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Stories for March 20, 2008

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Washington St routs Winthrop 71-40

Tony Bennett has one of those little inspirational mottos on his desk that reads, "There's nothing less important than the score at halftime." "This was one of those cases," the Washington State coach declared after watching his Cougars turn into the big, bad bully in the second half of their 71-40 victory over Winthrop on Thursday night.

Duke barely gets past Belmont 71-70 in 1st round

There it was, plain as could be on the overhead scoreboard, orange numbering on a black background: As the closing seconds ticked away Thursday night, Belmont was beating Duke.

Walker, Beasley lead Kansas State past O.J. Mayo and USC 80-67

Please meet the new Fab Five. You all know Michael Beasley. Now, let's introduce his very capable supporting cast: Bill Walker, Jacob Pullen, Ron Anderson and Dominique Sutton.

Badgers get battle from Titans

The bullies of the Big Ten won, but not before little ol' Cal State Fullerton gave them a scare. Wisconsin couldn't shake the 14th-seeded Titans until deep into the second half Thursday night, before winning 71-56 in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Badgers advanced to a Saturday game against Kansas State in the Midwest Regional.

Texas A&M beats BYU 67-62

Texas A&M forward Josh Carter has had an up-and-down season. He was up against Brigham Young. Carter scored 26 points, matching his career high, as the Aggies defeated Brigham Young 67-62 in the West Region's first round on Thursday, handing the Cougars their sixth straight opening-round loss.

UCLA routs Mississippi Valley State

Getting the ball stuck behind the backboard merely delayed the inevitable for Mississippi Valley State. Freshman Kevin Love scored 20 points and dislodged the trapped ball as top-seeded UCLA cruised to a 70-29 victory against the overmatched Delta Devils in the NCAA tournament on Thursday night.

Notre Dame puts early end to George Mason's hope of another run

Looking for the next George Mason? Sad to say, but it won't be George Mason. America's NCAA darling two years ago was just another first-round underdog this time around - overmatched and never really in it Thursday night in a 68-50 loss to Notre Dame in the East Regional.

West Virginia eliminates Arizona

It was as if there was a basket hooked up to the garage, and West Virginia's players were taking aim from behind the family car. The Mountaineers used a dazzling display of long-range shooting to beat Arizona 75-65 Thursday night, making the Wildcats' 24th consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament another one-and-done performance.

6Sports video: KU stomps Portland State in round one

This morning, the Kansas Jayhawks took the floor with Portland State with two things in mind: Win and move on and not become the first number one seed to get upset by a number sixteen.

6Sports video: Jayhawks pleased with round one performance

Coach Bill Self and a few Kansas players talk about Thursday's win over Portland State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

6Sports video: UNLV guard talks about Jayhawks

UNLV guard Wink Adams talks about facing the Kansas Jayhawks in round two of the NCAA Tournament.

6News video: KU fans find ways to watch the 'Hawks

Some KU fans saw the first round win in Omaha - others had to watch it right here in Lawrence - even though they may have had other obligations.

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6News video: KU fans happy with 'Hawks

KU defeats Portland State in round one of the NCAA Tournament! D.J. Whetter was on the scene and caught up with a few very happy Jayhawk fans following Thursday's win.

UNLV capitalizes on Kent State woes

In a flash, UNLV knocked Kent State out of the NCAA tournament. The Runnin' Rebels exploited the Golden Flashes' miserable first half, tying a tournament record by holding them to just 10 points the first 20 minutes of a 71-58 victory in the first round Thursday.

Purdue dismisses Baylor

Purdue won another first-round game in the NCAA tournament, and had a blast doing so. Instead of resisting Baylor's urge to play an uptempo game, the Boilermakers abandoned their usual plodding pace and ran away to a 90-79 victory Thursday.

Stanford overwhelms Cornell in NCAAs

Cornell couldn't see the basket through Stanford's tall trees, making the Cardinal's defensive strategy look downright genius in the brain game of the NCAA tournament. With the 7-foot Lopez twins altering shots inside and defenders in the face of Cornell's perimeter shooters, it didn't take an Ivy League degree to figure out the Big Red was in big trouble.

Pitt powers past Oral Roberts

They say you play like you practice, and right now, Pitt is doing both extremely well. Rounding into shape at the perfect time after a season filled with injuries, the Panthers got 23 points from one of their mended players, Levance Fields, in an 82-63 victory over Oral Roberts in the first round of the South Regional on Thursday.

Marquette ousts Kentucky 74-66

After first-round flameouts in their last two NCAA tournaments, the Marquette Golden Eagles vowed to stick around this time. They're headed to the second round after defeating Kentucky 74-66 in the South Regional opening round on Thursday.

Going to the tournament? Send us your videos and photos!

Following KU in the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments? Taking a video camera? Or a point-and-shoot? Or even your cellphone camera? LJWorld.com and KUsports.com want to show your videos and photos to the world.

Xavier rallies past fading Georgia with 73-61 win

Derrick Brown and Xavier put an end to the magical run of a Georgia team that by game's end was, well, 'Dawg tired. Brown's 19 points and 11 rebounds led a balanced-as-usual offense, and No. 3-seeded Xavier avoided a big upset by rallying to overcome fading Georgia 73-61 on Thursday in a first-round West Regional game.

Balanced Spartans outrun, outmuscle Temple 72-61

No longer a one-man show, Michigan State hopes its deeper bench will lead to a long run in this year's NCAA tournament. Raymar Morgan led a balanced scoring attack with 15 points and the Spartans beat Temple 72-61 Thursday in the first round of the South Regional.

