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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT | ROUNDUP

Monumental Effort by Richmond

March 13, 1998|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — No. 14-seeded Richmond enhanced its reputation as an NCAA tournament upset specialist with a 62-61 victory over third-seeded South Carolina Thursday in the first round of the East Regional.

The Spiders' other tournament surprises were against a Charles Barkley-led Auburn team in 1984, fourth-seeded Indiana and No. 5 Georgia Tech in 1988, and No. 2 Syracuse in 1991.

This season, Richmond (23-7) went 1-2 against Atlantic Coast Conference teams, losing by 19 points to North Carolina, and finished third in the Colonial Athletic Assn., before gaining an NCAA automatic bid by winning its conference tournament.

"Every time we come into an arena, we just take the attitude that the team we're playing doesn't know we're good," forward Nick Patrick said.

South Carolina (23-8) went down to its second first-round loss in as many years when BJ McKie missed a shot and a tip-in attempt failed as time ran out. The Gamecocks were ousted in the first round last year by Coppin State--only the third time in tournament history that a No. 2-seeded team lost to a No. 15.

Jarod Stevenson scored 24 points, including two free throws with 1:29 left for Richmond's final points. McKie had 24 points for South Carolina, which trailed by as many as nine points in the second half and missed four shots in final 1:16.

Washington 69, Xavier 68--The Huskies (19-9) committed 26 turnovers and missed 11 of 21 free throws, yet still managed to win their first NCAA tournament game in 14 years.

Washington held Xavier (22-8) to one field goal the final 9:53, with 7-footers Patrick Femerling and Todd MacCulloch both getting a hand on T.J. Johnson's missed layup as time ran out.

"The description of what this month is, March Madness," Washington Coach Bob Bender said. "We're a team that sometimes wins without the stat sheet backing it up."

The Huskies' go-ahead basket came on Deon Luton's 17-foot jumper from the left wing with 11.2 seconds left, ending a ragged possession in which the ball supposed to go inside to MacCulloch.

Washington plays Richmond Saturday.

Indiana 94, Oklahoma 87--After paying $10,000 to coach the Hoosiers to an overtime victory, Bob Knight came up a money-saving suggestion.

"If I'd have had these same three officials in that other game, I'd have saved $10,000," Knight said.

That other game was Indiana's loss to Illinois at Bloomington, Ind., on Feb. 24 when Knight lashed out referee Ted Valentine, who gave him three technical fouls. Knight was penalized by the Big Ten Conference, with the option of a $10,000 fine or a suspension from the first-round NCAA game.

Taking the fine, Knight saw his Hoosiers (20-11) blow a 19-point second-half lead before reasserting themselves in an overtime in which they never trailed.

Andrae Patterson had 26 points for for Indiana, which had lost its previous three first-round tournament games. Corey Brewer had 22 points for Oklahoma, 22-11 and a loser of five consecutive first-round NCAA games.

Connecticut 93, Fairleigh Dickinson 85--Richard Hamilton and Khalid El-Amin each had 30 points for the Huskies, who overcame 43 points by Elijah Allen.

Connecticut (30-4) plays Indiana on Saturday. Fairleigh Dickinson finished with a 23-7 record.

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