NCAA:Louisville proves to be beast from the east

INDIANAPOLIS — Louisville proved it was the best in the Big East. Now, the Cardinals are showing just how mighty they might be.

Earl Clark had 19 points and nine rebounds and the top-seeded team in the NCAA tournament delivered one of the most crushing blowouts in regional round history — a 103-64 romp over Arizona on Friday night.

Coach Rick Pitino and the Cardinals (31-5) topped 100 points for the first time this season, hit 14 3-pointers and nearly 57 percent from the field, moving into the Midwest final in impressive fashion.

Louisville will play Michigan State on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four.

The Big East regular season and tourney champs became the fourth team from the league to reach a regional final this season with a victory that just missed cracking the top five for most lopsided routs in regional round history. UCLA set the record with a 49-point victory over Wyoming in 1967, and all the top five were recorded before 1972.

The 12th-seeded Wildcats (21-4) got 22 points from Chase Budinger.

It was by far the Cardinals’ biggest rout in their long NCAA tournament, and easily was Arizona’s most-lopsided loss.

Michigan State 67, Kansas 62
INDIANAPOLIS — Goran Suton had 20 points and nine rebounds and Michigan State was steady from the foul line, rallying to defeat defending NCAA champion Kansas in the Midwest Regional semifinals.

Kalin Lucas added 18 points for the second-seeded Spartans (29-6). He shot just 5-for-15 from the field, but made all five of his free throws in the final minute. Overall, Michigan State went 16 of 17 from the line.

Michigan State overcame a 13-point deficit in the first half and advanced to play Louisville on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four.

Sherron Collins scored 20 points and Cole Aldrich had 17 points and 14 rebounds for Kansas (27-7).

With the game tied at 60, Lucas spun, pump-faked in the lane, drew contact from Collins, then dropped in a shot. He made the free throw with 48 seconds left.
South Regional

Oklahoma 84, Syracuse 71
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Blake Griffin bulled his way to 30 points and 14 rebounds, and Tony Crocker added a career-high 28 points as second-seeded Oklahoma beat Syracuse to reach its first regional final since 2003.

Oklahoma (30-5) will play top-seeded North Carolina in the South Regional final Sunday. The last time the Sooners made it this far, Syracuse beat them en route to their own national championship.

And all that talk of an All-Big East Final Four? That’s over with now.

Syracuse was the league’s lone representative left in the South Region. The Orange (28-10) finally ran out of the magic that helped them pull off such wins as their six-overtime marathon over Connecticut in the Big East tournament.

The Sooners began pulling away midway through the first half. Griffin mowed over Syracuse’s gutsy guard Jonny Flynn going to the basket and also banged his noggin against the bottom of the backboard while going for a rim-rocking dunk.

Flynn led Syracuse with 22 points despite playing the second half with a bruised back after that crunching collision with Griffin.

North Carolina 98, Gonzaga 77
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ty Lawson scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half, and top-seeded North Carolina routed Gonzaga in a South Regional semifinal.

Tyler Hansbrough added 24 points and 10 rebounds for North Carolina, which won its 99th NCAA tournament game, breaking a tie with Kentucky for the most by any school.

Wayne Ellington scored 19 points and Danny Green added 13 for the Tar Heels (31-4), who reached the regional finals for the third straight year.

Jeremy Pargo led Gonzaga (28-6) with 16 points.

Lawson didn’t seem slowed in the least by his much-discussed toe injury. He breezed past a defender for a layup to make it 23-16, then added an acrobatic layup while being fouled on a fast break to put the Tar Heels ahead 35-25.

NCAA Tournament Glance
The Associated Press

Morehead State 58, Alabama State 43

EAST REGIONAL
First Round
Thursday, March 19
At Greensboro Coliseum
Greensboro, N.C.

Texas 76, Minnesota 62

Duke 86, Binghamton 62
At The Wachovia Center
Philadelphia

Villanova 80, American 67

UCLA 65, Virginia Commonwealth 64
Friday, March 20
At Taco Bell Arena
Boise, Idaho

Xavier 77, Portland State 59

Wisconsin 61, Florida State 59, OT
At UD Arena
Dayton, Ohio

Oklahoma State 77, Tennessee 75

Pittsburgh 72, ETSU 62
Second Round
Saturday, March 21
At The Wachovia Center
Philadelphia

Villanova 89, UCLA 69
At Greensboro Coliseum
Greensboro, N.C.

