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NCAA - West

Hot-shooting Irish take care of Illini

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 23, 2003


INDIANAPOLIS -- Dan Miller scored a career-high 23 as Notre Dame, behind a school tournament-record 13 3-pointers, moved into the Sweet 16 Saturday with a 68-60 victory over Illinois in the West Region.

With its 3-pointers falling, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey told his players to keep hoisting them.

"We were running and firing, and I did not want to stop us because we were going for it," said Brey, who celebrated his 44th birthday.

Notre Dame, in the region semifinals for the first time in 16 years, plays top seed Arizona on Thursday.

"This is huge for our program," Brey said. "In the summer, we talked about playing on the second weekend. I'm happy this group set a goal and achieved it."

It was a disappointing exit for No.4 seed Illinois (25-7), the Big Ten tournament champion. Conference player of the year Brian Cook had 19 points and 16 rebounds.

The Illini trailed by 13 at halftime but got within six with 1:45 left after Deron Williams' tip-in. They didn't score another basket.

Deron Williams went end to end after a steal but missed the layup, and Chris Quinn's two free throws with 27 seconds left sealed it.

"The way they came out and played in the first half, no one would have been able to beat them," Illinois coach Bill Self said. "We got a lot of looks. They just didn't fall."

KANSAS 108, ARIZONA ST. 76: Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich sparked the Jayhawks from the opening tipoff in Oklahoma City, leading an offensive showcase light years removed from their first-round struggles.

Collison had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Hinrich scored 24 as Kansas topped 100 for the fifth time in its 98 tournament games. It is in the Sweet 16 for the ninth time in coach Roy Williams' 15 seasons.

Williams challenged Hinrich and the entire team after their tough 64-61 victory against Utah State. And it was easy pickings from the start.

Collison scored on a layup for the game's first points. Hinrich converted a 3-pointer from the right corner, and the Jayhawks never looked back. Aaron Miles' jumper made it 34-12 with 6:37 left in the half.

DUKE 86, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 60: Dahntay Jones scored a career-high 28 and J.J. Redick 26 for the Blue Devils in Salt Lake City.

Duke gave coach Mike Krzyzewski his 60th tournament victory, second to Dean Smith's 65, and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the sixth consecutive year and 20th time in 28 appearances.

Redick missed practice Friday because of illness, but the freshman made 9 of 13 shots, going 5-for-7 on 3-pointers. Up 47-33, Duke started the second half with a 9-0 run. Redick scored five, including an NBA-length 3-pointer, and Chris Duhon sank one from just inside the 3-point line. The run reached 11-1 on Duhon's steal and dunk that made it 58-34.

Around the nation

TV: The first two nights of the NCAA Tournament had TV audiences roughly a quarter smaller than last year. CBS broadcasts averaged a 4.8 overnight rating to 6.3 in 2002. CBS moved some games to cable channel ESPN to air war coverage.

GEORGIA: The school is investigating charges that Ernest Shanks Jr., a former Colquitt County (Ga.) High guidance counselor, asked a student to take the SAT for recruit Alexander Johnson. Shanks resigned Dec.11 after acknowledging he had a role in giving a student $50.

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