselves from 3-point range they got quite a boost inside from Ellis Myles, who shook off his own early foul trouble to finish with eight points, 13 rebounds and six assists.

Nate Robinson and Tre Simmons, Washington’s leading scorers, both had three fouls in the first half and it was when they left the game that Louisville went on the run that gave it the lead for good.

Robinson finished with eight points on 1-for-7 shooting, including missing all five 3-point attempts as the Huskies went 6-for-25 from beyond the arc, and Simmons had 10 points.

Living up to their billing

Just two days after they were selected to the AP’s All-America teams, Illinois’ three guards controlled yet another game.

Dee Brown and Luther Head, both named to the second team, and Deron Williams, who was a third-team pick, weren’t fazed by the pressure defense of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Panthers’ potent weapon in wins over Alabama and Boston College.

With a decided advantage from the crowd at the Chicago Regional, the Illini committed just nine turnovers, 13 less than Boston College did in the previous game against UWM.

The Illini committed just nine turnovers as Brown and Williams each had 21 points, while Head added 12 and they combined for 16 assists.

The Panthers were just 7 for 29 from 3-point range.

Ross finds a way

Ronald Ross, Texas Tech’s leading scorer, was struggling from the field in the Red Raiders’ 65-50 loss to West Virginia.

He had made just two of his first 13 shots. Since his shots weren’t falling from the outside, Ross found a different way to score.

The senior guard made his next six shots, all dunks and drives following West Virginia turnovers including his two strips of Patrick Beilein that became breakaway dunks.

Big 12’s woes

Salim Stoudamire’s jumper with 2.8 seconds to play did more than give Arizona a 79-78 victory over Oklahoma State. It also ended a rough night for the Big 12.

The Cowboys’ loss ended about 20 minutes after West Virginia beat Texas Tech 65-60.

The losses knocked the Big 12 out of the tournament. Texas and Kansas lost in the first round, while Oklahoma and Iowa State went out in the second.

Graham’s revival

Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton was candid about the Cowboys needing senior forward Joey Graham to step up his game from the first rounds of the tournament.

The third-team All-America had a total of 15 points in the wins over Southeastern Louisiana and Southern Illinois. He stepped up Thursday night with 26 points — 17 in the second half — but Arizona beat the Cowboys 79-78.

The problem wasn’t offense. The Wildcats shot 66 percent (31 for 47), including 7 for 14 from 3-point range. The Cowboys held opponents to 43.9 percent shooting this season.

Associated Press

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