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Bruins: tournament magic again

UCLA 105, CINCY 101 (2 OT): The Bruins rally from 11 down in the second half to oust the No. 1 seed.

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 18, 2002

PITTSBURGH -- Don't be fooled by UCLA's seed, record or inconsistent regular season. Once it's tournament time, nobody plays like the Bruins.

And now the storied program is at it again.

UCLA, finally playing up to its potential, upset top-seeded Cincinnati 105-101 in double overtime Sunday behind Dan Gadzuric's career-high 26 points to move into the West Region semifinals.

The Bearcats, never before a No. 1 seed, became the first No. 1 eliminated.

"When we come to play, we can beat anybody in the country," Bruins forward Matt Barnes said.

Enigmatic UCLA (11-7 Pac-10) suddenly is a different team and looking for its 12th national title.

"We've been up and down all season," Barnes said. "Especially with the high expectations we've had. But we usually get hot at tourney time."

Jason Kapono scored 19 -- 17 after halftime -- and Barnes had 17 points -- all after halftime -- and 11 assists for UCLA, which meets 12th-seeded Missouri on Thursday in San Jose, Calif.

"That's as talented an eight seed as there's ever been in the history of the tournament," Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins said. "They're terrific."

UCLA rallied from 11 down in the second and outscored Cincinnati 15-11 in the second overtime to reach the round of 16 for the fifth time in six seasons.

It was UCLA's first double-overtime game in the tournament since 1974, when it lost to North Carolina State in the Final Four.

Leonard Stokes scored a career-high 39 and All-American Steve Logan 18 on 6-for-18 shooting for the Bearcats, who have lost in the second round five times in six seasons.

They went to the first overtime tied at 80 and to the second tied at 90. Both had chances to win it -- Barnes was short with a shot at the end of regulation, and Cincinnati missed several close-range shots after a scramble underneath in the final seconds of the first overtime.

"We had the opportunities," Huggins said. "The ball just didn't bounce the way we wanted it to."

The Bruins scored the first four of the second overtime and went up 97-93 with 1:27 left on a three-point play by Billy Knight. Dijon Thompson's short jumper put UCLA up by six, and he made two free throws to put UCLA up 102-95.

But Field Williams and Logan hit 3-pointers to bring the Bearcats to 103-101 with 1.6 seconds left before freshman Ryan Walcott sealed it with two free throws.

Immanuel McElroy's steal and dunk with 9:20 left put the Bearcats up 65-54. But Barnes made two 3-pointers in three seconds -- the second coming after a foul was called on his first one. After a turnover, Gadzuric's dunk made it 65-62.

Kapono's 3-pointer with 5:09 left got the Bruins, who had trailed 47-37 at halftime, even at 71.

Cincinnati forced the first overtime on Stokes' jumper with 41 seconds left, and UCLA's Cedric Bozeman made a layup with 39 seconds left to force the second overtime.

OKLAHOMA 78, XAVIER 65: Aaron McGhee scored 11 of the Sooners' first 18, then scored eight of 11 to break a tie midway through the second half in Dallas. He finished with 25 points on 8-for-16 shooting and had five rebounds.

The Sooners are the fourth Big 12 team in the Sweet 16 and play Arizona in San Jose on Thursday.

David West, a second-team All-American, scored only one basket during the first 17 minutes, but Romain Sato kept Xavier in it. He scored 16 of the Musketeers' first 18, then scored again to get Xavier within two just before West got into a groove.

West scored the team's next 10, tying it at 40. The Musketeers tied it three more times but never led.

McGhee hit two free throws with 11:15 left to put the Sooners up for good. He then made a long jumper and two free throws.

That gave Oklahoma a 60-53 lead with 6:55 left, and Xavier did not get any closer the rest of the way.

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