Duke 74, Texas 69
Sunday, March 22
At Taco Bell Arena
Boise, Idaho

Xavier 60, Wisconsin 49
At UD Arena
Dayton, Ohio

Pittsburgh 84, Oklahoma State 76
At TD Banknorth Garden
Boston
Regional Semifinals
Thursday, March 26

Pittsburgh 60, Xavier 55

Villanova 77, Duke 54
Regional Championship
Saturday, March 28

Pittsburgh (31-4) vs. Villanova (29-7), 7:05 p.m.

SOUTH REGIONAL
First Round
Thursday, March 19
At Greensboro Coliseum
Greensboro, N.C.

LSU 75, Butler 71

North Carolina 101, Radford 58
At The Sprint Center
Kansas City, Mo.

Michigan 62, Clemson 59

Oklahoma 82, Morgan State 54
At The Rose Garden
Portland, Ore.

Gonzaga 77, Akron 64

Western Kentucky 76, Illinois 72
Friday, March 20
At American Airlines Arena
Miami

Syracuse 59, Stephen F. Austin 44

Arizona State 66, Temple 57
Second Round
Saturday, March 21
At Greensboro Coliseum
Greensboro, N.C.

North Carolina 84, LSU 70
At The Sprint Center
Kansas City, Mo.

Oklahoma 73, Michigan 63
At The Rose Garden
Portland, Ore.

Gonzaga 83, Western Kentucky 81
Sunday, March 22
At American Airlines Arena
Miami

Syracuse 78, Arizona State 67
At FedEx Forum
Memphis, Tenn.
Regional Semifinals
Friday, March 27

Oklahoma 84, Syracuse 71

North Carolina 98, Gonzaga 77
Regional Championship
Sunday, March 29

Oklahoma (30-5) vs. North Carolina (31-4), 5:05 p.m.

MIDWEST REGIONAL
First Round
Friday, March 20
At UD Arena
Dayton, Ohio

Louisville 74, Morehead State 54

Siena 74, Ohio State 72, 2OT
At American Airlines Arena
Miami

Arizona 84, Utah 71

Cleveland State 84, Wake Forest 69
At The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Minneapolis

Kansas 84, North Dakota State 74

Dayton 68, West Virginia 60

Southern California 72, Boston College 55

Michigan State 77, Robert Morris 62
Second Round
Sunday, March 22
At American Airlines Arena
Miami

Arizona 71, Cleveland State 57
At UD Arena
Dayton, Ohio

Louisville 79, Siena 72
At The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Minneapolis

Kansas 60, Dayton 43

Michigan State 74, Southern California 69
At Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis
Regional Semifinals
Friday, March 27

Louisville 103, Arizona 64

Michigan State 67, Kansas 62
Regional Championship
Sunday, March 29

Louisville (31-5) vs. Michigan State (29-6), 2:20 p.m.

WEST REGIONAL
First Round
Thursday, March 19
At The Sprint Center
Kansas City, Mo.

Memphis 81, Cal State Northridge 70

Maryland 84, California 71
At The Wachovia Center
Philadelphia

Texas A&M 79, BYU 66

Connecticut 103, Chattanooga 47
At The Rose Garden
Portland, Ore.

Purdue 61, Northern Iowa 56

Washington 71, Mississippi State 58
Friday, March 20
At Taco Bell Arena
Boise, Idaho

Marquette 58, Utah State 57

Missouri 78, Cornell 59
Second Round Saturday, March 21
At The Sprint Center Kansas City, Mo.

Memphis 89, Maryland 70
At The Wachovia Center
Philadelphia

Connecticut 92, Texas A&M 66
At The Rose Garden
Portland, Ore.

Purdue 76, Washington 74
Sunday, March 22
Second Round
At Taco Bell Arena
Boise, Idaho

Missouri 83, Marquette 79
At University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, Ariz.
Regional Semifinals
Thursday, March 26

Connecticut 72, Purdue 60

Missouri 102, Memphis 91
Regional Championship
Saturday, March 28

Connecticut (30-4) vs. Missouri (31-6), 4:40 p.m.

FINAL FOUR
At Ford Field
Detroit
National Semifinals
Saturday, April 4

East champion vs. South champion

Midwest champion vs. West champion
National Championship
Monday, April 6

Semifinal winners

The Associated Press