NCAA - Midwest
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 21, 2003
INDIANAPOLIS -- Rickey Paulding wanted the ball for the final seconds Thursday.
So he didn't hesitate to do what he does best: put it on the floor.
Paulding drew a questionable blocking foul with 4.1 seconds left, then made a free throw as sixth-seeded Missouri survived another Southern Illinois upset bid with a 72-71 victory in the Midwest Region.
Kent Williams' potential winning 3-pointer glanced off the rim.
"I'm glad it went my favor," Paulding said. "I just wanted to drive to the basket and be aggressive. Fortunately the ref made the call. ... He made the right call."
Jermaine Dearman fouled Paulding as he drove to the basket, prompting Southern Illinois to question the call.
"You don't make a call at the end of the game," Salukis coach Bruce Weber said. "The guy's out of control."
It was the combination of Paulding and Johnson that led the Tigers to the second round.
Paulding finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, and Johnson had 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Missouri (22-10) also overcame sloppy play, a sluggish start and a strong performance from the Salukis, who reached the round of 16 last season by surprising Texas Tech and Georgia.
This time Missouri made sure there was no magic.
When Southern Illinois (24-7) got the ball to Williams, the school's No. 2 scorer with 2,012 points, the Tigers contested the shot. That forced Williams to fling an off-balance shot from the left wing that missed as the buzzer sounded.
"I had about as good a look as you can get," said Williams, who finished with 16 points. "It just didn't go in."
TULSA 84, DAYTON 71: The fourth-seeded Flyers staged a dramatic rally from an 18-point deficit before falling in Spokane, Wash., in their first game away from home since Feb. 26.
Dayton (24-6) came out flat and trailed 32-14 after just over 11 minutes. The Flyers were down 46-33 at halftime after Ramod Marshall's buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Little by little, Tulsa (23-9) let its lead slip away and Dayton pulled even at 67 on Brooks Hall's 3-pointer with 5:17 left.
Kevin Johnson responded with two free throws, but Keith Waleskowski brought Dayton even with a short jump shot. The Golden Hurricane went back ahead for good at 72-69 when Dante Swanson converted a three-point play with 4:15 left.
MARQUETTE 72, HOLY CROSS 68: Travis Diener was the Golden Eagles' third scoring option throughout the regular season.
That all changed in Indianapolis.
Diener scored a career-high 29 and Dwyane Wade added 15 points and 11 assists as Marquette advanced to the second round for the first time in seven years.
"I got a few looks and I took them," Diener said. "It's not like I was looking to take bad shots. They just came."
Holy Cross, seeded 14th, hasn't won an NCAA game since 1953, but for the third straight season it almost pulled off an upset of a higher seed. The Crusaders (26-5) lost to Kentucky in 2001 by four and to Kansas last season by 11.
"Our problem is we can't get over that first-game hump," Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard said. "I thought we could be a dangerous team after the first round."
Third-seeded Marquette (24-5) won an opening-round game for the first time since 1996.
WISCONSIN 81, WEBER ST. 74: Kirk Penney helped the Badgers show they have a potent enough offense to go with one of the nation's stingiest defenses.
Penney scored 21 to lead fifth-seeded Wisconsin in Spokane.
Wisconsin's stifling defense gets most of the credit for the team's success this season, and the Badgers held the Wildcats (26-6) in check until the final minutes.
But it was sharp shooting that got Wisconsin (23-7) out to a quick start. The Badgers shot 57 percent to take a 15-point halftime lead and finished at 53 percent.