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AUBURN HILLS ROUNDUP

Hawkeyes get shock

Wallace sinks buzzer-beater; Bradley sends Kansas packing

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Jermaine Wallace might have had the worst view of the swish seen 'round the nation.

Stuck in the corner with time running out, all Wallace could do was heave, hope, and watch.

As he fell below the baseline, his fadeaway 3-pointer was good with a split second left and little Northwestern State pulled off a shocker, rallying past Iowa, 64-63, yesterday.

''I actually saw it go in through the back of the glass," Wallace said. ''I can't believe this."

Neither could the third-seeded Hawkeyes.

Down by 17 with 8 1/2 minutes left, the 14th-seeded Demons from Natchitoches, La., stormed back to knock off the Big Ten tournament champions with swarming defense and clutch shooting.

''I'd like to say I had it all drawn up, but we were just trying to get the guys in the game who could create havoc on defense and score on offense," said Northwestern State coach Mike McConathy, who shuffled 11 players on and off the court.

Hawkeyes star Greg Brunner made a free throw with 14.6 seconds left for a 63-61 lead. But, after a timeout, the 70 percent free throw shooter missed the second free throw to make it possible for Wallace to become a star for the day.

Down at the other end, Kerwin Forges missed a 3-pointer with about six seconds left and Wallace prevented the bouncing ball from going out of bounds. He pivoted, and, as he was falling out of bounds, sank the game-winning shot with 0.5 seconds left.

''I chased it down and looked at the clock," he said. ''I knew I had chance for one or two dribbles, so I shot it and fell."

After Wallace made the shot that will be replayed for years, he tore off his jersey -- a la Brandi Chastain -- as his teammates hollered and hugged all over the court.

Under the net where Wallace's shot cleanly fell, Brunner was on his back with his jersey pulled over his face.

''A senior shouldn't miss that shot, but I did," said Brunner, who scored all 16 of his points in the second half.

The Demons (26-7) will face West Virginia in the second round of the Atlanta Regional tomorrow afternoon.

Iowa (25-9) finished No. 15 in the final regular-season rankings, and will spend the next weeks and perhaps months wondering if coach Steve Alford will leave to replace the resigning Mike Davis at Indiana.

Shortly after the Hawkeyes' second straight first-round exit, Alford was asked if he will be Iowa's coach next season. ''We're two minutes after the game," he responded. ''My focus and concern hasn't changed. We've gone 7-3 during this stretch [since the rumors started]. These kids have been extremely focused, and my concern is to try to lead them."

Northwestern State went into the game cocky because of previous results against schools from major conferences. The Southland Conference champs won at Mississippi State and Oklahoma State and beat Oregon State on a neutral court during the regular season. They also were competitive in losses to NCAA Tournament teams Wichita State, Texas A&M, and Utah State.

They were confident despite being in the NCAA Tournament for just the second time. In 2001, the Demons won a play-in game to get into the field of 64.

Northwestern State, which won six games during the regular season after trailing by double digits, trailed 18-4, rallied, then fell behind, 54-37, before coming back again.

Clifton Lee (18 points) made four 3-pointers and a long jumper to pull Northwestern State within 3 twice, then Jermaine Spencer scored in the lane to make it 60-59 with 1:03 left.

Brunner made the first free throws and after a timeout, the 70-percent free throw shooter missed the second to make it possible for Wallace to become the star.

Bradley 77, Kansas 73 -- Marcellus Sommerville scored 21 points and made five 3-pointers as the Braves handed the fourth-seeded Jayhawks their second straight first-round exit.

The Braves picked up their first NCAA tournament victory in 20 years and advanced to play fifth-seeded Pittsburgh tomorrow in the Oakland Regional.

Kansas (25-8) looked unprepared and overwhelmed from the start. The Braves (21-10) led by 14 with 15:38 to go, but let the Jayhawks back in the game with three straight turnovers with about five minutes left. By the time the inexperienced Jayhawks got acclimated to the pressure and intensity, however, it was too late.

Mario Chalmers made a 3-pointer after one of the takeaways, a 3-point play after the second, and a runner in the lane after the final one that cut Bradley's lead to 65-62 with 3:45 to play. But the Jayhawks committed three of their 18 turnovers down the stretch, and Jeff Hawkins missed an open 3-pointer in the corner that would have tied it with a minute to play.

Will Franklin, who added 14 points, hit two free throws and broke free for an open layup, and the Braves sealed the stunner at the free throw line for their first NCAA victory since a win over 10th-seeded UTEP in 1986.

West Virgina 64, Southern Illinois 46 -- Kevin Pittsnogle scored 18 points to lead the sixth-seeded Mountaineers to an easy victory over the Salukis in the Atlanta Regional.

The Mountaineers, who made 11 3-pointers yesterday, are headed to the second round in back-to-back seasons for the first time since Jerry West's days in 1959-60.

Jamaal Tatum and Matt Shaw each scored 12 points for Southern Illinois (22-11), which looked completely out of place against the experienced Mountaineers.

Just as they did last year in getting to the regional finals, the Mountaineers (21-10) buried their opponent under a barrage of 3-pointers and backdoor cuts. They used runs of 14-0 in the first half and 12-0 in the second half. The 6-foot-11-inch Pittsnogle led the way, creating matchup problems for the smaller Salukis, who didn't have a starter taller than 6-7.

Pittsburgh 79, Kent St. 64 -- Aaron Gray (17 points) pounded the Golden Flashes inside and Ronald Ramon (16 points) took care of things on the outside. They were so unstoppable, they didn't miss a shot. As a result, the fifth-seeded Panthers (25-7) easily advanced in the Oakland Regional.

Both Gray and Ramon were 6 for 6 from the field, Carl Krauser had 11 points and 9 assists, and Levon Kendall added 10 points in a balanced Panther attack that shot 67 percent (31 for 46). The 7-foot, 270-pound Gray, who towered over the competition, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked five shots.

Kent State (25-9) was unable to recreate the magic it had in 2002, when it knocked off the Panthers to advance to the regional finals. Kevin Warzynski scored 15 points to lead the Golden Flashes, and Jay Youngblood and Omni Smith scored 10 each.

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