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One down, five to go: KU begins Dance with 85-61 win over Portland State

Paced by Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush - who brought their offense from the tail end of last weekend's Big 12 Tournament to Omaha with them - KU crushed Portland State 85-61 Thursday morning, advancing to Saturday's second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks will get the winner of the Kent State-UNLV contest, set to take place right after this morning's game, in the Qwest Center Saturday evening at around 6:30 p.m. Brandon Rush led KU with 18 points, scoring 15 of those in the first half on 3-of-6 three-point shooting. Darrell Arthur was consistent on the offensive end from start to finish, scoring 17, while Mario Chalmers added 16.

Keegan: Why six? Why eight?

These teams could run the table

All it takes to win a national title is to win six consecutive games. That's all. It sounds so easy, yet only one of 341 NCAA Division I basketball schools can call itself a national champion when the final nets are cut down. That's a better measure of the difficulty of the task.

Padgett's return bolsters Louisville

Former KU big man bounces back from devastating knee injury

Four months ago, Louisville coach Rick Pitino held a news conference to discuss the most recent injury to his center, David Padgett. Listening now to the audio from that day, it's difficult not to draw parallels to a eulogy.

Xavier as experienced as balanced

Balance did Xavier just fine last year in the NCAA Tournament. Now, experience is what the Musketeers will bank on - along with balance, of course - to make their postseason stay last a bit longer.

UCLA has lot to love

Ballyhooed big man starts it all

It was one of those moments that sent the television viewer hunting in the couch cushions to find the remote for the purpose of hitting the rewind button to make sure his ears weren't playing tricks. Did Jay Bilas really say that?

Hansbrough has Heels humming along

Do-it-all big man, North Carolina rolling into postseason

Tyler Hansbrough has done it all for North Carolina's basketball team, not just this season but pretty much throughout his career.

Backcourt players return to forefront

For a nice, long stretch, the NCAA Tournament was all about great guard play.

Wildcats wowed by tourney atmosphere

Southern Cal coach Tim Floyd in awe of Kansas State's talent-rich roster

USC coach Tim Floyd was talking about his freshman superstar O.J. Mayo, and the words he used just as easily could have been applied to Kansas State's Michael Beasley, the best player in the nation.

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Shall we dance?

KU hopes to keep No. 1 mastery alive

It might not happen today when Kansas University meets Portland State and UCLA tangles with Mississippi Valley State. It might not occur Friday when North Carolina faces Mount St. Mary's and Memphis engages Texas-Arlington.

Loaded Tigers have weapons aplenty

C-USA slate easy, but Memphis had rough nonleague trials

The University of Memphis men's basketball team was pure magic on March 8, running and gunning and rolling past UAB, 94-56, in its lopsided regular-season finale. After the game at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Indiana Pacers scout George Felton approached Memphis radio broadcaster Matt Dillon.

Ryan Wood's Portland State notebook

Portland State has two players from Wichita, senior guards Dupree Lucas and Brian Curtis. Neither grew up a Kansas University basketball fan, though both are excited to be playing the Jayhawks at 11:25 a.m. today in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Huskers hammer Charlotte, 67-48, advance to 2nd round

Ade Dagunduro scored 15 points to lead Nebraska, and the Cornhuskers used tough defense to pull away from Charlotte, 67-48.

Comeback falls short

After falling behind 10-2 through six innings, the Kansas University baseball team staged a wild comeback, putting the tying run at the plate in both the eighth and ninth innings before falling to Illinois, 11-9, Wednesday at the Florida Spring Classic at IMG Academy Field.

UT might be better without Durant

Longhorns not slowed by loss of national player of the year

Lose the National Player of the Year one year, return to the NCAA Tournament the following spring more ready for the postseason? Believe it, because that's the case for Texas.

Former De Soto product set to 'Dance'

Danny Brown, 2005 grad, part of San Diego's run to NCAA Tournament

For as long as he can remember, Danny Brown has been filling out NCAA Tournament brackets each March. Now, as a junior guard for the University of San Diego men's basketball team, the 2005 De Soto High graduate will play a part in determining how this year's bracket unfolds.

Oddly, Longhorns have look of championship team

We all know what a champion looks like because we all have TV. A champion looks like Emeka Okafor swatting down shots like houseflies.

Key for Kansas: depth

Jayhawks also amazingly balanced

Russell Robinson was wrapping up his Senior Night speech on March 3 after Kansas University's 109-51 basketball beatdown of Texas Tech, when he made the crowd's eyes light up. Public speaking is no fun for many. But Robinson said he would be all for doing it again, given the ideal circumstances.

Keegan: This time, Kansas, Collins both better

It's always so easy to say this year's team is better than last year's. Nobody ever wants to disagree with that, especially when last year ended just short of the target. It just happens that saying this year's team is better than last year's happens to apply to Kansas University.

Prep QB picks Ohio State

Highly regarded prep quarterback Terrelle Pryor is headed to Ohio State.

A&M, BYU programs on the rise

Brigham Young and Texas A&M have enviable football traditions.

Volunteers - like Gators - unselfish

University of Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl figured the best way to win a national championship this season was to follow the example of a fellow Southeastern Conference team: two-time defending NCAA titlist Florida.

Tiny Portland State revels in spotlight

Lew Perkins has been there. Kansas University's athletic director certainly sympathizes with the constant struggles that Portland State experiences in athletics - tight budget, woeful fan support, playing second fiddle (or third, or fourth, or 10th) in an area with much bigger fish to fry.

Mental toughness led Drake to tourney

When Drake was piling up wins and rewriting the school's record books, coach Keno Davis insisted he wasn't concerned with prevailing wisdom.

Gary Bedore's KU basketball notebook

Darrell Arthur lobbed the basketball toward the goal, clutched it after one high bounce, passed it from one hand to another between his legs, then rammed a vicious one-handed dunk, thrilling about 2,000 fans Wednesday afternoon at Qwest Center.