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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / POSTSEASON TOURNAMENTS : MIDWEST REGIONAL : Hogs Show Tulsa Who's Boss

March 26, 1994|MARK HEISLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

DALLAS — OK, cue the Boss Hog.

The beefy Razorbacks of Arkansas squashed little Tulsa, 103-84, Friday night to advance to the Midwest Regional final against Michigan. The Hogs' foremost fan, President Clinton, is expected to attend so the Fab Four just picked some Republican backing.

No announcement was made of the President's intentions, but tournament organizers said the doors to Reunion Arena will open an hour earlier than scheduled because of extra security and metal detectors.

"I really believe he will be here on Sunday," said Arkansas Coach Nolan Richardson.

There were rumors the President would turn up for Friday's second half, but they were wrong and he was fortunate, the game having begun winding down midway through the first half.

There was the barest promise of anything closer, the teams having met before, at Tulsa, with the Golden Hurricane carrying the Hogs into overtime before falling.

Of course, both of Arkansas' 6-foot-11 freshmen centers were out along with No. 2 scorer Scotty Thurman and it was the night before spring break.

"Some of our guys," said Richardson, "took spring break that game."

Friday, Tulsa got the full show. For the Golden Hurricane, it was the night before the basketball season ended.

The 10th-seeded Golden Hurricane, slayers of fifth-seeded UCLA and fourth-seeded Oklahoma State, left its red-hot shooting irons home, leaving it all but defenseless in the face of Richardson's thundering-herd front line of 6-11, 260-pound Darnell Robinson, 6-9, 260-pound Dwight Stewart and 6-7, 245-pound Corliss Williamson.

"We tried to double-team Corliss down low," said Tulsa swing man Lou Dawkins. "We were just undersized or undermanned,"

Soon they were overwhelmed. Tulsa missed six of its first seven three-point shots and found itself down, 21-9. By halftime, it was three for 16 on three-pointers and trailed, 44-29.

Williamson, a portrait of Wes Unseld as a young man, finished with 21 points and nine rebounds in the 30 minutes Richardson allotted him. Richardson went nine-deep while the game was close to competitive and called his Hogs off later or it could have been ugly.

"We played about as hard as we could play," said Tulsa Coach Tubby Smith. "I think Arkansas played about as well as they could play."

Don't flatter yourself.

"Nahh," said Richardson, "we're way better than we played. We're a young basketball team. Some of our young kids haven't scratched the surface."

When they do, those Tulsa kids better not be closer than their television sets.

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