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NCAA COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

UCSB Stunned by Giddy Rice

March 20, 2000|MITCH POLIN

After an upset victory over UC Santa Barbara in the first round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament Saturday, Rice Coach Cristy McKinney didn't want to talk about North Carolina.

She preferred to savor what might have been the most important victory in her team's history.

"I don't want to say anything about North Carolina," were the only words she said about the fifth-seeded Tar Heels, who the 13th-seeded Owls will play in the second round of the NCAA West Regional at 9 tonight at the Thunderdome at UC Santa Barbara.

She had plenty to savor.

The Owls (22-9), who pulled off a 67-64 victory over fourth-seeded Santa Barbara in the first round, have won 10 of their last 11 games.

Rice, playing in its first NCAA tournament, has a defense that allows only 59 points a game. They shut down a Santa Barbara team averaging 81.6 points, fourth highest in Division I.

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