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MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2005
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Defending champion ousted

The Associated Press

Julius Hodge shouted to his fans at the buzzer, saying he knew this would happen all along: North Carolina State was heading to the round of 16, and the defending champion was knocked out — again.

Hodge scored on a slashing drive through the lane with 4.3 seconds left to break a 62-all tie and send the Wolfpack past second-seeded Connecticut 65-62 Sunday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

North Carolina State (21-13), the 10th seed in the Syracuse Regional, advances to the regional semifinals for the first time since 1989 and will play Wisconsin.

No team has repeated since Duke in 1991-92, but the defending national champion Huskies (23-8) seemed almost a lock to at least move past the second round. They went into the game 27-0 against teams seeded sixth or lower in the tournament. And in 19 years under coach Jim Calhoun, they were 23-2 in the first two rounds of the tournament, reaching the regional semifinals 13 times.

Hodge finished with 17 points and six assists. Marcus Williams led the Huskies with a career-high 22 points, and Charlie Villanueva had 16 points and 12 rebounds.

  • North Carolina 92, Iowa State 65: Sean May had 24 points and 17 rebounds, and sixth man Marvin Williams finished with a career-high 15 rebounds and the top-seeded Tar Heels advanced past the first weekend for the first time in five seasons.

    Williams scored 20 points — tying his season high for the second consecutive game — and Rashad McCants added 17 for North Carolina (29-4), which went to the Final Four in 2000 before the tournament drought. Now, coach Roy Williams has the Tar Heels back in the regional semifinals in his second season, the 10th time he's made it that far in 17 NCAA tournament appearances.

    The Tar Heels will face fifth-seeded Villanova next weekend in the Syracuse Regional. Jared Homan, playing in his final game, finished with 19 points and 20 rebounds for Iowa State (19-12).

  • Wisconsin 71, Bucknell 62: Maybe Bucknell could have found a scheme to stop Wisconsin's Mike Wilkinson or Zach Morley. Handling both, however, was too much for the upstart Bison.

    Morley, who was shut out in 28 minutes of a first-round win over Northern Iowa, was 6-of-7 from the field with three 3-pointers and 15 points. His tap-in with 8:41 left put the Badgers (24-8) ahead for good, then he protected the lead with rebounds on the next two defensive stands.

    The Bison (24-9) were still within four points when Wilkinson showed why he's won more games than any player in school history. He personally went on a 7-2 run, capped by a three-point play to push the lead back to nine, virtually ending Bucknell's bid to become just the third No. 14 to reach the NCAA's round of 16. He finished with 23 points and nine rebounds.

  • Oklahoma State 85, Southern Illinois 77: Ivan McFarlin scored a career-high 31 points to move Oklahoma State into the round of 16 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1991-92.

    The second-seeded Cowboys (26-6) will play third-seeded Arizona (29-6) next weekend in a meeting of the two oldest coaches in the tournament. Arizona's Lute Olson is 70, and Eddie Sutton is 69.

    Jamaal Tatum led the Salukis (27-8) with 22 points. Seventh-seeded Southern Illinois got within 72-68 on Tatum's 3-pointer, but JamesOn Curry answered with a 3-pointer of his own. Oklahoma State hit all eight of its free throws down the stretch and McFarlin added a two-handed jam with 44.3 seconds left to keep his team ahead.

  • Michigan State 72, Vermont 61: Maurice Ager scored 19 points and Paul Davis had 11 points and 14 rebounds to send Michigan State to the regional semifinals.

    Largely ignored during the Big Ten season while Illinois took over the top of the national rankings, Michigan State (24-6) found itself the sentimental second choice again in Worcester when the 13th-seeded Catamounts (25-7) beat Syracuse — the first NCAA win in Vermont history.

    Vermont's Taylor Coppenrath went into a shooting slump — making 5 of 23 shots for 16 points. T.J. Sorrentine scored 26 points but made just 6 of 15 shots from 3-point range.

  • Louisville 76, Georgia Tech 54: Francisco Garcia scored 18 of his 21 points in the first half and Taquan Dean stopped any hope Georgia Tech had for a rally with back-to-back 3-pointers, sealing a victory that sent Louisville to the regional semifinals for the first time since 1997.

    Dean finished with 14 points, all but two on 3-pointers, and also had six rebounds and two assists. Larry O'Bannon added 16 for the fourth-seeded Cardinals (31-4), who have won 20 of their last 21.

    Luke Schenscher led Tech with 13.

    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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