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NCAA

Top 'Cats hit rock bottom

Marquette and Kansas are the first teams to advance to Final Four after beating No.1 seeds.

By Times wires and staff reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 30, 2003


It wasn't the way Kentucky and Arizona thought their seasons would end.

Marquette star Dwyane Wade sailed high above a UK defense that had carried the top-seeded Wildcats all season, dunking repeatedly in a stunning 83-69 upset in the Midwest Region final.

"We had no answer for Wade," said Kentucky coach Tubby Smith, whose team gave up its most points since a 115-87 victory over Tennessee State on Dec.30 that started a 26-game winning streak.

The other Wildcats team had no answer for Kansas guard Kirk Hinrich. The senior came back from a poor performance against Duke to score 28, one shy of his career high, and block a potential tying 3-point attempt by Arizona's Jason Gardner in the final seconds for a 78-75 win. Gardner got the ball back and missed again as time expired.

The Golden Eagles and the Jayhawks are the first teams to advance to the Final Four. Marquette will make its third appearance in the national semifinal and first since the team won the championship in 1977. Kansas will play in its 12th Final Four, the fourth in Roy Williams' 15 seasons as coach.

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