Louisiana State defeated Tennessee in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament Friday, but it was a costly victory for the Tigers.
LSU center Shaquille O'Neal was ejected for fighting during the 99-89 victory over the Volunteers, drawing a one-game suspension that leaves him unavailable for a semifinal game against No. 9 Kentucky.
O'Neal and Tennessee's Carlus Groves were ejected and four other players from each team were kicked out of the game for leaving the bench to participate in the brawl.
Groves will be ineligible for Tennessee's next game, but that will come either in the NIT or the NCAA tournament, if the Volunteers get a bid. The other eight players will be allowed to play in their next game, said John Guthrie, associate commissioner of the SEC.
With 10:05 left in the second half, O'Neal broke clear for a shot from under the basket, and Groves grabbed him around the waist, hauled him backward and wrestled him to the ground.
Guthrie said videotapes showed O'Neal threw an elbow at Groves and tried to punch him in the face.
As O'Neal and Groves squared off and other players left their benches, LSU Coach Dale Brown charged onto the court screaming at Groves.
Groves and Brown appeared to exchange blows.
Referees restored order as the crowd of 17,328--with the exception of the LSU contingent--chanted: "Throw Dale out. Throw Dale out."
"I didn't realize my coach was hated so much," said LSU freshman forward Clarence Ceasar.
Guthrie said Brown's actions were consistent with efforts to restore order. He also said he believed officials could have quickly brought things under control, if they had had to deal only with those on the court at the time.
Tennessee Coach Wade Houston was also on the court.
"Don't make Dale Brown or one institution the villain," Guthrie said.
Jay Price, Chris Brand, Steve Rivers and Alonzo Johnson of Tennessee were ejected for leaving the bench. Harold Boudreaux, Vernel Singleton, Jamie Brandon and Maurice Williamson of LSU were also ejected.
Brown was still in conference with LSU Chancellor Bud Davis and Athletic Director Joe Dean an hour after the game ended. None were available for comment.
No. 1 Duke 94, Maryland 87--Christian Laettner scored 33 points for the victorious Blue Devils (26-2) and Walt Williams missed 20 of 29 shots for the Terrapins (14-15) at Charlotte, N.C.
No. 18 Florida St. 93, North Carolina State 80--The Seminoles (20-8) made 70% of their shots in the second half and showed no ill effects from a two-week layoff while racing past the Wolfpack (12-18) in its first ACC tournament game.
No. 20 North Carolina 80, Wake Forest 65--Hubert Davis scored 23 points as the Tar Heels (20-8) got their 20th victory for the 22nd consecutive season with the victory over the Demon Deacons (17-11).
Georgia Tech 68, Virginia 56--Freshman Travis Best scored 13 points in the first half as the Yellow Jackets (21-10) easily beat the Cavaliers (15-13), who made only 25% of their shots.
No. 15 Seton Hall 62, Boston College 60--Gordon Winchester made two of four free throws in the final 13 seconds and the top-seeded Pirates (21-7) opened defense of their tournament championship with the victory over the Eagles (16-13) at New York.
No. 21 Georgetown 77, Miami 64--Alonzo Mourning scored 28 points and controlled the middle for the Hoyas (20-8) against the Hurricanes (8-24).
No. 25 St. John's 64, Connecticut 59--Malik Sealy scored 29 points and had 18 rebounds as the Redmen (19-9) beat the Huskies (19-9) for their first victory in a Big East tournament game since 1986.
Syracuse 55, Villanova 52--David Johnson scored 27 points and made four of six three-point shots in the second half to lead the Orangemen (19-9) over the Wildcats (14-14).
No. 3 Kansas 84, Colorado 66--Rex Walters scored 19 points as the Jayhawks (24-4) had no trouble with the Buffaloes (13-15) in a first-round game at Kansas City, Mo.
No. 11 Oklahoma State 81, Kansas State 57--Byron Houston scored 26 points and had eight rebounds to lead the Cowboys (25-6) over the Wildcats (15-13).
Iowa State 80, No. 13 Missouri 75--Ron Bayless scored 21 points and Justus Thigpen had 20 as the Cyclones (20-11) probably assured themselves of an NCAA tournament bid with the victory over the Tigers (20-8).
No. 24 Oklahoma 107, Nebraska 85--Jeff Webster scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Sooners (21-7) over the Cornhuskers (19-9), who made 33% of their shots.
Virginia Commonwealth 74, Louisville 65--Kendrick Warren scored 16 points and the Rams (14-14) made their last 13 free throws to stun the Cardinals (18-10) in a first-round game at Louisville, Ky.
North Carolina Charlotte 70, Virginia Tech 52--Henry Williams made five three-point shots as the 49ers (21-8) coasted against the Hokies (10-18).